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past models honey > reviews > Parapente Vuelo Libre, October 2011 honey topics
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Windtech «Honey»

A sweet Class "A" glider

This is a entry wing with some great characteristics such as excellent handling, a high trim speed and also a good top speed with the accelerator system . All this achievement accomplished with a surprisingly EN "A" certification. Windtech joins the current trend of implementing nylon wires in the leading edge and a line set-up with three risers (tough in this case there is a top pyramid of C and D rows due to the central root width) and the A/R is around 5.

They have achieved a light glider in the rucksack and also during take off. It has also more rigidity in all the speed range and has a perfect planform in the leading and trailing edge with a perfect brake geometry arrangement.

The fact that Alain Zoller, director of the Air Turquoise lab test, has approved the Honey in "A" class must be clarified: This is a entry wing with good performances, bringing out a good speed and a good handling as the best characteristics. Normally this behavior is only found in the B class wings but the passive safety of this model is so high that has come out with A notes in all maneuvers.

You should not get confused, this is not a school glider as the Impulse, nor the aspect ratio is as high as in the Zenith Evolution (high end B class wing).

There are changes in the design compared with previous models. Hybrid with 3 risers and a C-D pyramid cascade due to the three meters of central chord.

Very long nylon wires in all profile noses. They have no reinforcements but a flexible nylon socket for the wire. This is equipped with the smart idea of small side opening to replace the wire. This is the only manufacturer with such a level of details.

The line set up has two floors in the central part and three toward the stabilos. All lines are sheathed and there is an attachment every 2 cells. This structure makes possible to connect the V-ribs in a solid way. There are also horizontal loading tapes to improve the transversal canopy pressure and very visible in flight making the wing bullet proof in all conditions.

How this wing is?

The opening in the cells are big and draw a trapezoidal shape making a saw form in the intrados but in the last four external cells. Here the openings are rectangular and much smaller. The stabilo comes in in a round shape and it’s equipped with a cascade of lines in all cells that make a very clean tip even during sharp turns. The trailing edge attachment points are placed every cell and a half so this makes also a great brake flap definition during turns.

The fact that the brake has such a good finishing no doubt contributes to the great handling. However we think that the lines of the brake should have different colors than the A lines.

Risers are classic and wide, equipped with plastic mounts in the maillons. The A risers are split for big ears purposes and the accelerator has a double pulley short but efficient with a thick Dyneema rope. It goes up to 50 k/h and maintains this speeds in spite of turbulences. There are only some loss of pressure in the central cells in some cases but they don't get deformed.

In Flght

The inflation is easy and the pastic battens help a lot with a quick and light pre-inflation. It goes up smoothly and fast because the high trim speed.

When you try to ground control the canopy with not much brake input you may get an asymmetrical inflation but very easy to correct. You have to run fast even with light wing due to the high trim speed of 40 km/h when it’s laoded at the high part of the weight range.

The response to the brake input is quick to all demands, and it is very agile in rolls and turns. It gains momentun with a franc and direct pitch so piloting the Honey is dynamic and fun. Due to the low A/R, the extra canopy pressure and the accurate brake (nor hard, nor soft) it makes the Honey a real toy in the hand of a beginner or a recreational pilot searching for a intermediate (rated "A") wing.

Since the handling is so good and you want to climb in any lift you have to compensate the turn with the external brake. Then the roll is much less but the radius of the turn is smaller.

Big ears are easy to pull but very hard to keep and when opening they do it automatically and very quickly. B stall is no problem and it is easy to do thanks to the long free riser. 360s spiral goes in fast when pulling hard the inside brake and using a lot of weight shift.

When you make an asymmetrical collapse you see the result of the nylon wires at the leading edge making the reinflation instantaneous and maintaining the cells open.

This reinflation is more symmetrical than asymmetrical and the stabilo comes out smoothly, not with a bang. It is solid and has no turn tendency.

The full stall is by the manual; comes gradually in and it is easy to control.

The Honey’s owner is not far from the canopy making the piloting direct, quick and agile. When you think in the beginner pilot on a Honey then the felling is an invitation to pilot and control it. It does not block the turns and you can feel the movements in the harness.

If I have something to criticize it has to be this compared with some heavy in the brakes wings that are not so agile and have a slow angle of attack.

The instructors using this wing with students in Castejon recommend not to fly it in the high part of the weight range so they fly a bit more slowly.

Some thin risers will make the look more modern and light and a cigar bag will help to keep a long life in the nylon wires.

Álvaro, Honey's designer makes some comments:

“The fist idea was to make a basic intermediate wing between the Impulse (A rated) and the Zephyr (A-B). There is a share in the market of pilots coming out of the school and searching for a more advanced wing than the one used during the training course but they can not still jump on board of a Zephyr.

The planform (5.05) is higher than the Impulse but less than the Zephyr and the trailing edge is straight.

There are 44 cells equipped with nylon wires so it is very easy to inflate even without wing.

There a new combination in V-ribs and profiles looking to save weight and the best definition of top surface and also reducing the total line length consumption. All this is done with a different profile to all our other models and it is equipped wiht only three risers.

We tested many torsions and vaults making many prototypes and it was a big job of testing and improving the previous model.

Normally we don't make so many prototypes but at the end the result is better than expected since it is an all round wing very well balanced and this is not only my opinion but the opinion of all the instructors that tested this wing so far.

We pass it in A class in spite of aiming an A-B certification but by being all A proves that the job was really well done.”

Álvaro Valdés.


Technical Specification Marks out of 3
Inflation : ligth smooth • • •
Turn entry : efective, good handling • • •
Turn reversal : quick response • • •
Slow turn : easy to pilot, gets harder • • •

Handling Marks out of 3
Slow flight : perfect • • •
Normal flight : sensitive to side roll • • •
Accelerated flight : short and efficient bar • • •
Pitch : excellent • • •
Roll : direct and stable with energy • • •
Handling : best characteristic • • •
Stall : no worries • • •
Tensión : good, central part transmits • •

Performance

Wing loading 110 kg (3.74 kg/m2)
Min speed 21 Km/h
Speed 50% brake 32 Km/h
Trim speed 40 Km/h
Max speed (100% accelerator) 50 Km/h
Min sink rate 1.15 to 32 km/h
Best glide not measured

Manufacturer Windtech (Gijón, Spain) Designer Álvaro Valdés
Production Gijón (Spain) and Sri Lanka
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