EN B / LTF 1-2
The ORYX is a light weight glider based on the very successful MENTOR, which is known for its outstanding performance and a very high safety level. Due to the MENTOR’s success and the durability of the tried and tested IBEX, we decided to offer a weight optimized wing with the genes of the MENTOR.
However, the ORYX is more than just a MENTOR made out of lightweight material. We have adapted some technical details with the knowledge we have gathered during the development of the MENTOR: For example: the shape of the leading edge has changed and we use a different construction for the diagonals and ribs.
The lightweight construction is similar to that used on the IBEX:
We were very careful about the chosen fabrics: Light cloth is only used where little strain can be expected; that is on the bottom sail and on some inner parts. The whole upper sail and strained inner parts are made of a robust 40g cloth, which is already successfully used in many other NOVA wings. We rejected super light risers and simply used weight optimized standard risers to make the handling more comfortable.
Despite the focus on robustness and suitability for every day use, we have saved about 25% of the weight compared to the MENTOR, which means about 1.6kg for the ORYX M, which has a weight of 4.8kg!
The significantly reduced weight becomes considerably noticeable at take off. The ORYX can be pulled up easily and climbs smoothly above the pilot. In flight, the ORYX stands out because of its stable and well damped flight behaviour, which relaxes the pilot especially in turbulent conditions.
When flying in thermals it is easy to turn the ORYX precisely and also very tight, without loosing too much height by “diving”, which results in excellent climbing performance.
The glide ratio is also slightly better than on the MENTOR; especially in accelerated flight, the combination of performance and safety is without equal.
The reduced weight of the ORYX is a big advantage in terms of safety. We have improved the collapse behaviour of the MENTOR, which is itself already well known for very predictable and safe behaviour after collapses.
Due to the lighter canopy of the ORYX, the collapses occur in a more damped manner and affect a smaller area; this makes it easier for the pilot to react. In the case of a bigger, asymmetric collapse, it is easy to prevent the ORYX from turning. The long available brake travel helps to avoid stalling the glider.
Besides these aspects of the ORYX, the improved safety behaviour which is inherited from the MENTOR is highly appreciated by the about 1500 MENTOR pilots, no matter if they are top level XC pilots, or pilots who prefer flying on their local flying site.
The MENTOR has proved its performance potential in a quite impressive way. We could mention Marcel Dettling’s world record (223km FAI, standard class) or Johann Kronberger’s overall OLC victory (standard class), or any other of the numerous outstanding cross country flights.
It is not just the raw performance that makes these successes happen. What is even more important is that the performance potential can be used in such an easy and safe way.
As mentioned above, the ORYX excels the MENTOR in terms of safety quite significantly. We have also slightly improved the glide performance of the ORYX. This outstanding combination of performance and safety offers great opportunities for ambitious XC pilots, as well as for pilots who want to enjoy some nice thermals after an easy hike with the lightweight ORYX.
Compared with the MENTOR, the following attributes have been changed:
- Modified shape of the leading edge: This increases the pressure inside the wing and leads to more stability
- Optimized inner parts: We have saved some weight by using a different construction of the diagonals and ribs
- New risers: we reduced the weight of the risers, but focused on comfort and easy handling
- Thinner brake lines: the brake lines are unsheathed (except main brake line) this reduces drag and also saves a little weight. The robustness of the unsheathed lines (e.g. on stony take off sites) is almost the same as with sheathed lines.
LTF/EN test reports: