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Concept and Development
SuSi, short for Super Simple, is the successful outcome of a project in development for almost ten years now. The name SuSi is the key to the concept: SIMPLICITY both in design and handling. SuSi is predictable, clean and easy to handle in all flight situations.
SuSi’s structure is also quite simple: There are 28 profile ribs on both the upper and lower surfaces of the glider. Voila’! Simple. Additional benefits of this design are that SuSi is lightweight and very affordable.
Not only is SuSi simple in concept, but also in her flight behaviour, which is described by most who have flown her as “super easy.”
Flying the Nova SuSi
Launching: Even without help from the A-risers, SuSi rises rapidly overhead in a controlled manner, without a tendency to overshoot the pilot.
This allows plenty of time for any necessary corrections during the launching process. Once airborne, SuSi reacts calmly due to the combination of great dampening and stability.
Even in turbulent conditions the wing gives the pilot an extremely safe and relaxed flying experience, which is perfect for the student or beginning pilot, or experienced pilots who want stress-free flying.
Furthermore, the low aspect ratio of the wing correlates to comfortable and easy flying EVEN in thermals. In other words, a tight turning radius and flat turns can be expected with little effort on SuSi.
All these features result in an extremely relaxed and successful flying experience for the pilot, whether it is during an evening or morning “sled ride”, or when thermalling in demanding, midday conditions.
SuSi has the most passive safety of any wing we have ever developed. The response to any kind of collapse, even with high wing loading, is exceptionally mellow. Therefore, we could certify the wing (even in the very small wing sizes with high wing loading) with the EN A rating. With normal loading the SuSi is well within the mid-range of the EN A class.
In everyday flying the safety of SuSi is quite apparent. When flying in turbulence SuSi is characterized by great stability, even in accelerated flight when other wings can respond wickedly.
Collapses are very rare and usually over a small wing area. Additionally, the extensive brake range greatly minimizes the risk of an unintentional stall.
The typical glide ratio of the Susi Medium is approximately 8:1. This is more than adequate for extended thermal flights and even long crossings at XC-flights.
On speed bar the SuSi surprised our test pilots with decent speed increases and while maintaing good glide ratios. Her stability up to the maximum speed remains excellent.
However, SuSi’s real strength is in her relaxed thermalling qualities. In all kinds of conditions, SuSi moves efficiently and is “easy on the nerves”.
Due to the high passive safety level we were able to get an EN A rating with a very high wing loading.
For example: The typical weight range of the small size would be 80-100kg. But the certified weight range on the SuSi goes up to 110kg!
This extra weight range may afford pilots the opportunity to utilize a small SuSi in the extended weight capacity in a wide range of uses.
For example, pilots who want to use the lightweight version of SuSi for mountaineering, or frequently flying in strong winds where their normal medium glider would be heavier and more challenging to handle.
For pilots who want to use the wing for relaxed thermalling, we recommend the middle of the normal weight range, which in the case of size “S” whose “normal” weight range is 80 – 100 kg, would be 90kg. In the midrange of the normal loading capacity, SuSi has the most balanced in-flight characteristics and allows her to show off her strengths like tight, slow rotations in thermals.
In short, the handling and stability of SuSi for thermalling are best in the midrange of her wing loading.
The SuSi is our wing with the highest level of safety, so of course we don’t make any demands on the pilot’s skills, but we would like to remind every pilot of the importance of individual responsibility at this point.
Every pilot, who flies on their own has to be able to decide if their skills and equipment is adequate for the respective conditions. The SuSi offers superior safety but even on such a glider with maximum passive safety, misjudgments may have serious consequences.
The best way to avoid misjudgments is a defensive approach to the sport. Some times it makes sense to pass on a flight, instead of getting yourself into conditions you cannot handle. Regular training improves your skills and enables you to enjoy your flights, even in more difficult conditions.
For pilots who are not yet experienced sufficiently to make these decisions alone, or have had a long hiatus in their flying career, or are flying a new site we recommend to fly under the supervision of a rated instructor or highly experienced pilot familiar with the location. In other words, we suggest that you be humble and realistic in your assessment of your skills, the weather and other related decision-making items. We believe whole-heartedly that this will increase the fun of flying and safety and allow every pilot to have a long and productive flying career.
In this context we would like to draw attention to something we believe in with respect to ongoing pilot training and safety: over-water safety courses, otherwise referred to as SIV courses.
It is important to note that the high level of passive safety of a wing can never fully compensate for skill level. For example, for those who believe the simple behavior of SuSi’s launch could replace a proper starting technique, this is dangerous calculation and we would never suggest this type of attitude.
Similarly, we believe it is dangerous to only rely on the passive safety of a wing in very turbulent conditions. A major collapse is possible with any paraglider, and may be fatal with any wing especially close to the ground.
For these reasons we strongly advise against viewing SuSi (or any low-end EN classification glider) as a “comprehensive carefree package” for flight. SuSi does indeed have a high level of passive safety.
But this is only one aspect of the overall security of paragliding and should never be viewed as a way to avoid thorough and safe training in how to fly both in the beginning of one’s flying career, and throughout it via on-going education.
We believe that pilot skill level, and above all, a reasonable and humble attitude toward one’s flying will always play a greater role in the security and safety of a pilot than the passive safety of a wing.