Friday, 19 December 2014

Niviuk Icepeak 8 overview

With 99 cells, a flat aspect ratio of only 7.2 (CCC measurements) and an incredibly high projected of 6.0, besides the Aircross U3, the new CCC glider from Niviuk has the flattest arc I ever seen. The flatter the arc the more efficient the sail becomes, a totally flat airfoil would be the ideal, but I don't believe paragliders would ever be totally flat but we may get very close to that in the near future.
Some say paragliders with flatter arcs tend to be harder to thermal and turn, maybe the Icepeak 8 will show us that, with new technologies and a creative mind, Nef Olivier may just have pulled that magic out of the bag.
The low flat, yet high projected aspect ratio glider echos similarities with its smaller brother, the peak 3, but not only that, there are lightweight thin springy nitinol metal rods in each cell, I personally said paragliders would use nitinol rods, back in 2009 and I've been using them myself in my Sterna proto harness since 2012. Nitinol is lightweight with high elasticity, which means you can bent it to a very small radius and into the glider profile but it will always be wanting to bounce back into a straight shape, which in my opinion makes this the perfect current material for use in enhancing paragliders stability. I do believe in the future, nitinol rods would run all the way chord wise, just like the Ozone Mantra 6 do with plastic rods, but instead with nitinol rods. That is what I would do if I was designing paragliders right now.
Another ingenious is the line plan of the Icepeak 8, similar to the enzo 2 in some ways, like 4 and 5 cells between A attachment points, yet in between A's there are B attachment points to enhance trimming and stability of the sail, but there is also something unique to niviuk, that has been successfully used since the icepeak 6, which is the stabilo line being directly connected with the A3, therefore saving in line consumption.
Among many changes from the Icepeak 6 and 7Pro is the last wingtip cell, which is now floating, similarly to the enzo 2 and Icepeak 5, but not so elevated, with a more straight feel, which I personally find beautiful in the enzo 2 and now somehow in the Icepeak 8 too. The boomerang 9 has the same feature but the cell is much smaller, not giving the same wing appearance, the Boomerang 10 seems to have a bigger floating cell, which may give similar bird like looks as the Enzo 2 and Icepeak 8.
The Risers of the Icepeak 8 looks simple yet complex, simple to see and use yet complex in its mechanics, with the A3 being able to slide down much further, which can help profile acceleration and to better clean cravats or do very big ears. The B handles now is much better, with similar grip as the Ball in the Boomerang 9 and rings in the Enzo 2 which I prefer, opposed to those C shape handles of my old Icepeak 6, which is also present in the 7, 7 pro and peak 3.
There are 3 sizes, 22, 24 and 26, up to 80-100kg, 95-115kg and 105-125kg respectively, even although the size 22 is not really 22 but 22.5 and the size 26 is also not 26 but 25.5. The only thing I don't like about this glider is the sizing, the 24 and more specifically the 22. The disparity of wingloading (speed) between the 3 sizes is too much, with the size 26(25.5) having 4.9kg/sqm flat, the 24 only 4.7kg/sqm and even worse the size 22(22.5) which is only 4.4kg/sqm flat at maximum weight. With a max weight of 100kg the size "22" should be around 20 sqm flat, no where near 22.5 as it is. That is one of the reasons, the Icepeak 8 24 and 22 will be much slower than the size 26 and I would strongly recommend light under 95kg go for the Enzo 2 20.3 instead.
The lowest flat aspect ratio glider yet the highest projected among all current CCC gliders is a beautiful and intriguing machine, hanging over 8m of line height above the pilot. I don't know yet if the all 3 sizes have been loaded tested separately, giving each size optimal line thicknesses but I would like very much to see a CCC certified Icepeak 8 19.4 up to 95kg with specific load test to compete with the Enzo 2 XS up to 95kg.
Finally, I believe the Icepeak 8 26 just may become the new king ! with similar performance as the Boomerang 9/10 and Enzo 2 but due its shorter aspect ratio of just 7.2, high angle of incidence at trim and enhanced stability by nitinol rods, I believe this glider will be the easiest to fly, and pilots flying the Icepeak 8 size 26 will do really well.
The Overview of the Boomerang 9 and 10 coming soon. Like and share this if you like.
Lauren M.

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