8.23 / 10

DaVinci Tango: a hot thing

An ambitious EN B glider from young and ambitious brand

2020-07-01

The histories of DaVinci and Flow companies are closely connected from their beginning. The first product ranges from both brands were developped in close collaboration, the differences between glider models were mainly in naming and color schemes. But in 2019 the game has changed: being still in collaboration, each brand now follows its own way. The Funky (high EN B) is the first child of this approach. So let's see what is the modern EN B vision from Jihun Lee, DaVinci owner and designer...

8.67 / 10

Construction


8 / 10

Risers


DaVinci managed to surprise! No, not the quality of sewing and materials - all this is already familiar and even used to other products of this brand - but... Its kinematics. The first, that catches the eye - huge wooden bosses, just like at spiteful sport two-rowers, which hint thickly at the possibility to steer completely the back rows in flight on gas pedal. No fashionable "breeches" - just grips! If you look closely at the ends, it becomes clear why. For the first time in my memory, working the back rows changes the twist of the wing by affecting the C-risers differently. The outer C-row sling rolls over a separate branch of the rows. The design of the ends had to be a little more complicated for the sake of this - but getting ahead of myself, I will note that it was worth it. It's much easier, than "bridges" and moreover rollers on B-rips, as in Mantra M7 from Ozone, but the efficiency of such decision was unexpectedly high. Otherwise, the ends are quite good, made of narrow ribbon. The swivels are with swivels, with fashionable self-locking magnets, and the handlebar goes through a very nice ceramic ring. It's all grown up!

9 / 10

Lines


Ambitious! No spit on all tiers. And our prototype has only 6.3 lenght... The lower tier ropes are soft enough and don't get tangled on the start, which is nice. Braided eyelets are present. What's nice is that the manufacturer took care of the shrinkage of the sling in advance and generously put loops on the B- and C-rips. With the inevitable deformation of the sling at regular flights these loops can be reset by slightly increasing the length of slings. The slinging scheme is specific -- A2A'1B4C2C'1, because, as I wrote above, the outer C-row sling is put out on a separate branch of the ends. The upper tiers of slinging are, of course, also without braid, and quite evil ratings, up to 30 kg of working load (it's almost a thread).

9 / 10

Canopy



9 / 10

Build quality

9 / 10

Surface smoothness

The first thing I look at when getting to know a wing is, of course, the tips. The second is the shape of the wing, which can tell you a lot about the wing before it even flies. And in that respect, the Tango creates some intrigue even on the ground. The elongation is small by 2020 standards, 6.3. But there are quite a few sections -- 66 of them. DaVinci likes to brag about its proprietary software for 3d-cutting and optimizing the distribution of loads inside the wing -- and in the case of the Tango, that software certainly did some good. The wing's forehead is very smooth, and there are no noticeable problems further down the chord. The shape of the wing creates some intrigue, too - it's unusual to see the rather wide, sharply-cut "ears" which create some kind of sporty mood. If you feel the outside of the wing and look inside, everything becomes even more interesting. Inside the rather narrow intakes there lives a kind of cunningly placed wide band, which in DaVinci is called Smart Nose Plus ("cool nose plus"). It's quite a clever technical solution: the size and position of the band are chosen in such a way, that it doesn't interfere with the intakes work in normal flight modes. But if air tries to come out of the wing, the band starts to flow very badly, and you get almost a valve, which holds air inside and in theory increases resistance of the wing to collapses. Getting ahead of myself, I note that the effectiveness of this solution remains questionable for me personally, but it seems that the "steep nose" can slow down the wing's too amplitude pitch movements. Naturally, there are lines present, and things are tricky with them. At first glance, the lines at the leading edge are not stiff or long - about 10 percent of the chord. The second, more attentive look (thanks, Dima!) found in the wing a "full stuffing" of thin and soft, but very long fishing lines that support almost the entire chord! Somewhere these wires of the "second level" are hidden deep under the wing's surface, somewhere they approach it quite close, but, due to their low rigidity, they are not so easy to detect. But it's easy to find the effects they have in the form of smoothness of the wing, which has suspiciously flat and neat "back" in the area of the second half of the chord (often there is an unpleasant crease "eating" a little bit of aerodynamic quality). And also, most of the line is so soft, that Tango does not require any special packing technique - there is no need to wrap the wing suspension, it is enough to handle carefully only the first 30-40 centimeters of the concertina, not allowing its sharp kinks in this place.


