Nice tandem freeflight and paramotor glider from 2014 in good condition, complete with all paperwork and registration attached to wing and in my name. Repair near right wing tip, as shown in photo and mentioned on the check from May 2019. Only a few flights since, but happy to put a new check on her if needed. I will upload more photos next week.
Published in Vol Libre n°400
Solidity and simplicity
To design a great performing tandem glider for both free flight and powered, in other words, a heavy load fun carrier, is a true feat of engineering ITV has managed to achieve !
WARNING REFLEX !
I take off with the Dakota Sport. The trimmers are slightly released due to a weak wind speed and a shallow slope. The glider bites the air and symmetrically rises quickly without overshooting me.
It truly is a "reflex " profile when the trimmers are released ! I immediately realize the benefits for paramotoring : speed, stability during pitch, self correcting under power. And what about free flying ? Well,… it is fun to fly at full blast after releasing the trimmers and play under a solid wing blessed with a superior behavior than what we usually are accustom to use.
The risers length facilitates inflation and does not create a problem whatsoever in any condition with the trimmers fully pulled in. The canopy rises quite quickly with a slight overshoot easy to sblock, which brings along an initial excellent lifting capacity for a clean takeoff. The wing immediately becomes stable and reassuring.
With the wing's stability in mind and a few trials in a mild south wind speed at the Saint Hilaire chapel takeoff, I noticed the tendency to overshoot can easily be dealt with toggle input and the "spinnaker effect " is only lightly felt. A well behaved wing during powered flights and trike takeoffs in a straight in wind direction.
FLIGHT AND TURBULENCE
In strong turbulence, the dampening effect is massive on the roll axis. On the pitch axis, the Dakota is reassuring and toggle input will not much disturb its flying capacities. Speed control of the wing is fully implemented by a brake line pull on the first twenty ( 20 cm ). The glider rather feels like a " flying beam " without noticeable contour deformation while keeping a stable profile.
Upon releasing the trimmers, the pitch stability is reinforced by an important dampening effect. Same with toggle input where the pitch effect is even less pronounced and barely noticeable. TheDakota knows how to fly fast without pitching behavior. A well appreciated gift in turbulent situations.
The trimmers offer up to 12 km/h in gained on a GPS reading as average speed flying back and forth on a set course. It is more then enough play for an analytical estimate. When slowed down, the Dakota asks for a bit of muscle power, requiring a five ( 5 ) kg. pull on the toggles and a fair traveling distance to reach below a 30 km/h air speed. Flirting in small conditions at slow speed will require the pilot to lock his brakes in hands on the risers or spreader bars. The resistance to stalling is fierce and the toggle exerted force will reach a dissuasive ten ( 10 kg. ) pull. A high angle of attack will stall the wing with a full toggle pull and a line hand wrap. No possible misinterpretation of what would come to be ! In slow wind speed flying, the canopy only tries to regain more air speed as soon as the brake pull is lessened.
The Dakota is bullet proof and stable in turbulence and certainly is the goal to reach under power. It is a definite advantage for the occasional free flight pilot.
The Dakota prefers a fair amount of speed in turns to keep a good glide while flying in bumpy air. Optimal thermal flying conditions will only get better as a result.
Not a problem if the trimmers are full-in. The " Ear kit " does its job as it should. With open trimmers but due to the " reflex " profile at work, the " ears " will take more time to reopen by themselves but sink is definitely there !
No problem landing with trimmers set to full-in position ! The ground effect arrives by mid braking phase, offering enough play for a long gradual flare. Coming to a stop still is comfortable even with a more pronounced braking input.
Easy inflation, immediate stability, good lifting capability and landing qualities, are given pluses under power use. In free flight, the same advantages will be appreciated. Its stability and a turbulence fighting character will become added bonuses which will dissipate and make forget a little the Dakota's typical " tandem " behavior. Dakota = stability and simplicity !...