Tim Rochas is a long-time Niviuk Test pilot (he did his first testing for Niviuk at the age of 12!), wing and harness designer, French team member and veteran World Cup pilot. Tim has has recently gotten into hike and fly racing not only for his own pursuits but to become a Red Bull X-Alps supporter of Tanguy-Renoud Goud in the 23′ race this summer. He and Tanguy joined us last week for 3 days of racing in the XRedRocks, a hike and fly stage race in southern Utah and we sat down a few days after he and Tanguy roamed all over Utah’s wonders by road, foot and by air to discuss the race, the upcoming X-Alps, being a test pilot, SIV, progression, racing at the highest level and a lot more. Dig in!
TranscriptSpeaker 1 (0s): Hi there everybody. Welcome to another episode of Cloudbase Mayhem. First, I must apologize, Week behind on this one and late a bit lately, especially this fall and promise we will get caught up. But just had two back to back events that I was organizing and redirecting the Red Rocks wide open and then the XRedRocks and in between some furious building going on here before winter comes. So yeah, it's all been fast and furious and kind of over the top, but I haven't forgotten about you all and we're gonna get back to get back to the style of putting these out on time.
So I apologize for the delay, but this one will be worth it. My guest, today's Tim Roaches, very long time test pilot for NI and Fast. In fact, it is first testing for NI on the Coyote when he was 12 years old. His dad's a pilot and has a school, still has a school down in Barcelo. He now lives in Burier. Tim and I became friends years ago through new vehicle course, but he very accomplished world Cup pilot and he's also been getting greeted to hike and fly in the last few years and doing the Barns and the Vario and he's been supporting Tanguy Renoud Good who was another one of the Niviuk pilots and future ex Alps pilot.
He just found out he's in this year and the 2023 race. And so he and Tanguy came over for the XRedRocks when they joined Aaron d Gotti and Patrick Bon Cannell and came across the pond and had a really fun few days of racing. And then those two went off and toured around the west and had some amazing flights and Zion and Moab and had some really stunning footage and stuff. So I've been watching that since the race on, on his feet on Instagram and stuff.
But been wanting to catch up with Tim and do a show with him and talk SIV and testing and designing. He's also designs a lot of the ni harnesses for a long time and this was finally an opportunity to do so. We tried this over the last few days and just kept having terrible connections, but tonight we're really well. So again, apologies for the delay and enjoy this talk with Tim Rochas who's gonna be supporting Tanguy in the exile. He supported them this year in the Ex Pier as well.
So those guys are getting their groove on for the big show. Enjoy. Cheers, Tim. Awesome to finally get you on the mam. We've been struggling with internet and stuff, but that's for good reasons. I was, I was traveling after the XRedRocks and you and Tanguy have been looks like having a lot of fun and so I thought, you know, for those listening who don't know what you've been up to, what have you been Tanguy, You and Tanguy been up to the last couple weeks over here in the US A
Speaker 2 (3m 17s): Yeah. Yeah, it was so nice. We, we did the competition last week and this week we traveled around all the Utah state and it was so nice to fly around and to discover new place and so many beautiful landscape around here.
Speaker 1 (3m 32s): And this was both of your first trip right? To the US
Speaker 2 (3m 35s): Yeah, it was our first time in us and yeah, so it was really nice to, to travel around.
Speaker 1 (3m 42s): What, what would you, what were the biggest differences, I guess, you know, I remember picking you guys up in Salt Lake to go down to the XRedRocks. Yeah. It seemed like you were both kind of blown away by the, just the vastness, you know, Utah's bigger than the UK Yeah, it's, it's kind of a country on its own. It's a pretty big place. But was that, what was the, what was the thing that, you know really, what will you take home with you that was maybe not expected?
Speaker 2 (4m 13s): What we were surprises, it's because everything is bigger. You see the car, you see the truck, you see the road. Everything is much bigger than what we are used to the the Valley. And yeah, what I'm really impressed is also about what we can see from one place to another. We are in mono, it's like you have the feeling to be in Canada and then you go around more and it's like the deserts and you go again more in the south, close to Zion and it's totally different.
So in, okay, it's big distances but it's not so huge and you have totally different landscapes and it's just amazing.
Speaker 1 (4m 54s): Yeah, it's a pretty good playground, isn't it? Yeah, that the colors this year they're always like that. But you know, I've been going down to that Monroe area for the fly in for a bunch of years and then we just started the XRedRocks last year and then this year before you guys came, we had the wide open, the Red Rocks wide open, which is our nationals, one of our nationals events and also a pre pwc. And both of them had tough weather. It was quite an unusual September. Usually September's pretty reliable, but it was, it's, I'm just blown away with the colors and the Yeah, the, the possibilities.
