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Mentor

Mentor - Nova

Number of Reviews:  2  
Average Rating:  4.50 / 5  
Manufacturer Website:  No Website 
Suggested Retail Price:  No Price 
administrator 01-Jul-2009 21:03 Report this Product!
Year Launched 2007 from Nova (if applicable)
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Mentor Description
  • The NOVA MENTOR is a high performance wing in the DHV 1-2 class for regularly flying pilots. Like its predecessors, the wing offers maximum performance with a high level of safety. 
  • Due to its easy and reliable flight behavior, the MENTOR is suitable for a large group of pilots.
  • Reviews of Mentor


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    2 Reviews of Mentor


    SicOrbit   08-Jan-2010 06:25 Report this Review!
    Your Flying Style: Recreational and XC from NZ
    Purchased From: -
    Period of Use: 2 years
    Flying Experience: Many years
    Similar Products Tested: Buzz, Gin Rebel
    Current Flying Setup
    & Clipped in Weight:

    Size L, TO weight 125kg, (colour RED ) Harness: Skyline Pure XL

    Strengths:

    refer to review

    Weaknesses:

    Faults:
    I am genuinely impressed with this wing, which is just as well... (If any one is passing this way and has a modern glider that they would like to compare with mine I’d be interested to try… especially if it’s a Rush2, Sport4, Golden2, new Gin 1-2… let me know). So I can’t really fault it, it seems well made, its light (weighs exactly what Nova claim it weighs (unlike my Buzz)), the risers seem really thin, and the fistful of lines is small, all good.
    I would like slightly bigger brake handles, my hands are only an L or XL in most gloves and it’s a bit of a squeeze to put my hands through with medium thick fleece gloves on.
    And I have had to use different line than the ones supplied to connect the speed-bar to the Brummels, the line supplied is thick and abrasive (allows knot free attachment to the speed-bar), adds unnecessary friction to the system and had the amazing ability to pull T-shirt and fleece material into the pulley of the harness attached to the seat board, locking the speed system on (this is only a problem if your harness has unprotected pulleys).

    Build/Quality: well made and light
    Review:

    First of all you need to know where I am coming from. I have nearly 200hrs, 2/3rds of which are during the past couple of years during which I have finally been able to get a bit serious with my flying, having learned way back in ’96. I learned on a FreeX Frantic (DHV2 – that’s the way it was back in the day) then after a few years of frustration and very, very little air time I re-taught myself under a Gin Bolero, which I was almost instantly bored with and replaced with a Ozone Buzz XL in 2005. When I got the Buzz I loved it for its lively character and good performance compared to the Bolero. The majority of my airtime has been in Pokhara (Nepal), Bright (Aus) and for the last year coastal and mountain sites near Christchurch, NZ. Aside form the Buzz and the Mentor the only other glider I have flown was a Gin Rebel, which I thoroughly enjoyed in smooth, light coastal conditions; this flight became the moment I knew I was ready for a new wing having been hankering after more performance and energy retention in a wing for months.

    Opportunities for demo flights in NZ are limited (especially if you fly all up at 125-130kgs) so based on the reviews here I took a punt and bought a Mentor L. I was looking for high performance with good passive safety, i.e. a notch or two above the Buzz. So the following impressions of the Mentor are really only in comparison to a low end DHV 1-2 glider flown by a relatively cautious pilot (that values the knowledge that the wing above his head has good recovery characteristics).

    Ground handling:
    In light winds the Mentor rises easily and remains responsive to brake and harness movement even when not fully pressured (much like the Rebel) – easy. In stronger winds the wing seems best held down with the D’s; power is easily controlled by moving towards the wing as it rises. It is quick to rise, requires a good measured application of brake as it nears the top, and is easy hold against the wind once stabilised above your head. The main difference compared to the Buzz is that the Mentor is much more responsive and therefore requires more precise timing, ground handling therefore seems easier, because it does what it is told without delay.

    Take Off:
    You have to run a little faster! – and it seems not to lose much height as it accelerates to trim speed.

    Soaring:
    Turns are easy, weight-shift helps, seems to retain energy through turns (again much like the Rebel) so feels efficient. Min Sink is good (not sure I have found the sweet spot yet, but seemed to easily float a fraction above a Gin Zoom whilst cliff soaring (leaving one frustrated Zoom pilot)).

    Transitions:
    Trim speed is defiantly fast, into wind penetration seems much improved over the Buzz which is in itself confidence inspiring, half bar sees no discernable (by eye) degradation of glide angle. Releasing the bar results in a conversion of speed to lift (a sensation I never had on the Buzz), I have a lot to learn about good use of the speed-bar!

    Thermalling:
    Requires slightly more active piloting to keep the wing steady, but not overly demanding, again, like the ground handling, it does what its told when its told! Plenty of feed back, and I had the sensation of being able to feel the air through the wing tips rather than just as a tug on one or other riser. Plenty of pitch stability, seems to accelerate into lift rather than be knocked back. Cored easily, tight flattish turns were not a problem, plenty of brake travel. The brakes do however have an elastic sort of feel to them – not unpleasant just a little strange.

