Few Windtech wings can be seen in France, however, the speed and maneuverability of the Kinetik-3 could seduce experienced pilots.
This manufacturer is originally from Spain, from Gijón in Asturias specifically. Its logo "flyman", "flying man", is recognizable among all. The brand has existed since 1995 and has been interested in paramotoring since its beginning.
After a period dedicated to focusing more on free flight paraglider designs, Windtech has renewed its range of paramotor wings in recent years. The Rally is the recreational model par excellence and can be used in initiation and by beginner pilots. This model came to replace the Honey PW. Then there is the Mad Max-2 destined for tandem trike, in the same niche of fast wings as the ITV Piper Tandem. The Ru-Bi-3 is rather a tandem for free flight paragliding and mixed-use paramotor with foot takeoff. And finally, the subject of this article, the Kinetik-3 is more performance-oriented wing. The paragliders are made in Sri Lanka and Windtech also has its own workshop in Spain for the production of small series and to offer an after-sales service.
All the fabric is Porcher Skytex 40g/m2. The weight of the wing is 4.9kg for 20m2 which is average, it is not a light model but very durable. Nylon rods hold the leading edge. These measure 60cm on the extrados, and another 50cm on the intrados and cross each other at the level of the cell openings. These cells are numbered and there are 59 of them, and the 6 cells at each end are closed.
Near the stabilizers, there is an opening with a velcro that allows any dirt or sand that may have accumulated to be emptied. At the trailing edge, small semiribs help to reduce the brake pressure and make a cleaner surface.
The lines are fully sheathed at the bottom floor, with diameters of 1.1 and 1.7mm, and are distributed as follows: A4 B4 C3 D2. The top floor has its lines without cover. The colors of the different rows of lines are well contrasted (red, yellow and blue).
The elevators are 50cm long. Band A is identified by a red stripe, and B is blue. The stainless steel triangular quick links have a plastic piece inside at the end of the connection between elevators and lines. The base of the risers is marked with colors to differentiate each side, red and green. The accelerator pulleys are original Ronstan very high quality. They are spaced fifteen centimeters apart. The brake travel of the trim system is 12cm and has stitched seams on the webbing that serve as reference points.
The elevator is clean. The height of the brake pulley is not adjustable. The 2D braking system is fitted as standard, and there is a small TST control handle (action on the feather).
In addition to a TST control connected to the feather, the 2D braking system allows you to act more or less in the center or at the ends of the trailing edge.
A small magnetic handle (TST) acts on the tip to maneuver at high speed. The brake handle is also held with a magnet and is wide with a rigid lower part, making it easy to slide the hand inside, even when wearing winter gloves. There is a brake pulley that comes out of the back riser and it is not possible to change the height of the brakes or the anchoring of the riser. As I have done the test with a motor using low anchors anchoring , this is not necessary, but it should be taken into account depending on the motor you use. Two brake lines are connected to the handle to control different parts of the trailing edge depending on how we use it.
The Kinetik-3 cruise speed is high. Everything is fast and lively, you need the level of riding that goes with it to tame it.
For our test, I used the 20m2 Kinetik-3 with a total flight weight of 105kg, which is at the top end of the weight range between 60kg and 110kg. It is available in 5 sizes from 18m2 to 26m2. After listening to feedback from pilots, particularly Spanish ones, during the meeting at Las Candelas in Andalusia earlier this year, the manufacturer will be adding a smaller 16m2 size to the catalogue. At the time of writing, the user manual was not yet available for download, but will be soon.
There are two colors available for the Kinetik-3, with one dominant in orange and the other in lime or light green, combined with white and gray. Before takeoff, note that it has an aspect ratio of 5.6, which is comparable to the Dudek Nucleon 4 or the Ozone Sirocco 3.
A PERFORMING WING,
DYNAMIC AND FAST, DESTINED
FOR EXPERIENCED PILOTS.
The first inflations show that the Kinetik-3 is an agile wing. It inflates easily and rises well to the vertical. Occasionally, it is necessary to use the brakes to stop it from overtaking and to hold it in the vertical.
With the trimmers closed, the wing is neutral. There is no need to open the trimmers during takeoff as the wing rises very well without them.
The takeoff run is a bit longer and faster compared to what is typical for me. Speed and responsiveness are the first identifying features of this wing. Trimmer management is not always easy. The reference tape seams sometimes get caught when passing the metal buckle and need to be done in several steps.
Fully closed, it registers a speed of 46 km/h, and an additional 11-12km/h when the trimmers are open. With the accelerator bar fully engaged, it reaches over 70km/h, which is very good. At these speeds, even with the trimmers fully closed, it is necessary to have appropriate engine power. The hands-up speed is high and surprises me since I rarely exceed 45km/h on a comparable size, i.e., 20m2. And this size is the one I use most frequently personally.
The 2D brake system is a second differential factor. It is not exclusive to the Kinetik-3, but the distribution is not the same as in other wings. The presence of 2D braking does not prevent or cancel out the mini controls of the stabilo or TST. The brake line that passes through the pulley controls the central part of the trailing edge, while the other line, also connected to the brake handle, only acts on the outside of the trailing edge. This line acts on 5 attachment points of the trailing edge, therefore on a larger portion than many other models with this type of system. In addition to the movement of the brakes from top to bottom, it is possible to act from left to right to act in different parts of the trailing edge.
When transmitting the movements of the air mass, the wing moves in one piece with good damping of pitching motion. It should be noted that the inner lines of the left and right planes are joined in the center on the upper floor, undoubtedly contributing to this stiffer behavior.
The landing is a pleasure for those who know how to use the energy of this wing. Speed is not a disadvantage as long as we know how to stop this arrow at the right time. But this is in relation to the required level of piloting. After accelerating and skimming the landing during the final glide, the wing seems to never want to stop.
The Kinetik-3 is definitely a wing that is easy and enjoyable to angle.
I didn't know what to expect when I tried the Kinetik-3, because Windtech isn't very well-known in France. But I am pleasantly surprised by this discovery. It reminds me of the Sky Paragliders Zorro in the use, which also makes me wonder: "Why don't we see more of it?". Of course, you need the appropriate level of piloting skills because it is fast and the wing is very reactive. It is aimed at experienced pilots. Based on the technical specifications and the aspect ratio of 5.6, it is similar to a Dudek Nucleon 4, for example, but it would be more fair to compare it to a Driftair so as not to go beyond the range of the Polish brand. Note that Windtech aims to help competitors, therefore to a good listener, a few words are enough.