They're just huge.
Speaker 2 (5m 33s): Yeah, it's your end of September or even beginning of October and we did like two times in the week, more than 5,000 meters altitude. And the first day that you drive us from the airport, we didn't sleep for 24 hours. We arrived in mono, we, you drive us to steak off at six and we, we went up to 5,000 meter in less than 10 minutes. It was just crazy just to chill at the end of the day, super high and go down for, for the, for the meeting before the competition.
It was far. Okay. We arrived. It's amazing.
Speaker 1 (6m 10s): Yeah, that was, that was very cool. Just to give you guys a pin on the map, drive you up to launch and give you a pin and say, Hey, land here and we'll hear Aaron's, I think Aaron was presenting that night, Aaron d Gotti. And so everybody was looking up at the sky and you guys just landed in the parking lot. That was, that was, it was very cool introduction I think. Yeah,
Speaker 2 (6m 30s): Really, really.
Speaker 1 (6m 32s): So I guess you'll be back.
Speaker 2 (6m 33s): Yeah, for sure. I, next year we would be back for, for more, more travel and to try to fly more around this place because we discover something but we have also new, new ideas and we want to push a bit more on some place.
Speaker 1 (6m 48s): Cool. Tell me about the race from your perspective. You know, you supported Tanguy in the, in the Ex Pi and he's, you know, I think will be announced here shortly. I think we can say this now that he's in the Xop. So you'll be supporting him in the Xop. You guys have been kind of a team for a while now, but you've also competed in the borns and done other comps too. How would you compare what we do over here with what you've done in Europe?
Speaker 2 (7m 17s): First was, I like I came to to this kind of competition at the beginning because I knew that I would like to be supporter of Togi for, but before to be supporter I want to know what is inside. So that's why last year I started to make some competition of I can fly and I've seen different kind of competition like want to Fly. We did also the, the back fly that was quite different.
It was like more close around some earth and the mountains, so without assistance. And also something in Dubai was, we was also different. It was more like we had last week, one race each day and yeah, what I like on this kind of race of what we had last week in the, it's like you can come and like it's one day, one race without assistance.
It's easier. I mean for if you want to race you can come and you can make the race and you can, yeah, it's easier for organization on our side as as pilot and what I like last week it was, it was not in, in Dubai, it was short or short race, I mean every day. And this week it was more like a real, I can fly race on each day and we tried to to use the complete day every day, but even according to the forecast because we not had everyday good condition, but we managed to, to do something nice on the complete day.
So yeah, that's why I, I liked also to have something on one day but using the complete day. So it was cool.
Speaker 1 (9m 14s): It was really cool. The, the last day James Elliott won, he made it into goal and, and Aaron Gotti wasn't far behind him and they were, there was only a few of them, Tanguy and, and a few others that were able to get back in the air at the end of the day and have this amazing glass off kind of ridge run flight. And it was pretty wild to be sitting at Goal and you know, the emotions of James Elliot winning that day and, and Lanny was so excited and then Aaron coming in and landing and saying it was one of the best flights of his life.
You know, Aaron's been at this a while. That was, that was really special as a meat organizer to just see the, the stoke on all of your faces cuz it was hard. It was, you know, physically this year was quite a bit harder than the year before just cuz the weather was was pretty, pretty tough.
Speaker 2 (10m 5s): No, it was, even if the condition where quite difficult for sure we, we worked a lot. I'm not used to work that and I'm not as trainer is the results, but yeah, for sure it was super hard. But it was always interesting because yeah, you had to, it was never finished on my side part. I, I try not to do everything on the last day I was a bit tired but I was sure that it was nearly impossible to go to the end, but in the end they managed to do it so it was, yeah, crazy day and they did a huge flight at the end and they managed to go to the girls, so it was so nice.
Speaker 1 (10m 50s): How much of your time, you know, being a test pilot for Niviuk and a designer for Niviuk and you, I know that's your, your main work but also very accomplished world Cup pilot, you know, you're obviously flying a ton and I want to talk more about being a test pilot and what that involves cause I think people would be very curious about that. But how much of your time right now is just spent with Tanguy and getting ready for the ex ops and getting ready for these events? Cuz I know that, you know, now it's, with the announcement it's mid-October, you know, by this point I was always pretty serious in training for the X Ops and I know you guys are taking this pretty seriously.
So what's, what's kind of the next nine, I guess little less than nine months look like for you guys? Now?
Speaker 2 (11m 37s): We have few access. First we, because yes, we have the Excel preparation for him, but we also are on the, on the world Cup events. So the next one will be the super final that will be in Mexico in December. And this kind of competition, even if it's not the same, I mean same competition, it's help us draining because we will fly a lot, we will try to be as efficient as possible in flight.
