8.48 / 10

Gin Gliders Bonanza 3: easy two-liner for easy people

GIN's first two-liner with the EN C label: performance or comfort?

2024-01-20
OverviewSpecsConclusion

The second Bonanza clearly marked the new paradigm of Gin Gliders: a lot of performance, a lot of safety, a lot of comfort. Later, this paradigm was convincingly demonstrated by the very successful Leopard (EN D) and the unexpectedly simple and affordable Boomerang 12 (CCC). Today we have a new protagonist: Bonanza 3, the first EN C-labelled two-liner from the famous brand.

9 / 10

Construction


9 / 10

Canopy




The first thing that catches the eye is the notorious Whale Fin, which has been adopted from the Boomerang 12. Even when deflated, the leading edge has a characteristic sawtooth shape. And if Bonanza is inflated -- its upper surface will show rhythmically arranged bulges and troughs. Does it work? Gin's sure it does. So sure, in fact, that Gin Gliders plans to gradually convert their entire range of wings to the Whale Fin! In theory, the Wave Leading Edge gives an increase in glide and improved stall characteristics without compromising safety. But outside the Whale Fin the design of this Bonanza is conservative in a good way. AR is modest, just 6.3. Not a lot of sections, either -- 65. No nitinol, just plastic rods. That rods, by the way, are long enough, so it is desirable to pack the Bonanza into a backpack carefully, wrapping the concertina around the harness. The wing fabric is dense (up to 40 g/m2), famously durable Myingjin. It would seem that Bonanza 3 should weigh a lot, but no -- even in the maximum size it turned out to be quite adequate 5.5 kg. Not bad for a wing that can last a long time!

9 / 10

Risers



8 / 10

Takeoff and groundhandling




8 / 10

Groundhandling


You could say that the Bonanza 3 is a textbook on how to work with two-liners! It behaves exactly as a low-AR, easy two-liner wing should behave. Yes, in the doldrums you have to pull the A-risers firmly -- otherwise the Bonanza simply won't get into a flying position. Yes, it tends to overtake if you overpull. But, come on, it's a two-liner! However, even taking the "two-liner" specifics into account, the Bonanza 3 is unlikely to be difficult for those pilots who are already familiar with wings proudly bearing the EN C label. In general, there are specifics, but nothing too complex. It is a bit more difficult to put Bonanza's "ear" on the ground and pull it back with a "cobra", especially in low winds. Apparently the not-so-small weight of the wing has an effect; after all, plastic rods are noticeably heavier than nitinol. Take note, Mr. Gin! However, this Bonanza can do the Cobra quite well -- it just takes a little more effort than you'd expect. But in general this Bonanza behaves obediently and predictably. Nice glider!


8.43 / 10

Flight




8 / 10

Turn ability


Is this Bonanza's strength or weakness? More like strong! But there are nuances. On the one hand, in comparison with the fastest EN C three-liners like the very successful Artik 6, the Bonanza's turn is, let's say, not ideal. But on the other hand, it's a two-liner! Moreover, it's not an acro-wing or a glider for all sorts of waggas close to the slope. Two-liners (even with EN C label) are instruments designed primarily for XC flying, and control accuracy is much more important than sharp reactions to inputs. And if you look at the Bonanza from this angle, it's very good. It reminds either of the old Icepeak 6 or the more modern Sigma 10. By the standards of a two-liner, the Bonanza's turns are surprisingly clear and simple. However, those taking on two-liners for the first time in their lives won't be disappointed either. Bonanza's steering reactions are quite calm, but quick and precise. When changing the radius of turn and roll, there are, of course, some transients, but it is not difficult to get accustomed to them. Bonanza's thermal spirals are confident, tenacious, almost not requiring brute force even in relatively brisk weather. The load on the brakes is pleasant, slightly above average, and the acuteness of reactions to the brake inputs is almost unchanged throughout the available range of brake travel. And this range is very large! Moreover -- there is a noticeable backlash, which makes you think about either wrapping (which I personally do not like and do not recommend), or lowering the arms relatively low. The reactions to weight shift are so featureless that there is nothing to write about them. Everything is simple, everything is clear. The wing is smooth but powerful, and it's easy to control the wing. The Bonanza 3 seems to have inherited much of its maneuverability from its big brother, the very successful two-row Leopard with the EN D label.

