Axis Venus SC – experience after 40 hours

SC means Sport Class (= EN-C), and mine is a light version prototype. School Axis gliders never impressed me. The Comet 2 (high EN-B) did not suited me, and bellow Pluto 1 (low EN-B) I felt horrible. However many of my friends were impressed with new Venus, and I was looking for something packable and light, so I purchased it 2 months later.

My glider weights something above 3 kg, and there are no sacrifices in performance or comfort. The Axis owner said with ultralight risers it will be less than 3 kg, however I never validate precise weight. All the flying time was spent in my favourite Advance Lightness 2 harness at 88-90 of 92 kg.

The take off is super easy, compared to my previous UP Meru it was like a puppy against full grown guard dog. The ears has no tendency to stuck, and there is no tendency to overshoot or slow down too early, which was issue of Comet 2. As it is light, even in no wind, or some backwind I felt comfortable in takeoffs.

The performance is good for its class. I flew along racers in BGD Weightless 2020 in Roldanillo, most tasks with first gaggle along or just behind some twoliners. Only EN-C regularly with me was BGD Cure 2 riding by legendary Bruce Goldsmith 🙂 Of course, this comp is not for experienced pilots.
It was visible lack of full speed compared to twoliners. But I climbed better than most pilots, which should be simply by the low level of competition. One task with last leg against strong wind I was leading until lowsave near goal, pissed off the two liner pilots. Glider is competitive, and with good thermals and some luck, it is possible to fly against 5-6 ms wind.

I believe my temporary strange feeling and inconsistent handling was caused by my habit to fly different brand for hundreds of hours. However after 20 hours it settled and I felt no more unexpected things (reactions sharper or milder than intended). The glider is very sensitive, but the warnings of collapses are rare. Compared to UP Trango XR (EN-C), which never surprised me, Venus surprised me several times, but always with easy reaction.

Safety is standard for EN-C glider. Manual frontstall is tricky, in some cases it tries to overshoot really wildly, but most of times no problem with I would say lazy reactions. No big tendency to overshoot or turn generally. The stall point is also standard, not so easy to distinguish as on lower category gliders of course. Ears are super easy to induce, but going out sometimes needs help, and glider felt little unstable in this (releasing ears) situation.

In summary, Venus is a great all rounder. The light version is very light and packable to small size, very easy to take off or land, all with top (EN-C level) performance. What a XC pilot needs more? I prefer Trango little bit more in flying/handling, but for those searching >1 kg less with great performance and easy usage, Venus SC might be easily the top choice.

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