Reading a lot about Littlecloud wings, their miniwing genes always discouraged me. With Gyps introduced, it promises high fun factor and also nice XC abilities. Fortunately, I had a chance to try one for several flights.
It is a cliche, but the quality build is excellent, with very nice attention to details.
Material seemed fragile to me, I was really scared to put a 3,5 kg glider anywhere but perfect take offs. But glider survived our average take offs without a scratch, so my first impression was probably too pessimistic. The biggest wow effect is from girls at take off, because of color and design 🙂
The Gyps has handles I have not seen before, without “hard” middle part. It felt natural immediately, and does not seem limiting the halfwraps. The magnets are nice, risers never fell off. Funny issue was searching for attachment points for first time, as magnets’s place is different and I forgot to check it before detaching. The tiny issue was when holding As with a hand, magnets on Cs can get together until take off. The pins to hold risers together seems only annoyance to me, as I will never use their function, and it is possible line catcher.
As glider is very light a wind requirements for above head position is a really low wind. Also, it has tendencies to start inflating just with very little pressure in lines, not only As, so one must be more careful at windy take offs. During some waiting with it above, I noticed how very stable it is. Also I noticed the stall point is shorter and less intense than on my previous gliders, with ears stalling at first and rest fluently follows. Or it may be lack of practice after off season.
First day I struggled with ears at take off. I have used a lot EN B gliders, which I took off almost directly from rosette often, just with gentle pull of ears out. Gyps has high tendency to tuck the ears. Once I paid special attention to them it was fine.
I made few relative short but intense flights, from scratchy to punchy air. I mostly flew on bottom of certified weight as I lost 6 kg weight during last months, and did not take water (~86/85-105). How I loved wing-overs! Very nice handling in them. Tried only one spiral dive, cannot say much just no misbehaves when driving it out – Gyps has EN D only because of spiral. Because of conditions and wing-loading I got lucky to have several asymmetricals, one at full bar. The rotation of glider – zero degrees, recovery easy and fast. Amazing. I have always skeptical face while reading about great safety from a manufacturer, but LC seems really extremely stable, despite collapse resistance at my configuration was bellow average.
As a summary – I hope I will be flying next season under Gyps, but smaller size. It is lovely glider for anyone looking for very light yet performant glider. Despite EN-D certification it has also a very high passive safety (in EN test report are mostly As, only Ds in spiral). It is not for ambitious competitors as a pilot will compete in category with Zenos.