And this is something that can be, I mean, for me, very helpful to, to train in flights. So at this forum it'll be very important, but also for me because I I also see always flying, we can train more or less together when we are flying in competition. And yeah, this is the first step. And then after we will laugh ev for sure few months of, of checking the roots.
Three months of, I don't know when they will land on it, but I think it's around March. But when we will mid-March when we laugh the route, we will need to, to travel one the, the Alps and to to check the route in order to, to see where we'll need to pass, where are the different options and to look on that. And also because we will not be able to do everything before, but for sure we'll need to take a lot of time to check the route on, on Google apps, on on the application like cu and just to have a look where we can go from where we can travel in flight or where it's difficult or everything.
And after that for sure it'll be the training, physical training part for him that it'll, what
Speaker 1 (13m 34s): Do think is the most, what do you think is the thing that makes Tanguy most nervous? What do you think he's most concerned about at this stage?
Speaker 2 (13m 46s): I think the airspace, the airspace is something that it's quite, can be tricky that you need to be very careful with that. I think physically he will be ready. It's already well prepared. It's already perhaps not ready on everything, but I'm sure that it will be ready for, for the start after the, we have seen few, few things that we need to improve that he need to train more.
For example, in the flat and the when need to, we need to go down by walking and it's notable so it's something that he know now that he need to train more than before. But he
Speaker 1 (14m 34s): Has a trainer, correct? He he's he's working with a professional.
Speaker 2 (14m 37s): Yeah, he's working as a professional now, so it'll be better for him because before he was doing his training plan by itself, so now we, he will have some more help for, for doing that. But as I said, space will be tricky. You
Speaker 1 (14m 54s): Know what I, I'll you know, that was always something that made me really nervous because as you've seen the last couple weeks flying over here, we don't deal with airspace, we don't have airspace that we have issues with. I mean there are, there are places, you know, out in Southern California where they really have to deal with airspace, but where I live in Idaho, we don't have any, we gotta worry about 18,000 and that's it. So that's pretty easy. So I was always really worried about airspace and the ex ops also because it's gotten a lot harder. Yeah. You know, and in the early years they didn't really care about the national parks and the, you know, a lot of the things that they really do now and you can get penalized harshly for it.
But do you either of you use the Fly Sky High app on your phone?
Speaker 2 (15m 40s): What we use now we have the, the navigator applications you see navigator that is really nice to see the, the airspaces. Okay. So it's something that we start to use this year and it's really a good tool. It's good.
Speaker 1 (15m 55s): Yeah, yeah, I would, I would just say whatever device you're gonna use that, that's super critical. Especially just leaving the iceberg, you know, the iceberg up going south down towards WA grind, there's, there's a whole bench of air spray space there, but the fly sky high has this side view that I've talked about before on the show, but it's, it's a, it's an extra little map view that you can put in your map screen that has this side view and it shows you flying along and, and then it shows the airspace in front of you, you know, so it shows if it's down below you or above you and it makes it so visual because the, the hard thing with me at least with airspace is if it just has an alarm or if it's saying, you know, 500 or 200 meters until the ceiling and all those kind of things, it's hard for me to visualize it and I can get really confused.
But if you have that side view, you and I, I don't know if XE Track has it, I'm not sure,
Speaker 2 (16m 56s): But I think yes, but see we don't have this, this option. It's very nice to see in 2d, but for sure it's your application. It's much better for that and it's something that can help a lot.
Speaker 1 (17m 10s): It just makes it, I've never, I've never, you know, there's been many times I've had to get really close to airspace, but I can see it. Yeah. You know, and it just, it makes it, it, it really makes it much easier. I remember in the 2019 race, Toby and I both left La Moose pretty much together and on our way to Davos and we, he hit airspace and got a big penalty and I just flew right underneath it, you know, I could just see it every time I got kind of close, I'd either just big ears or full bar and a couple, you know, a couple spirals real, real quick.
But you know, he could have sworn that he, it was, and it's an area we really know. It's a, it's an obvious one, you know, it's a ctr you can't hit it. Yeah. And so yeah, that makes it really nice. I would encourage something like that, especially cuz if you're, if you're tired, you know, the other thing that we would do is each morning revs would draw the airspaces or just have them, you know, from the file and put 'em in my pocket, the ones I had to worry about that day so that, you know, I could literally be in flight and if I was nervous about something I could just pull out a real piece of paper and and see it on there.
And that helps too just cuz again, you're, when you're tired, you're sometimes not thinking very clearly about
Speaker 2 (18m 23s): How's altitude,
Speaker 1 (18m 24s): That stuff.
