Rio2 15
Date Added: 14/04/2015

by Oliver

I chose the Rio 2 for my return to hang gliding after a 12-year gap. I could not be more pleased. Compared with my previous competition glider the Rio 2 is slower (of course), but also lighter (28 kg compared with 34 kg, weighed by me), more stable and much, much easier to land.

The glider is quite long in the bag, with rigid tips and tip struts that extend beyond the leading edges with the wing folded. However, it is easy and quick to rig, either flat or on the A-frame.

Takeoff is straightforward. The Rio 2 does not accelerate as quickly as sportier gliders, so I feel that it takes a bit more oomph to get moving; but, once the wing is flying, liftoff is easy and predictable.

In flight the controls are intuitive; neither quick and twitchy, nor heavy and unresponsive. The glider responds immediately to control inputs, but rolls into and out of turns in quite a stately fashion: not exactly racy, but very confidence inspiring. In thermals the glider does not wind in or out, and seems to climb pretty efficiently: at any rate, it was good enough to get me to cloudbase within 15 minutes of my very first takeoff at Wether Fell.

The VG is effective, although I find it hard to pull - partly because of an old injury which has left me with a rather weak right arm. The glider remains controllable (although heavier) with fully tight VG, but there is a noticeable slowing-down when the VG is released.

Landing behaviour is really excellent. The flare window seems very wide (I have not yet found its limits) and the stall speed pretty low. So far I seem to be flaring rather early, perhaps because my previous glider had a much higher stall speed, and so I tend to zoom upwards a bit; but holding the flare results in a gentle, level and controlled descent to the ground.

In summary, I am very pleased. In phase 1 of my hang gliding career I flew many different models, but I think the Rio 2 has better handling than any of them.

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]

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