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Nova Artax


The Nova Artax is a member of the Radon family, which is made up of the Artax [1-2], Aeron [2] and Radon [some sizes 2 but others could be 2-3]. All the gliders have a similar diagonal rib and line layout, but with number of cells and aspect ratio increasing as you go up the range. Work on these started round about the end of 2001 but was slightly held up by a change of material choice for the construction of the glider. The Artax was first seen in production form at St Hilaire in Sept 2002

Nova use Gelvenor OLKS siliconised PU coated nylon for the top surface, some parts of the bottom surface and Porcher Skytex 9052 for the rest of the undersurface. Suspended and diagonal ribs are Skytex 9092 with the hard, low stretch finish, and unsuspended ribs are 9052. Riser material is black 25mm webbing, except for the 15mm baby A riser, woven by Güth and Wolf. Lines are Liros. The glider has a three riser system with split As, for those who prefer a standard [non-split] A riser this is available to special order or as a retrofit. The glider has a system of diagonal ribs, & compression straps across A, B & C line attachment points. There is full span compression strap across what would be the D line attachment points; there is no D riser and the lines attached here branch backward from the upper end of the middle cascade of the C lines. In the centre of the canopy there is a further cascade rearwards to what would be an "E" attachment point.

The large size [27], is DHV certified for 100 -130 kg. This has a flat surface area of over 31sq.m. The glider is supplied with a two stage speed bar.

In the air the glider turns flat and easily on the brakes, some weight shift helps but isn't essential. Brake pressure is firm but still comfortable over a long period of time. Even on the bottom end of the weight range, the glider is very solid and whilst it may occasionally rustle or even unload, the collapses don't materialise. This glider is rock steady and simply shrugs off turbulence. Pitch control isn't much of an issue, even when the glider drops slightly behind on entry to strong lift or accelerates forward as it falls out of a piece of very small lift. The glider never seems to stray far from being overhead and simply returns there if not actively placed.

Other manoeuvres confirm this gentle giant behaviour. B line stall is classic and easy, the glider simply falls back slightly and then comes back overhead as the descent rate rises. A good descent rate is easy to get and the glider snaps sharply back into normal flight as the stall is released. Brakes were ready to damp the dive but were not needed. Asymmetric collapses start a turn but the inflation pressure whips the riser out of your hand as the glider insists on re-inflating. Big ears require a firm pull, it gets much easier once they are in and they can easily be adjusted via the baby A riser. Ears come out by themselves when released, although they take longer on the lighter end of the weight range. Spiral dives are easily controlled once you are familiar with the glider's handling and if not maintained exit without drama.

Trim speed at 110 kg was 37 km/h, rising to 38km/h with an all up weight of 117 kg. The full speed bar travel gave 51-52km/h, again at 117 kg. The speed system is light and easy to use and the glider feels very solid with it in use.

The Nova Artax is a great glider for simply cruising around the sky with no stress. It can ride out the rough well and will build the confidence of the pilot upgrading to it. Nova have produced a very tolerant, solid, benign glider with top end performance for its class.

Nova's Artax was replaced by the Mamboo



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