8 / 10

Takeoff and groundhandling


8 / 10

Groundhandling


Very good! And not great, oddly enough, only because of the excessive dynamics. The Tango is very docile and responds quickly to almost anything the pilot does, but roll and pitch change impressively quickly and in impressively large ranges. The Tango literally flies up from the ground, due to its low wing weight and specific torque characteristics. The flip side of the coin is that the fast climbing wing tends to outrun the pilot. The pilot has to "settle" the wing quickly and vigorously with the brakes. The same happens with banked wings - it is easy to put Tango on the ground as well as to bring it back up through the cobra. The main thing is not to rock the machine on the roll.

8 / 10

Takeoff


The same problems as with the "ground", only a little more pronounced. They are so pronounced that if you don't start carefully enough the wing can even swing slightly in a roll, which is extremely rare in the EN C class, and in paragliders in general. And in pitch, Tango also "shoots out" very distinctly. But it has no problems with launching from a restricted area and/or in a weak wind. In such conditions Tango behaves almost like a light mountain glider, it stands up literally from effort of thought, which is undoubtedly pleasant.


8.58 / 10

Flight


8.67 / 10

Turn ability



9 / 10

Brakes efficiency

8 / 10

Weight shift efficiency

9 / 10

Rear risers control

Tango's reactions to the controls are perhaps one of the most striking impressions of this wing. And one of the most enjoyable. The Tango has very few competitors in its class in terms of effectiveness of its paddles. The only one who reacts more sharply to a hand action is the legendary Skywalk Cayenne 5 - but it is an amateur favourite. Tango, on the other hand, reacts a little more quietly, well and correctly adjusted. Brake has no slack at all, but Tango reacts calmly at first 5-10 centimeters of travel, noticeably changing only airspeed. But each subsequent centimeter of brake input adds to the sharpness of the response. To keep the trajectory in flight without gas pedal the brake travel of 10 cm is enough; in thermals hand travel rarely exceeds 30-40 cm and powerful, amplitude wingovers are achieved at one movement at hand travel far from stalling. Tango jumps into a turn with ease and excitement, changing roll almost immediately and very accurately obeying the pilot - and just as easily and naturally holds the set roll, even if turbulence tries to prevent it. Brake input is quite pleasant and comfortable throughout the range of travel, just as you would expect from a modern EN C. Overall a very, very pleasant experience! Interestingly, the Tango's liveliness comes through in some noticeably limited range of roll and pitch. For example, 90 degree turn radius is fast and easy to execute on Tango - but to make an oblique loop (roll more than 90 degrees) you would need to do much more effort, to work with your hands and body much more vigorously and with greater amplitude. At the same time full brake stroke of Tango is big enough - there is no chance to unintentionally pull it. Tango's body control is also very pleasant, reasonably sharp, but without extreme.

It is necessary to stop separately on control of back rows in flight by a gas pedal. Let me remind you that the kinematics of Tango's ends is rather non-trivial - the bosses' work results in a change of roll, with a heavy load on the outer slings of the B-row. Perhaps that's why the Tango's reactions to rear-row work are close to those of two-row wings. The bead force is noticeably less than the three-row average, and the rear-row efficiency deserves cautious praise. It won't be too hard to switch from the Tango to something two-row - the back-row skills developed on the Tango will come in handy and require almost no retraining. Great!

8.33 / 10

Accelerated flight



9 / 10

Speed gain

8 / 10

Speed system effort

8 / 10

Speed system travel

And again a pleasant surprise! Both in terms of speed and planning angle. The speed increase at 50% of gas pedal travel is about 7... 9 km/h, and at 100% of gas pedal travel Tango shows very convincing 17... 18 km/h. Only the 777 Queen 2 is faster, and in the EN C class only a few wings can do that! The glide did not disappoint either. I flew in parallel with several different gliders of the same class -- ParAAvis Ray, Advance Sigma 10, Axis Vega 5 -- and overall I got the strong impression that the glide speeds available to all these boats are roughly equal. But in comparison with the Sigma, the Tango has a trump up its sleeve in the form of a couple of km/h of maximum speed. All in all, a very decent result! The gas pedal, like the cranks, has a nicely tuned force and stroke, it's easy and comfortable to use.

9 / 10

Glide


I repeat what I wrote above: very decent results for a machine with EN C label, not positioned as the top of the class. Tango polar allows its owner not to be complexed before the owners of machines of more famous companies, and if the knowledge and skills are enough to use this polar competently - Tango shows very decent results on the routes. In good thermal weather Tango is quite capable to go a route against a wind of 4-5 m/sec. Long joint flights with the Advance Sigma 10 showed approximate parity in glide. The more serious machines like Trango X-Race are of course very serious competitors for Tango, but Tango has no such competitive ambitions, it's a simpler machine for a wider audience. In general, by the combination of volatility and demandingness to the pilot Tango is very interesting, competitive offer, and if you also remember the price level, typical for DaVinci in 2020, everything becomes quite interesting.