Speaker 2 (18m 25s): Yeah. It's something that we have seen also in the experi because we, one day we have, I was not with, I mean not close to Togi and I was checking the route and I was checking the live track and I, I had to call Togi very, very fast because I was Yeah, Togi you will so in the airspace and it didn't, so it's, so we, we need to check very well the route and where the put potential air space that you can cross and
Speaker 1 (18m 53s): Yeah,
Speaker 2 (18m 54s): This is some things that,
Speaker 1 (18m 55s): I mean in the last race, you know, Aaron d Gotti hit that one basically in his home and it, it really can, it really can get you, It's, it's nice to have, you know, it's just each day part of our, here's a couple other tips. When we do our briefing for the day, we never do it first thing in the morning because everybody's not awake, you know, Tanguy, he's gonna get up and hit the road. You've already planned that out from the night before, you know, so you've planned it out from the night before what the morning walk and the morning glide is.
And, and so his just, it's basically just handing him his stuff in the map go and then you're, you the team can have coffee and then, and then when you have your breakfast or when you meet with them again and everybody's awake, you know, at eight or eight 30 or something, then you can have the, the briefing, you know, the weather briefing and then that's where usually res would give me the, the airspace too cuz I'd be more fresh, you know, if you're talking about it at the wrong, you know, either the night before when you're exhausted or first thing in the morning when you're haven't woken up, then nothing gets in.
So you been with for how long
Speaker 2 (20m 8s): Time? I'm with Niviuk. I mean I fly with them since nearly all time. My father is quite a good friend from Dominic, the boss of Niviuk. And I did as I, the certification of the co the smallest size of the first co grade when I was 12, one day in fact do mini ask to my father, I need your son because we are missing one light by very light pilot for, for making the certification of this wing.
And I know that your son is flying, so can you come to Switzerland with an and we will, we will make something like I and Tim will make some one over to, to test the wing and like that we can cert the, this small size and it's tough a bit like that at the beginning. Really.
Speaker 1 (21m 7s): So you've been a test pilot since 12?
Speaker 2 (21m 9s): Yeah, so this was the first time that I was close to them and then I continue, I mean for the competition I start competition at 16 and I was already with the, with the team at this time and, and after that, after, yeah, few, few years very, very close to to them I was testing a bit competition wings prototype, I was around sometimes and I did few internship after my, my two two, I dunno the world in English, but my two classes of university and, and after that I start to work fulltime with them since now it would be five years in, in January.
So yeah, quite time.
Speaker 1 (22m 1s): How old are you now?
Speaker 2 (22m 3s): 27.
Speaker 1 (22m 5s): Geez, you're young. Holy cow. And you, you've been racing world Cup for since 20, about 10 years, right? So 17,
Speaker 2 (22m 15s): Yes, 10, 10 years. First world Cup was in, in, in around less than 10 years.
Speaker 1 (22m 27s): And are you still a test pilot for Niviuk or it sounds like you're more in harness design. Okay, so you're doing both
Speaker 2 (22m 33s): Yeah. Harness
Speaker 1 (22m 34s): Design's the
Speaker 2 (22m 35s): Main thing. Yeah, I'm doing nearly everything in Niviuk. I'm, yeah, I'm mainly working on the harness at this moment for designing. But yeah, I'm testing, I mean testing and also working on the dreaming of the wing with Oli quite a lot. So yeah, it's fulltime I'm, it's end of the day, but in general when it's, it's normal day we are the office in the morning working on the design on my side, on the harness is on the wings and after the afternoon we are testing and trimming the wing when it's, when it's a good condition to fly, it's like normal day
Speaker 1 (23m 18s): And there's some pretty interesting stuff coming out from the harness side. What, what's, tell me about that and I mean I've seen a few little clips come out, but sounds like some cool harnesses coming out. Yeah,
Speaker 2 (23m 28s): We, we just finished as the two new classical harnesses pods we have, one is called the, the a, it's, it's a simple pod without tail and we made the, the same with the tail and it's buzzed the same ons and we just exchange it back and yeah, this is two really nice ons that we are working on since few years. So now we, we can say that they are, they are already, they are in production and we try to make something very comfortable with a moderate weight.
It's not a very lightness but it's around four kilo for the medium size using quite, no it's, I will not say quite, but because it's durable harness durable material and it's the frame, we made something quite rigid in order to have something stable and to have the feeling that even with the light on, I mean with the four kilo harnesses where you can have the feeling of a competition on, I mean you are very close to the ans everything is 3D modeling as a bag, the seat and everything is work a lot with tradit shaping everywhere and the frame is very comfortable and and stable for this kind of harness.
So yeah, it's, I think we have nice product with it.
Speaker 1 (24m 56s): And this is the com harness?
