Valič Brothers interviewed by Marcus King
Q&A We get the lowdown from Triple Sevens research and development team.
The leading edge of the Rook 2 seems very solid and helps the wing fly as one. How did you manage this?
Some are surprised but the clean shape of the leading edge has little or nothing to do with our BPI intake technology [sharknose]. With the Rook 2 we designed a new chord and spanwise tensioning system and that really helped create a solid leading edge that optimises the flow of the air towards the upper and lower chambers.
I found there wasn’t as much information coming through the brakes as other high-end Bs. Why did you design the wing like this?
More efficient gliders always have more feel through the risers rather than through the brakes. The wings are made to dampen or self-correct the adjustments to the moving air through their synergy between mechanical and aerodynamic properties. Any correction with the brakes is at the cost of overall performance so our design path for the Rook 2 was to have the wing with correct pitch response to the surrounding air with the goal of gaining height in the best way possible. Our experience from competition flying is that wings that need lots of correction with the brakes in thermals or even when gliding are never the efficient ones.
With only a very small increase in aspect ratio how did you go about getting more performance out of the new wing?
We believe it has a lot to do with the overall aerodynamics of the wing and its complex internal construction. We have worked hard on the loading of the wing over the canopy with smart use of surface tensioning with straps and diagonal support. This has all resulted in efficient behaviour in real air. This is what makes the Rook 2 one of the best-performing gliders on the market.
Flown low in the weight range I found it lacked a little authority in turns. What are your recommended weights for flying the Rook 2? Do the sizes vary much in their characteristics?
The Rook 2 can be flown across the whole range, but of course depending on the conditions you are flying in your optimum weight can vary. If we take MS (26m2) for instance, for stronger conditions we recommend to be flown from 90kg up, for smoother conditions you can easily use the whole certified weight range.
The wing seems to be particularly efficient when climbing. Yes. Again, it is the result of lots of different changes within the wing. From the tensioning of the canopy to its final shape and internal construction, all of these are small parts of the puzzle that when put together form the great climber that the Rook 2 is.
On bar the wing needs very little control but many pilots like to use rear riser control. What are your recommendations for controlling the wing on bar?
We stand behind the fact that three liners cannot be efficiently controlled using the C risers. There has been a lot of hype about rear-riser control, but pilots are slowly realising that C-riser steering only deflects the aerofoil. For people who like to rest their hands and feel the wing on their fingers, we recommend they rest them on the B lines holding from outside and around C lines as these offer greater support than C lines. At the same time, you can steer and correct the pitch with small input on the B lines without deforming the aerofoil as much as when using C handles.