8.5 / 10

Soaring and sink rate



8 / 10

Sink rate in straight flight

9 / 10

Sink rate in spiral

A well-loaded Tango has not demonstrated any miracles in terms of rate of descent, but that applies only and only to straight-line flight. In streams, however, it is the Maneuverability that comes to the fore, which the Tango is very good, and as a result the Tango is a very efficient pilot, capable of pulling its pilot from 50 meters above the terrain, for example. Thanks to its good aerodynamics, the Tango's rate of descent in curves is reluctant, which makes life easier for the pilot. The main thing is to remember the Tango's characteristic sharpness in reaction and not to wave too much in the flow, and then everything will work out!

8 / 10

Comfort and feedback



7 / 10

Comfort

9 / 10

Feedback

Already from the name of our test subject it is clear that the Korean designers had a priority. Informativeness! There is a lot of it, especially for a wing with a small elongation of 6.3 by 2020 standards. Even in relatively calm weather, the Tango almost constantly makes various movements, noticeably goes back and forth in pitch and behaves quite freely in roll. This does not translate into outright uncomfortableness, mainly because the Tango is monolithic. There is almost no squirming or wiggling of the ears, and in this regard, the Tango is very similar to the well-known wings of Ozone - Delta 3 and Mantra M7. Just like Ozons, the Tango is happy to adjust airspeed and brake inputs, which are all very informative. But there is no parasitic, not informative movements and variations of speeds and loads from Tango - and the similarity with Ozons can be seen in this too. Tango is perceived as dynamic, hot, informing much to a pilot in not too rough weather - but in strong conditions such abundance of information can turn out to be uncomfortable. The Tango is somewhat easier to get accustomed to due to its very simple "language" - it is not difficult to understand what the wing is trying to convey to the pilot, everything is intuitively clear literally from the first minutes of the flight.

9 / 10

Dynamics and energy retention



9 / 10

Dynamics

9 / 10

Energy retention

A lot! Both. And, in my opinion, this is more of a plus than a minus - especially if you remember that for all its dynamism Tango is not prone to dangerously large amplitudes and excessively high speeds on dynamic maneuvers. Vingovers are very interesting - Tango makes rolls up to about 90 degrees, so to say, on the count of times, but it's much more difficult to turn vingovers into loops. Overclocking and underclocking are approximately the same -- Tango likes to change airspeed very quickly and dynamically within certain (rather wide!) limits, but does not try to go beyond these limits. The Tango's pre-swoop can last many tens of meters in the dead air, almost as much as a higher class.


7.38 / 10

Dangerous flight regimes


7 / 10

Asymmetric collapse


Perfect! And classical. The load on A riser is high, got some almost-collapses until pulling the A riser plenty. If enough effort is applied to A riser, the collapse occurs at last, goind moderately deep chordwise and instantly inducing some roll. The rocking back is very limited in amplitude. The opening is smooth and gradual, perfectly complying the EN B requirements. The course deviation is generally around 60 degrees, the pitch+roll is only about 30 degrees, the height loss is mere 10 meters. A couple of ear sections may sometimes remain collapsed having no effect on glider behaviour which is very easy to understand. No special control technique is required, the glider even pardons some of the most typical errors like excessive brake input and delayed/incorrect weight shift.

8 / 10

Asymmetric collapse 100% accelerated


Perfect again. The only difference is slightly more dynamics and more possibility to have the wingtips tangled after the most part of the wing is reopened. The angles are also increased: pitch+roll angle can reach 45 degrees, the course deviation is close to 90 degrees.

6.5 / 10

Frontal collapse


It's funny that, during a frontal collapse, the Funky behaves like some of Niviuk 2-liners. It's hard to provoke a frontal collapse because of high load on A risers. The collapse develops moderately deep chordwise, and releasing the risers provokes a powerful surge and an instant "parachute-like" reopening, all this in almost no time. The reopening is so quick that the glider looses only 10 meters of height or less, but the dynamics of the recovery process is quite impressive.

