The Swiss manufacturer has recently announced some new toys for 2018. There is the Xi (pronounced ‘sigh’) that is a lightweight top end ENb glider, together with the replacement for the Lightness 2 pod harness, the imaginatively named Lightness 3. Details on the Lightness 3 are very sparse at the moment other than a few things I know. Advance has been working on features that will positively affect comfort in flight whilst maintaining good feedback from the glider which has always been the holy grail of harness designers. The Lightness 3 is going to be a very light pod harness and a few pictures that I have seen show the final prototypes with a perspex windscreen. Currently, I have no idea if this is going to be in the finished product but it looks like we are not going to able to see it until release near to autumn so unfortunately will miss the summer season in the UK. Saying that, I’ve seen many autumns that were better for flying than that summer so you never know. One thing for sure, it is going to make a great package together with the new lightweight Xi. Advance plan on releasing the Xi around the same time as the new harness.
The new Advance Xi is something that I have more information on though. I have already been asked if this is just a lightweight Iota. The answer to that is, not exactly. The Advance Xi uses technology from the Omega XAlps 2 and the Pi2. The Xi will be available in 5 sizes and the flight testing of all the sizes is already done. The Advance Xi uses a different profile to the Iota 2 and there are 2 less cells in the wing. The design manifest was to create a wing with at least the same performance as the Iota 2 but more pitch damped and less demanding to fly. Maybe more importantly, the Xi is more than 1kg lighter than the Iota 2 which is already considered a ‘semi light glider’.
I’ll add more details to this site as I get them including prices, colours and delivery dates. If you want to keep informed, just sign up to the newsletter if you haven’t already done so.