Speaker 2 (24m 58s): No, it's not the competition as it's, yeah, it's the and hour will be for cross country pilots and, and we are working on a very more iCal harness which called the, and this one we will have some press version as the super final for the team pilot and you will have one is, and yeah, it's, it's much more amic anes completely closed.
It's not the same concept as the submarine, it's not inflated, but we are full cloth and we work a lot with truly simulation and to, to optimize the shape, to optimize the sickness of the, the shape of the tail. And we have something that is very performance and also very comfortable. That's why we, we also, we are also super happy about this point. So yeah, we have many, many project working on, on this, on this harness part.
We are working also on Excel that you, you probably have seen last week that I was playing with. Nice. It's also nice when it'll be called it's Buzz on the, on the harness that we just presented, the Cup car, the one with the tail, but in light version we are around 1.5 kilo the moment and nice, it's really, really comfortable. A few things to fix, but I'm really happy about the, that we have already.
So I will work with on this project on the next week when I will be back in France Switzer. And
Speaker 1 (26m 44s): How long does it take to go from concept of a harness to delivery? It just seems like an incredibly complicated piece of kit.
Speaker 2 (26m 52s): Yeah, it's depend of which project you are and depending of it, depending of many things. In fact, for example, this competition on us, we are working on it since few years, but we had also some project that we had to finish before. So yeah, it's always tricky to, to manage, to have to work on many projects in the same times. But now we have a very powerful tool at the, at the factory before it was quite, I will not say complicated, but it was difficult to be fast.
And now with the new factory in Vietnam, we have just an incredible team there that works very fast, they are super efficient and they have a huge knowledge on this, on this part. So we are much faster than before. We also have one team in Spain that can work also on the research. I mean for the firm, for, for the competition on us. That helps as a lot for the research and we can win a lot of time.
But yeah, developing one harness is a long task. When it's a string, like the armor piece that we have, it's few piece of fabric, so it'll take less time to, to make the pattern. But when it's a complex honest, like the drifter or the a hole, you have thousand and thousand pieces that you need to, to, to create, to match, to, to sing. And it takes a lot of time to adjust to when sometimes you have some wrinkles you need to change a bit of the shape of the curve or I don't know of many things.
So it, it takes a lot of time and it's much more manual job than you can do with the wing. With the wing for sure it takes time. But the software is doing the 3D of the, of the wing and it exports the 2D panels and the 2D panels, we, we send them to the factories. I do the next thing they cut the wing in the issue on, on the harness. You need to create the pattern from yourself. It's not the software that creates the pattern.
So it takes a lot of time and you can have many things to adjust and also the movement of the fabric and the tension from one maybe to another fabric or something. It'll have also some difference when you have a different setting from one pilot pilot to another with different morphology or you need to, to make a compromise between everything and you need to match everything. So it's quite complex and, but it makes it super interesting.
Speaker 1 (29m 51s): And what about a wing, you know, so from say the, the eox to the X one, how, what, how many prototypes is between those two typically or between, you know, the Arctic five and the arctic six or you pick it? Is it, is it always just little changes because you know, the X one was a big change?
Speaker 2 (30m 16s): It depends. For example, on the ev we were working for many years, it was a very, very difficult, difficult task to, to find a good compromise to, to adjust everything because we, we had to learn a lot and it was also the first moment that we were working really with the, with the simulation software.
So we, so we, we are to try to see what, what it was working between the software, the simulation and the reality. So for the, we did, I don't remember all many prototypes. It was very, very long task because we, we learned a lot in fact, and with X one it was quite different because we, we had this new, this knowledge that we, that we learn during the evok development, but we push everything higher.
I mean we, we push the aspect ratio, we push the number of sales, we push also different in different things in the, in the airfoil and it was faster. But now we, we, we made a huge step between the and X one. And now with the new, the new version of the competition wing, it's difficult to find the better compromise on everything.
We have new things that are improved. I in speed and some prototypes we are faster or we are gliding better or, but we need to, to find the good compromise to be better in everywhere. And this is something that it's quite difficult for the moment because yeah, we need to find the new things that it help us to, to find, yeah, the best compromise for to be better than the one. We have two things interesting, but it's not ready for the moment.
So yeah, it's different of the prototype end of the wing we are working on. Sometimes it's fast, sometimes it's long, sometimes we are starting from a new page, sometimes we are taking one, the the previous version that we try to, to improve according to what we have seen or what the customer said, Okay, there is too much holy or there is the wing is really good in turning, but we feel that we can do better on that or we, we need to have more performance.
