Flying

G-CFDZ in flight

G-CFDZ likes staying up !

Compared to other microlights, G-CFDZ just keeps on gliding. I have yet to calculate the glide ratio but it is impressive. On several occasions I have had to abort a landing and go-around because my approach has been too high.

Turning is a delight. The aircraft responds well to very light controls, it really is like having powered steering.

Speed never was the object of the design. The Exxtacy wing may be a fast wing for a hang glider, but G-CFDZ is unlikely to keep up with other microlights. However, the modest fuel consumption of around 2 1/2 ltrs an hour means that G-CFDZ will still be aloft after most other microlights have landed.

The wing incorporates trailing edge flaps which can be used to provide additional slow speed lift for take-off and slower landings. While an important feature for hang glider pilots who foot-launch, I normally only employ them if I need to make an unusually short aproach.

A short video has been posted to Youtube:


Controls

I am indebted to Allan P. who gave the following description of the controls and how they work.

"When you're flying a rigid wing, it feels like you're using weight shift in roll, but actually you're not. On a weight-shift wing, the A-frame is fixed in position relative to the wing. When you move the bar to the left, the bar doesn't really move - it's you and the trike that moves. In contrast on a rigid wing the A-frame moves from side-to-side in relation to the wing and in doing so raises spoliers on one wing or the other. So when you move the bar to the left that's what you're really doing, meanwhile you and the trike remain in pretty much the same position. Obviously it requires less physical effort to move the bar compared to moving yourself and the trike, so it feels much lighter in roll.

Two points that can maybe help the confusion:

1) The wing does stay roughly horizontal above the trike when you move the bar to the side. The A-frame does indeed move independently sideways to the wing.

2) If you took a rigid wing with no spoilers and a fixed a-frame (i.e. just like a flexwing) and tried to use weight shift to turn, it wouldn't work! The wing would continue to fly straight, even with the trike swung to one side.

The rigid wing is very easy to handle in turbulence. If a wing is lifted, because the a-frame doesn't move with it, the spoiler is automatically lifted by the movement of the wing relative to the a-frame, and so the wing is pushed back down. The spoilers also enable the wing to have dihedral (it's a shallow v-shape) which also adds stability. Most flexwings have a touch of anhedral (inverted v-shape), which reduces stability but makes it lighter in roll."