Paraglider Review: 2007
Swing Powerplay Naja 21
08-30-2007 | Ratings: 1 is bad, 10 is good | Para200
| About the Testing
The Naja is intended for the intermediate motor pilot and follows a
trend toward smaller area with greater efficiency. They strived to make
easy inflation an important aspect and, in my opinion, they succeeded. I
had this wing for almost a week and will only do full reviews on wings
that I can have for that long because I can learn so much more on
several outings and in different conditions.
In flight weight was 226 pounds: 155 pounds
of me and my testing gear, a 57 lb motor, and the 14 pound Naja. Projected area was 21 m² so the wing loading was a very high 10.8 lbs / m².
That's how I like to fly—heavily loaded.
Handling (8): Handling is great and it carries enough energy so
that pulling on the brakes allows you to trade speed for several feet of
altitude. It's as responsive as a Silex but is more efficient.
Brake pressures are a bit higher than the spice but brake pull
distance to effect a turn is similar. Silex pilots will also be
right at home with the handling. It turns into a dive almost as quickly
as the Silex and Spice (something I find desirable) but a turn can
be done flat just by using more outside
brake. Pilots who complain about a wing diving are simply not
controlling it properly (with outside brake as necessary).
The Naja is not as busy as the Spice in turbulence and probably about
the same as the Silex although I only compared it back to back with the
Inflation (8): Small wings rule! This one does quite
well here—better than the Silex (which I consider pretty predictable and
easy) but not quite as quickly as the Spice. The Naja is easier to control than my Spice while
kiting and has very little tendency to fall back. It takes slightly more airflow (about 1/2
mph) to keep the Naja up compared with the Spice. We kited them together
for a while to get a feel for that.
You'll have to run just a bit faster than a small Silex.
The wing did very well when inflated without using
the A's at all using only moderate pull. You can get a lot of wings to do
that a strong wind but we did it with only about 5 mph relative
airflow. That suggests no-wind inflations will be easy. I did two
no-winders with ease.
Efficiency (7): It has lots of internal bracing and appears to
have attention paid to aerodynamic cleanliness without resorting to high
aspect ratio. I was unable to do the power test (compare power required in
level flight) but it yielded almost as high a climb rate as my Spice.
Speed (7): A nice compromise. This is another area where small
wings shine. It has no speedbar but makes up for that somewhat by having a
large trimmer range. During my GPS testing I found the speed to be 23.5
mph trim in and 30 mph trim out.
Construction (7): It seems well built,
more robust than most free-flight wings.
Sand flyers out west (CA) may not like the brake toggle retainer magnets
which clog in iron-rich sand. I prefer enclosed magnets (embedded behind
one layer of fabric) which may not hold quite as well but don't clog up.
If you fly from grass or non-iron sand then you won't notice the issue.
The Naja has two riser loops. Since some pilots on some high hook-in
machines can have a problem reaching the brakes with long risers, having
two loops solves that. It's like having motor risers and regular risers
in one. There are two brake pulley positions, too, that can be used (a
common feature on many wings). Using the upper loops is like having
short risers which are made for high hook-in machines. I flew it with
the loop ends (for low hook-in machines) and found it perfect. Tim flew
it with the upper loops (meant for high hook-ins) and found the brakes
too low but that's corrected by routing the brake lines only through the
upper pulley. It comes down to personal preference but the two-loop
solution eliminates the need for motor (short) risers although I've
never had a problem with most risers, even at normal length.
The trimmers on some wings can slip because they don't grab well
enough. This was not a problem and, even if age makes the trimmer slip,
it has about 4 stops sewn in place so they won't slide more than the
inch between stops.
It came with the brakes through both pulleys and I left it alone
although I would route it through only one pulley to decrease
Certification & Safety (7): It's
certified DULV "Advanced" in the size I flew (21). We hope to have the
test report available soon. Given the responsiveness I believe this wing
is appropriate for experienced PPG2 pilots or higher. I did not collapse
it in flight nor did I get anything more than a tip collapse which didn't
affect flying at all (nor should it).
I'm told the glider would have gotten a 1-2 except for B-stall
recovery which is why it has a DULV 2 rating. I can see that, it's
profile and lower aspect ratio suggest reasonably forgiving behavior.
Just don't do B-Line stalls until you've done them at a maneuvers clinic
and know what to expect. Then again, that goes for any wing!
Overall: This is a good wing for PPG2 level pilots
through advanced motorheads and could even be used for soaring in stronger
conditions. Silex flyers will like it, especially during dead calm
will soon be available for download at www.swing.de.
1) Kids, don't try this at home. They don't recommend towing with this
wing nor would I—there's no speed bar meaning that you cannot use a
tow-assist bridle which pulls the speedbar to decrease the chance for
going parachutal. Towing without such a bridle increases risk
noticeably. 2) This is how I measure brake pressures. 3) The risers and
cascades with tip line (stabilo) coming off the B risers. 4) Another
view in flight. 5) Kiting by just holding the risers was easy. 5) Side
view of the risers. You can stow that trimmer using its attached velcro.
6) Tim launching. You can see how the two loop riser set works. He's
using the upper loop.