So it's depend we we are never yeah, fixing something it's depending of, of the wing, the project or yeah, it's, it's
Speaker 1 (33m 11s): Interesting. What, what does a test pilot, what does being a test pilot look like for you? Do you say, you know, often you guys are working in the office in the morning working on design or working on the software and that kind of thing and then in the afternoons if it's flyable you go fly. I see, you know, for example, you and Tanguy, whenever I saw this for the first time down in Argentina, when you came into goal one day you were both kind of doing this crack back. It wasn't really a tail slide, it was just kind of reverse horseshoe just all the way down to the ground. And I came over, whoa, that was, well that was wicked.
I, I'd never seen people just do that down to the ground. It was kind of this little helicopter move and, and I said, should I do that on my Evo? And you said, no, no, no, don't do it on that one was the prototype X ones, but, but what are you just kind of doing acro all day or what? I don't know. What does a, what does a test pilot look like? Test
Speaker 2 (34m 3s): Pilot, there is, I mean few things you have first when you receive prototype you need to, to fly it, you need to just to the wing to to see how it's working to always sensitive or just fly, fly the wing to see how it's then after you need to trim to, to check the speed or if it's, for example the center is too fast, the tips are too slow or you need to trim the general, yeah the general trimming of the wing.
After you have the breaks that are also huge part, part of the job. If you want something that more flat or something that aren't more with big or smaller radio or something with light pressure on the end or something a bit more or, and so this is, yeah, the second part that you need to, to trim the wing and to, to do what you want with the wing, what is the objective of the wing and what you are doing with that will define the, the character of the wing and also the performance for sure.
And after you have the, the certification, the maneuver that you need to, to test to see how it's working. All the wing is what is the compartment of the wing when something goes wrong, for example, when you are doing some front collapse or some matric or some stalls or of, or all these kind of things, you need to test it. Even if it's not the final prototype, you need to test it. It's, it's something that is really important when you are making developments.
Okay you are trimming the brakes for example, but what you are doing with the break can have an influence on the results of the test of the spiral. For example, for example, when you are doing the test of the spiral, for example, if you want to na A wing, when you are doing the test, the wing must exit in less than one term. If you want to have an E, C or B, it must exit in less than treat.
We, I think, yeah, it's in treat and if you are doing something with a break, the break will have an influence of this in this compartment. So even as I said, it's not the final prototype and this prototype will not go to the certification because you will have some more improvement later with the second prototype. You need to test that and you need to have a look on the compartment on all the, all the manover because if something is not working on this prototype, if you do something the same on the next prototype, it'll not be right.
So we, you will not be able to pass the certification at the end. So yeah, you need to, to fly the wing, you need to trim the wing and you need to test the wing in different maneuver and different condition.
Speaker 1 (37m 19s): When I think about test pilots, they're always guys like you. They're really, really good pilots that have a ton of hours and they're testing all the time. Is that, how do you, how do you change your brain or even do you need to, when you go from an X one to a coyote? Yeah, how do, I mean it would seems to me like, you know, an e and b pilot should fly a coyote to know what it's like. How do you know what it's like when it's, you know, it's such a basic wing for you, you still have that kind of, I guess what I'm asking is what makes a good test pilot?
Do they really have to be the kind of the best pilots in the world?
Speaker 2 (37m 57s): No, I don't think that it need to be the best pilot in the world. For me it's need to be, yeah you need to be able to switch, as you said, from one one to, to a co and you need to to be able to, to be in the skin of the pilots that the wing will be designed for. So it's something that is interesting that yeah, you need to feel what is the objective and what the wing must give you as feedback or, and you need to, yeah, to feel the different things in the break and you need to understand all this kind of thing.
You don't need to be the best world of pilot. It's for me it's not, Yeah, it's not the objective, but you need to be able to switch from everything you need to, to feel confidence with all the wing you are flying and you need to understand the wing, you need to, to understand how it's working also because one, one part is, is testing is flying, but you need to see how you can change the different things or what you can do for correcting this problem or this kind of things.
What I like, I'm, I'm working a little bit on the design of the wing, not often, but I'm working a little bit on it and for me it's very important to, to make the parallel between what you see in flight, what you see on the, on the software and what are the possibility you have to change, what can you do even if it's not talking about the character or the compartment of the wing.
Sometimes when you have a ringer or something on the wings that you want to correct, you need to think about always the internal structure of the wing because you see the external part. But there is also something very important inside. I mean the tension bands, the Jagonal and the internal construction. I've also an influence of the on the wing, So it's important to be able to make the parallel on all these kind of aspects.
Speaker 1 (40m 18s): How, how do you not just get on a coyote and launch and just rag it to death and just collapse. And I would think it'd be so fun to just beat it to death.
Speaker 2 (40m 29s): Yeah, it's quite fun when you are doing testing, when I'm going to wheel nerve for testing, it was the lake. It's always fun when you are, I mean when you are with simple wing, you are going like that, okay, that's fun. And we go, we take the a full and makes a collapse when it's more complex swing like X one, you are a bit bit more, a bit more stressed but still fun. It's, I like it.