8 / 10

Spin out of thermal spiral


Not all of modern EN B gliders allow this trick. But, despite the abouve-cited brake slack and generally long brake travel, The Funky can potentially be stalled by its pilot while thermalling. But you need to push breakes really hard to do so. In my case the Funky was entering the stall at the very limit of available brake travel, and the brake effort was quite heavy. It's almost impossible that a typical EN B pilot could occasionally make such a mistake. The brake effort decrease at the beginning of the stall is quite subtle, but the stall develops slowly, the pilot has at least a couple of seconds to recognize the problem and to rise the hand. The recovery to thermal spiral is perfectly fast, the surge is powerful but very limited in amplitude.


8.5 / 10

Quick descent techniques


8.5 / 10

Ears



9 / 10

Stability

8 / 10

Sink rate

Almost ideal in terms of stability. The effort on external A lines is big at the beginning, drastically diminishing after the collapse occurs. Keeping the ears closed is a child's play, they require a minimal effort of A lines and are very stable. It's perfect compared to certain gliders which have a very deep-stall-like behavior with both ears closed... but it's less perfect in terms of sink rate. I measured only -2 m/s. Not very effective, maybe because of low wing loading during tests. The reopening requires some brake input or a couple of weight shifts.

8.5 / 10

Ears, accelerated



9 / 10

Stability

8 / 10

Sink rate

Almost the same as without speed system, the only difference is the sink rate which increases up to 3 m/s.


High EN B is always a very special case for paraglider manufacturers. The high EN B gliders are the most popular gliders, and the concurrence in this market segment is quite high, encouraging pilots to make their choice by taking even the small details into consideration. So what about Funky? It's a funky thing! Maybe it's not ideal, but it has its own unique appearance, temper and style suiting typical pilot's demands. The combination of decent performance level and high passive safety is very attractive, allowing us to pardon the random and sudden pitches in heavy turbulence and some brakes slack. But it's generally an interesting and pleasant glider, able to find its own place on the market.

The typical Funky owner is an intelligent pilot aiming to have a very cost-effective glider with perfect performance-to-price ratio. DaVinci is still a young brand offering interesting products at fair prices, thus being a strong contender to  popular and well-known brands. For its very reasonable price, Funky offers a good level of performance, a slightly spicy temper and a great reserve of passive safety. The application range for Funky is quite wide, so it's easier to define what Funky is NOT suitable for. It's not a vol-biv glider because of its long-lasting but relatively heavy construction. It's not the first EN B because it's a bit too "hot" for that. It's not a sport class competition winner because DaVinci didn't sacrifice the passive safety to reach the ultimate performance levels. But in any other case it's the right choice! The minimal pilot skills are around 40 flight hours during 1-2 flying seasons.

Плюсы

  • Pleasant temper
  • Decent general level of performance
  • Long-lasting construction made from non-ultralight cloth

Минусы

  • Склонность к амплитудным клевкам на некоторых режимах полёта

Особенности

  • Some brake slack (10-15 cm) intentionally introduced by manufacturer
  • Prone to pitch surges in strong turbulence

Благодарности

My cordial gratitude to:

  • Rinat Sabitov for offering the glider for testing
  • Roman and Natalia Saveliev for help with logistics and test flights organization
  • Ilya Shingarev for perfect fotos

Копирайт

  • Foto: I. Shingarev, A.Tarasov

Модель

Год2020
БрэндDaVinci
СертификацияEN C
ПозиционированиеEN C

Условия тестирования

Flight sitesChegem, Yutsa (North Caucasus)
HarnessSky Country SeCtor Race
Total flight weight100 kg
Recommended TOW, kg95-120

Технические данные

Flat area, sq. m.24,8
Flat A.R.6,3
Flat span, m12,5
Projected area, sq. m.21,3
Projected A.R.4,93
Projected span, m10,25
Cells, total66
Cells, closed12
Flattening, %14
Cord max, m2,41
Cord average, m1,98
Lines height, m7,73
Lines schemeA2A'1B4C2C'1
Accelerator travel, mm165
Takeoff weight, kg85-105
Glider weight, kg4,5
SizeM

Материалы и компоненты

Upper surface, leading edgeDominico Textile20D MF(WR)
Upper surface except leading edgePorcherE3W 32g
Bottom surfacePorcherE3H 27g
Ribs, supportedDominico Textile30D FM
Ribs, unsupportedDominico Textile30D FM
Diagonal ribsDominico Textile30D FM
Lines, upper cascadesEDELRID8000U-70/50/30
Lines, middle cascadesEDELRID8000U-130/90/70
Lines, main (lower) cascadesEDELRID8000U-280/230/190
Lines, brakesEDELRID8000U
Risers, webbingGuth&Wolth GMBH12mm

Ссылки