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Pacific Kites Lancer 4
The Lancer IV was one of the great fun gliders of the 70s. Originally produced in New Zealand from 1979, designed or co-designed by Graeme Bird.
The Lancer was brought to the U.S. by Marty Alameda. Marty started Flight Designs in Salinas, California and began producing the Lancer under license in 1979.
Lancers, even the smaller size, were well known for their wonderful ability to float like a butterfly in the lightest breeze, while still retaining control and having, for the day, decent top end speed without falling out of the sky.
The Lancer was a dream to fly: it had both float and responsiveness. It wasn't too fast. While still exploring the sport and its wonders, the Lancer was a real step forward in that it was a terrific all-around glider.

It was solid, responsive, thermalled beautifully without any nasty tricks, yet could float really well with gliders that were ten or 20 square feet larger.
Bar pressure in pitch was solid but not stiff. Roll pressures ditto. It came around in a turn with solid feedback but without working your arms to death. There wasn't any of the yaw you associate today with bigger, higher-aspect gliders. But you could stall the inside tip and spin around for real tight climbing turns, and the planform of the glider would give you a climb rate that would take you up through the middle of thermal stacks like you were on an elevator.
It was a breeze to land: very predictable, again with wonderful feedback from the bar. Flare timing wasn't an issue in most gliders of those just waited for the right wind noise, the glider started to settle, you shoved the bar out and she dropped you smoothly onto the ground, even in no wind.
It is suitable for both intermediate and high-level pilots, thanks to its ease of handling, pleasant handling and excellent performance.
André Chayrou, Pacific Wings, was responsible for the construction of the Lancer IV in France, with sails made in New Zealand. The Lancer IV made in France were clean and well finished. Fitted with deflectors and flexible slats, an original system allows the umbrella to lock automatically, which avoids the possible forgetfulness of the famous push-pin.It was quick to rig having 7 flexible plastic battens per side.
Takeoffs were easy, but they did require a good committed hard run in light conditions.It was a great glider for ridge soaring but didn't have great penetration into a strong wind. It went down quickly with the bar pulled right in without a great deal of forward motion. Though this was handy for landing in tight fields as you could quickly get onto the ground and the energy retention wasn't great so you quickly washed off the speed ending in an easy flare and one or two step landing.
Some pilots experienced their Lancers tip stalling and developing a full spin, some speed being required when going into turns.
Some consider those made by Rithner in Switzerland a dangerous wing.
Lancer 16
Wing area: 15.5 m²
Wing span: 9.8 m
Aspect ratio: 6.2
Hang glider weight: 23 kg
Minimum pilot weight: 60 kg
Maximum pilot weight: 110 kg
Packed length short: 4 m
Nose angle: 120°
Lancer 18
Wing area: 17.6 m²
Wing span: 10.4 m
Aspect ratio: 6.2
Hang glider weight: 25 kg
Packed length short: 4 m
Nose angle: 120°
Lancer 190
Lancer 4S
Wing area: 175 sq.ft

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