Speaker 1 (40m 58s): Tell me about that when you, when you're testing the X one, you know, just knowing they they're harder to recover. Do you still do, do you, are you, are you more nervous about it or you've done it so much that it's it's still just not a big thing?
Speaker 2 (41m 11s): No, no, you are know
Speaker 1 (41m 13s): How it's gonna behave
Speaker 2 (41m 14s): Even if you, you are used to it or when you are walking a need since, since long time I'm not working on it since very long time, but I'm doing it, You are still nervous when this kind of thing because you, you, you know that, okay, perhaps the wing have very good compartment, but if you do something wrong, it'll goes bad. So when I'm doing in general, it's, I'm starting with speed collapse with front side collapse and everything and then I'm going to push a bit more, a bit more, a bit more until, okay now I'm ait I'm full speed and now I need to be very concentrated to follow the mark, to do the correct collapse following what we need.
And I don't, I have to yeah, to stay to the mark and don't want to go too much because if I do for example, not 75% asymmetric collapse, but 80 or 85 or 90%, I know that yeah the results will be a huge, huge, huge turn or something. So yeah, you need to be precise, you need to be concentrated and to think, yeah, to be careful when you do it. And it's important.
Speaker 1 (42m 40s): What I'm hearing from other people like you who are test pilots or just, you know, really goods who are also good XC pilots are also just pilots that have been around for a long time. Is that the, what they're seeing potentially is, is quite a big risk is the, you know, the peak fives, the xeno twos, the, the the e n d two liners that are, you know, amazing wings and very fast and but also quite stable.
You know, they're, they're they the two liners these days we just, we don't see the blowouts that we did back in the open class and, and you know, 10 years ago and 15 years ago. But people that are flying them almost get too comfortable with that. You know, they're, they're, they're, they're, they're aware. They, they know that if something goes bad they have to, they have to react appropriately, but many don't have the skills to that it's just, you know, because they don't, because they're so collapsed resistant that when it happens it's kind of a big surprise and often we're a little bit late in in in the inputs.
Speaker 2 (43m 60s): Yeah, it's something that it's, yeah, for sure when you have a two liner wing, you feel it more compact, more stable because the of the line and, and the construction of the wing, it's more compact. You have more inside and you feel more at the beginning you feel that the wing is more stable but you will still need to be good under it to be aware about what can happen and yeah, for me, me what is really important when you are flying this kind of wing, it's to fly them quite often and also to, to make I when you can, you can make few, few days the lake and doing stalls and to make, yeah, to see what you can do with your wing, what can be the direction and like that you are aware and you know what you can do and what are your, your capability, I dunno if it's, I can say it English.
Yeah. What is your knowledge and yeah, it's important to know what you can do and you and to train on this kind of thing.
Speaker 1 (45m 11s): If you weren't a test pilot, if you were just a pilot and you know, you were doing a few world cups a year and you know, trying to do well, how much siv would you do?
Speaker 2 (45m 22s): For me, what I like to do, it's to do one I before the season in general with the French team, we are doing one in, in April or end of March. Like that we are, yeah, we are ready when the condition are starting and the condition and the competition are are starting also. So yeah, for me, if you do one good I at the beginning of the season, it's, it's the best.
It's the best.
Speaker 1 (45m 53s): And what would you do, what are you doing on your X one in siv?
Speaker 2 (45m 59s): Mainly I do stalls. What I try to do in general, I'm starting with flat stall, I mean from straight flight, just one stall trying to, to recover quite fast like that. And after I try to to make wise one store recover, do do a store again to try to have more, more dynamic. And I try to do them as fast as possible and as clean as possible.
Like that you know that okay you are you, it's make like kind of simulation of okay you are in this stressful moment because you are just exiting from, from the stall and you need to, to exit from the stall very fast. It's like when you are in normal condition you are the collapse or you have or something and you are not so high and you need to exit very fast. So this is something that I like to do.
As I said, I start from from flat and then I make few one after the other. And also I'm doing also spin is also interesting to, to recover because you are starting on one side, you are turning, you need to block. If you can block and you can exit from the back or from the front, but it's something interesting to, to understand but asymetrically, and I'm not doing collapses with this kind of thing because it's difficult.
You need to put the, the folding line. It's not easy to do. And yeah, if you don't know how to do the collapses with this kind of kind of ring, it's not very useful and you can be surprised and it's not the objective. So
Speaker 1 (47m 54s): You're talking about, you're talking about like asymmetric frontals and stuff?
