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PEAK 2
en / ltf-2/3
RRP £3750
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Peak 3 mini review - Pat Dower July 2013

23 (80-97kg) flown at 88.5kg

Being much closer in design to the Icepeak 6 than its predecessor , the Peak 2, the Peak 3 is certainly an exciting glider. Sitting between the excellent EN C Artik 3 and the IP6 flown by the new male and female World Champions, the Peak 3 is the step needed. http://www.niviuk.com/news.asp

Launch: The Peak 3 fills with air nicely in light wind and much better than IP6. It also pulls up a bit better than IP6 whilst remaining a lot more progressive than some other gliders. One noticeable and welcome feature is that once the glider is overhead, it re-centres really well if for any reason it has been deflected to one side. This is unusual on this level of glider.

Handling and turn: : The turn builds up nicely and with little effort. In 2m/s+ thermals the Peak 3 had no feeling of being pushed out it has some of the .on rails. feeling of the Artik 3. OK, it does not quite have the knife-like instant response of the IP6 and so is not as precise. I found my inside brake quite a lot lower when thermalling compared to the IP 6 but despite the long brake, no big effort is needed.

The rear riser handles give additional control on glide for steering and pitch control. They help the pilot develop the good habit of never touching the brakes whilst gliding on speed bar. There is less authority on rear risers than the IP6 as you would expect on a 2.5 line design and the pressure is high, so pilots will need to acclimatise.


Feedback: I got thrown around a bit more than the IP6 as does not cut as hard and fast through the air, but the movements not excessive or fast. Like the Artik 3 it moves as a block with much less flexing than the IP6. It hunts thermals really well. Had a stronger feeling of being dragged towards the thermal or the core than I get on the IP6. Maybe my loading in the middle of the weight range helps me get this feeling but it is a strong feature to help the pilot find and stay with the better lift.

Performance: I climbed at least as well as and probably a touch better than Barney on his IP6 and hardly any discernible difference in glide at trim and on 1/3 to 1/2 bar. At full bar it really rattles along, pushing into wind and cross wind brilliantly. At no stage did I feel that the glider was under loaded and I suspect that the sweet spot may well be in the middle of the weight range. Middle for UK flying and add a bit of ballast for racing and Alpine flying.

Other thoughts The Peak 3 is definitely softer and more forgiving than an IP6. It is more committing to fly than an EN C, but is very rewarding. I had a lot of fun and despite being a committed IP6 pilot, I love flying the Peak 3. Flyeo report very good behaviour in SIV and much easier than IP6. Even though these gliders hardly ever collapse, it is nice to have the reassurance of a less challenging recovery on the Peak 3.

What is the niche for the Peak 3? Moving from the current EN C gliders to a competition EN D is a big step. On balance the Peak 3 is slightly above the midpoint in terms of demand and well above in performance. For pilots who are flying their EN Cs to the maximum and want more, the Peak 3 is excellent. They will be aware that they are flying a very high performance glider but if they do take a big hit they have a pussy cat to deal with not a tiger (relatively speaking). It is not quite as soft as some of the old style EN D gliders, but offers more performance.

For the talented EN C or traditional EN D pilot some acclimatisation may be needed, all depending on personal preference. Obviously there is no separate competition class for the Peak 3 and the other low to mid EN D gliders; it is in there with the Comp EN Ds, but flown well and pushed hard I am sure it would do well. There are lots of pilots on comp EN D gliders who rarely use the full speed range and are clearly a bit wary who could probably perform better on a Peak 3.
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