9 / 10

Rear risers control


9 / 10

Comfort and feedback


9 / 10

Soaring and sink rate


8 / 10

Glide


7 / 10

Accelerated flight


9 / 10

Dynamics and energy retention



Gin Gliders is almost the last strong player in the paragliding market, who decided to enter the new niche of two-liners with EN C label. And Gin's approach turned out to be very interesting. Unlike his competitors, who made the main bet on the elevated performance, Mr. Gin decided not to scare his potential buyers and created a surprisingly simple and friendly wing. However, this is the philosophy of modern Gin. Forget about top performance at any price, long live reasonable compromises! In the case of the Bonanza 3, the compromise turned out to be not only reasonable, but also very pleasant. The only thing the Bonanza 3 loses noticeably to its rivals is top speed. Otherwise, it is a surprisingly pleasant and understandable wing, created not for super-ambitious sportsmen, but for ordinary mortals who just want a little more perfos and the famous rear risers control and feedback which only two-liners can provide. Bonanza has it all. It also has very nice handling -- said to be best in class -- and an unexpectedly durable design.

Who would be best suited for a wing like this? A lot of people, starting from the talented pilots buying their first ever EN C labeled wing. Yes, yes, the Bonanza 3 can be used as a first EN C glider, but under condition that you have already flown 150-200 hours in various conditions. Bonanza 3 will be also a good choice for pilots already having experience in flying EN C class wings, allowing them to enter the two-liner reality quite comfortably and safely. Finally, it is a very, very good downgrade for those who are too tired of flying hot-ship two-liners, but still want a two-liner. I don't think this Bonanza is better to fly in the flatlands or in mountains, it's a good all-round wing! However, there is a lighter version of the third Bonanza created for mountain pilots: the Camino 2.

What kind of flying experience is needed to switch to the Bonanza 3, and to the two-liners in general? I think this is a "how many books do you have to read to be smart" question. The reasonable minimum has already been given above -- at least 150, preferably 200 hours of flight in various places and conditions. It should be realized that despite all its understandability and friendliness Bonanza 3 is still a two-liner, which is more demanding to steering speed and precision than three-line wings. The Bonanza won't let you totally relax at all. But if the pilot flies with confidence and at a good pace, Bonanza will give lots of positive emotions.

Pros

  • Low sink rate, good floatability
  • Simple, clear behavior
  • Pleasant turn

Cons

  • Moderate maximum speed

Thanks

I would like to thank GIN Gliders dealer in Russia Anatoly Lomovtsev ( gingliders.ru ) for providing paragliders for tests.

Copyright

  • Foto: I. Tarasova, A.Tarasov

Model

Year2023
BrandGin Gliders
HomologationEN C
PositioningEN C 2-liner

Conditions

Flying sitesYutsa, Gumbashi
HarnessesSky Country SeCtor Race, Gin Gliders Genie X-Lite
Total in-flight weight100-105 kg

Technical data

Flat area, sq. m.24,88
Flat A.R.6,3
Flat span, m12,52
Projected area, sq. m.21,11
Projected A.R.4,81
Projected span, m10,08
Cells, total65
Lines schemeA2A'1B3
Takeoff weight, kg95-110
Glider weight, kg5,15
SizeM

Materials and components

Upper surface, leading edgeMyungjinMJ40 MF
Upper surface except leading edgeMyungjinMJ32 MF
Bottom surfacePorcherSkytex 27 g/m²
Lines, upper cascadesEdelrid8001U
Lines, middle cascadesEdelrid8001U
Lines, main (lower) cascadesEdelrid8001U

Links

OverviewSpecsConclusion