Speaker 2 (47m 57s): Yeah, talking or frontal collapse you need because if you pull a on this kind of wings, you will never find a way to collapse. There is too much pressure and you will not be able to, to make any collapse. You need to make the same as you. As we do for testing, we, we add one, one light in front more in front of the A that can helps you to, to make the collapse.
Speaker 1 (48m 23s): Yeah. Yeah.
Speaker 2 (48m 24s): So
Speaker 1 (48m 25s): You said your dad, your, you said your dad was, is he still a pilot? Did you learn from your dad? Yep.
Speaker 2 (48m 31s): My, my, my father is is pilot and he also have a paragliding school in South France and
Speaker 1 (48m 39s): More than that, yeah, sorry, wicked. That's one of my favorite towns. It's a beautiful little place. Yeah, yeah. But you're in Veria now full time.
Speaker 2 (48m 49s): Yep. Yeah, yeah. I'm, I I was born in, in south of France. I grew up in Ettes and my father have the school close to Toran. It's quite a well known place in, in south of France.
Speaker 1 (49m 6s): Yeah, that's a great place.
Speaker 2 (49m 8s): And now yes, I'm living in Switzerland, in Bia, where we have around the office
Speaker 1 (49m 13s): Is Tanguy a test pilot too?
Speaker 2 (49m 15s): Tanguy is working little bit with us sometimes he is not full-time with us, but I'm flying with him when we are working on the X one now. We also have one, one new pilot that start to work with us in Niviuk. It's Louis Gut and he's helping us. So a lot for, for testing the wing and because when you are testing the, the, the competition wing, it's, yeah, you, as I said, you have the, the feeling part, you have the training part and the test, but something that it's take lot of time and it's really important to do the comparison to fly side by side to see if the wing is working well in this condition or not in, in another one or if the wing is faster than the previous version or, and it's something that it takes a lot of time.
For example, this winter we went to, to Colombia with Tanguy we spent one full week just doing comparison with, with prototype of, I speak you, you compare at trim speed, you compare middle speed, you compare at full speed in moving air, in calm air and also in ling if to see if one wing is climbing better than another one. You are also comparing the stability at full speed. And yeah, this is some things that takes a lot of time and this is very, very important to do it properly and to, to take care about everything around that.
And yeah, is helping us a lot since few years for this kind of task as well as Louise. And, but the last year and yeah, the last two year I, I spent a lot of time with Luis and, and Togi working on the ice speak for testing and framing this thing.
Speaker 1 (51m 18s): Cool. Yeah. And you know, this year you guys are gonna be pretty wrapped up with the X Ops and stuff, but I'd love to hear about your own personal goals. How do you, you've been, you've been flying since you were awful young. How do you kind of approach your own improvement and world Cup is, are the world Cup big to you or what's, what's kind of the stuff that gets you excited about flying?
Speaker 2 (51m 43s): Yes, for me, I'm still still very excited about flying the world Cup and doing good results. Last year was a good year for me this year. The first year, first part of the year was really good. I made my first my, my best result in World Cup in, in Columbia. So I'm still really motivated for that and it's still one of my biggest goal is to, to perform better in in in world Cup.
But yeah, I'm also looking for, for this help to be on another side. It's totally different for me, but trying to, to make my best and to see what I can do and help for the team for to, and yeah, it's another girl. And also as we did this week, I, I love taking picture and video and some crazy shoot in different places.
So yeah, competition and images, it's something that I like a lot and it's what, what I like when I'm playing. So yeah,
Speaker 1 (53m 8s): You take amazing images. You're, you're one of my favorites to follow on Instagram. Pictures are are gorgeous Tim thanks man. Thanks for coming all the way over the pond and, and racing with us and spending some time with us. I hope you enjoyed the, some American hospitality and we gotta give a shout out to Bill Bell Court. I know you've been running around in in the Blue Ice van the last week or so, which has been very cool. I know, I've seen all the pictures of that.
Looks like you guys, I think you wrote me that you're living your best life.
Speaker 2 (53m 41s): Yeah, as I said. Yeah, no, for sure. That's great. It's, I just, if I can ask, add something, it's just, yeah, after this two weeks, I'm just impressed about the hospitality of all you guys in us because it was just incredible. I, I can't imagine, Yeah, for me it was just the best welcome ever on, on the earth. You welcome us like kings and it was just so nice.
Speaker 1 (54m 7s): Well, we got, we gotta take care of you guys. It's our, it's, it's our, it's our pleasure, you know, us doesn't get a lot of things right. Pretty good at that. So we, we would look forward to doing it again and I'm glad you guys had fun and get my best to Tanguy. I wish you guys the best luck with, with preparation and the Xs and reach out if I can help with anything. But thanks man. Thanks for coming over and sharing the stoke.
Speaker 2 (54m 34s): Yes, thanks to that you, thanks to
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