Reviews

Paraglider Review: 2007 Swing Powerplay Naja 21

Reviews, Updated 08-30-2007 | Ratings: 1 is bad, 10 is good | Para200 Specs | 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 Spice.

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 resistance.

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!

Warrantee:

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 launches.

The manual 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.

 

Tim Kaiser considered the handling to be a bit sportier than his Silex.

 

Tim Kaiser also found Inflation and launch was easy in spite of a slightly crooked start. It did not want to overfly and was tolerant of heavy A pressure during the first part of the run.

My experience was the same. I used trimmers in the slow condition but they should really be set out some to help it come overhead easier. I did this for the test: if it comes up ok trimmed slow then there would be no need to reset the trimmers. If a wing inflates well enough with trimmers slow, that is preferred since the takeoff speed will be slower.


© 2016 Jeff Goin & Tim Kaiser   Remember: If there's air there, it should be flown in!