    Resistance to collapse:
    Seems good, with active piloting, lift (eg. 4m/s) to sink (eg. -3m/s) transitions were uneventful apart from screeching vario noise! Tip deflations in thermals seemed gentle, sort of rolling in and rolling back out again, never even felt the need to look up, seemed like I could feel what the wing was doing. The leading edge took a good knock whilst thermalling, symmetric collapse in and out (hands up) very quick, no drama. Without going into long explanations of why, lets just say I was dumb enough to end up descending to land through some very strong turbulent and at times rapidly descending air, the wing took a real beating on the way down, the landing was fast and vertical with a nice little PLF. (I was very impressed with the wing, and severely unimpressed with my decision making ).

    Acro:
    (I wish!!!) – but it is easy to get a decent descent rate without going into a full-on spiral.

    Big-Ears:
    Very easy and effective, easy to hold in and adjust size of, come out when released, weight shifts really well and likes the speed-bar applied too.

    Landing:
    Easy, but still getting used to that strange elastic feeling of the brakes!

    Product Rating: (out of 5) Rating of 5Rating of 5Rating of 5Rating of 5Rating of 5
    Conclusion:

    Enjoyable to fly, confidence inspiring (so long as you are confident in your active piloting abilities) and fun. I would not be surprised if some DHV2 gliders out there were less lively and just as easy to fly, equally I don’t imagine that this the most demanding DHV(LTF)1-2 ever either. Not for beginners, I don’t imagine I will be deserving of a better wing for a long time (remind me of that when I am after a new toy in a few years).

    If you are thinking of wings for XC it is worth a try.

    Enjoy what you fly.

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    BillSwiz   26-Oct-2009 20:16 Report this Review!
    Your Flying Style: Recreational from Switzerland
    Purchased From: Tested thanks to Markus Suremann at Flugschule Jura
    Period of Use: tested
    Flying Experience: Lots of flying since 2003
    Similar Products Tested: Epsilon3, Sport 4
    Current Flying Setup
    & Clipped in Weight:
    Sport 4, Advance Harness
    Strengths:

    -

    Weaknesses:

    -

    Build/Quality: quality seems really good!
    Review:

    Initial thoughts on getting the wing out of the bag is that it looks great. Nice bright colours, and the lightning design across the wing looks good - Like the airwave the quality seems really good, comfortable padded brake handles, coloured lines that are easy to distinguish with the top lines being very thin

    Ground handling. In comparison with my current wing and like the airwave it is a delight to ground handle, much easier and more responsive. I could not do as much on the ground with it as I could with the airwave and the brakes have a strange mushy feel to them as though made of elastic.
    Launch - alpine forward launch. Exactly like the airwave though it seemed to come up a bit quicker and needed a bit more brake input to hold it, easy to bring the wing up, control it above my head to look up to check everything is ok and then lean forward and go.
    Turns - Here is where I found the area where this wing differed enormously to the airwave. The brakes have a strange feeling to them in the first part of the travel, they don't have a proportional effect on the wing and suddenly get heavier and then the reactions were much more rapid. Initially I really did not like this and found that smooth turns were difficult to put together. However after a while flying I found that the trick was to use much more weightshift and less brake input. It never felt natural to me though, perhaps more flights would have changed this.
    Spirals - Dives in quickly and the rate of descent was very controlable with surprisingly low G-force.
    Wingovers - Initially I had problems getting the wing to do this until I relaised the amount of weight shift needed, even then I found the coordination of weight shift and brakes more tricky than the airwave.
    Assymetric collapses - Almost identical to the airwave. Pull on the A lines on one side and release immediately and the wing tip folds in and then pops out immediately, no turn or drama at all but a big bump can be felt through the harness. If the a lines are held down to maintain the collapse at about 40-50% of the leading edge the wing does a big bump felt through the harness and then starts to fly fine and with more weight shift than the airwave and a reasonable amount of brake on the open side can be flown straight or turned in either direction.
    I did not have any collapses in normal flight other than ones I caused by pulling on the a-lines so don't know what these would be like.
    Front collapse - pull both a-lines and release - lots of noise from the fabric and a drop but little swing or surge but nothing to wory about as the wing opens immediately.
    Speed bar Fairly light to use and the wing accelerates quickly with hardly any dive as it accelerates and a good gain in height on release. I did one accelerated assymetric collapse and like the airwave it was as uneventful as the trim speed collapses. Glide angle while less good than trim was way better than my Epsilon and probably comparable to the airwave.

    Product Rating: (out of 5) Rating of 4Rating of 4Rating of 4Rating of 4
    Conclusion:

    I never felt really comfortable with the brakes on this glider. However once I got to grips with how to turn it with more weightshift I found that it was much more agile . In terms of feedback it gives more through the harness and less through the brakes than the airwave sport 4 which makes for a slightly bumpier ride. It also felt much faster at trim and accelerated, while I don't know if it actually is faster it felt it though this may be due to the extra movement felt through the harness.

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