Episode 83- Ziad Bassil and Dust of the Universe

Ziad Bassil is someone most pilots who have gear questions already know. His blog the “Dust of the Universe” is probably (definitely?) the most comprehensive independent gear testing site on Earth. He does it solely for pleasure and is PROLIFIC. If it flies, he flies it and then gives his many, many followers his opinions. In this episode we spend some time discussing the unique challenges but also joys of flying in Lebanon and then get right into the gear. How he tests, what he tests and why. Come along for the ride and learn more about what you should be flying and why.

Find Dust of the Universe here on Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/groups/dustoftheuniverse/

And his incredible website / blog here: http://ziadbassil.blogspot.com


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Show Notes: (these are the questions we ran through for the show)

  • Flying in Lebanon- the many challenges, dangers, and the surprisingly good flying to be had
  • Testing- how it came about, the process, and how to keep it fair. And what conditions to test in. 
  • Ziad’s favorite wings in each category
  • If Ziad and I go fly in the Alps for fun- what wing and harness would you bring?
  • Hammock harness vs seatboard harness
  • Favorite race vs light harness


Mentioned in this episode:

Rony Jabbour, Felipe Rezende, UP, Flow, Niviuk, Ozone, Artik 5, Bonanza 2, Gin, Swing, Advance, Gradient, Woody Valley, Neo, Nova, SupAir, Sky, BGD

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Episode 83- Ziad Bassil and Dust of the Universe

00:00:00 - 00:05:00

The. everybody. Welcome to another episode of the cloud base, man. Been a busy couple weeks since the release of hang gliding sewed lots and lots of feedback on that one seems like most people enjoyed it. But if you haven't caught that way yet go back and listen as fantastic history super fun. It was really really interesting to put together, and ipods is many people have pointed out that we miss some big legends along the way, which is you know, to our show we had to decide what we're going to keep an while. We would cut, and you know, it's just hard to put everything together. But if anything meant we we need to do more of those so much knowledge there with the hang gliders. And you know, they were doing it so much long before. Paragliding even around. And so I need definitely need to interview a lot more hangings and try to capture that knowledge before it disappears potentially. So, but yeah, fun show Opie enjoyed that one this show. I don't have any real housekeeping for we get into this one. Thank you all for contributing that we had a huge surge in contributions with that last show at the hang lining up. So it choose which was really cool. I appreciate that this show. I have been wanting to talk to talk desired basil for a long time. I'm saying his last name, right. Apologize on not. But dust of the universe is a blog that he maintains he's been testing wings now for very very long time. He lives in Lebanon, obviously, pretty fascinating place. So I couldn't resist ask them questions before we even got into it about Beirut, and the civil war, and what's going on in Lebanon, and the very unique challenges that they have to flying, but some cool places to fly in and watch. In the stuff that they've been doing for some time now, but I really wanted to ask him in many of you have asked me to ask him how he goes about testing in. Yeah. He's been a prolific tester of gear harnesses wings for very long time. And so we talk about how he does that. And why and what he's been able to accomplish? And of course, some of the blowback he gets for putting out his opinions. He's he's because he doesn't on his own dime. He's able to be very honest about his own opinions. He's not beholden to any company. And didn't have to say what they want him to say. He says what he says. So quite a different path. You know, it's it's a it's an honest way to hear about no winging rather than an ad in a magazine or something. So I've been very appreciative of his work for a very long time. We haven't always agreed. But it's been his I appreciate what he does very much. And I think you will as well. If you're not from them, just Google dust of the universe and you'll find his Facebook page. In his blog and you'll see the prolific amount of testing. He's done. It's really impressive. So I think you're going to enjoy this. If you're into gear or you're thinking about gear or you're just interested in flying, especially flying in the mid east Middle East. It's this is a cool show, very cool character. So without further delay, please. Enjoy the school conversation with Ziya basil. Ziad walk into the cloud base, ma'am. This is pretty exciting. For me. I've been following your write ups about gear for I don't know how many years now. And we've of course, had a ton of requests to have you on the show. So this is this is pretty exciting. I really appreciate your time. I thought a great place for us to start is just to share with everybody where you are. And and what the flying like where you are we discussed before we started recording there that you've got some pretty unique challenges flying in in Lebanon. Devon. Thank you for putting me on your show on the guest. Yes, would actually fun out before speak about day challenges to fly in Lebanon on his smoke place to fly. But you have interesting sites of one side to side, and the Norse I mean three sites and one side and the middle of the country. It's it's Brickley. A flyable all year long. But not this year. This is very tough for us. But many bad weather the challenges of flying Lebanon because of the political situation. It's a bit difficult for us. We must phone the army before we fly, and we must go again when we land.

00:05:02 - 00:10:04

About every flight. Yeah. Yes. Yes. Every to have to. Yeah. That's a pretty tough sometimes, especially when we want to go for a good day for acce-, and it's difficult, but but it's flyable, and they let us fly every day. If it's if it's if it's okay in are there are there like, you know, are there real risks to to flying in terms of know violence guns? Landmines are that the stuff we see on TV or is that, you know, are you flying areas that are you know, that that's not really a risk. It's more just. Dealing with the army and letting them know. Of course, we fly a really nice places. There are no risks in those places are restricted areas. We cannot fly. So it's practically fifty kilometers by fifty kilometers. That's that's the area we can fly almost in Lebanon. They spray small, but it's that's pretty secure. That's tell me tell me about the community. You have their you know, how big is your do. You have like a club. How how big is the club? How how many people? And do you get together can you travel to nearby countries to to fly, you know, what's it like getting in and out those relief you by seven on the tree clogs? But they are if you gather all the pilots may be fifty by. That's. Pilots and on the weekends. You can see maybe fifteen twenty pilots maximum that's mostly it's now focused on tandem flights since people likes to fly sink of and the. Sono by le'ts, really. I mean, there's nothing much. Yeah. That is not really much soda pilots flying in the air. Sometimes I'm flying may be in the range to very nice place to fly and moment to loan in the sky. So spend the doing the week. Also, sometimes can I can fly alone. Maybe two three pilots in the air. That said tell me give give us a picture. I mean, I realize that's hard, and it's not your native language, but give us a picture. What it's I've spent quite a bit of time in Morocco little bit and ten Jere. What is it? What does it look like describe the flying knows it big mountains, small mounds or flying? Is it urban is it rural? You know? What what is it? What's the flying? Like, maybe I should start by saying that we have the three small sites that is one side in June. Obey this site is around seven hundred thirteen meters above citizen and began on the beach and this is small site, but the have a nice weather conditions. It's protected kind for tactic from the wind from the bed weather. This is a site junior. The other side in the north spot called Ziada. In front of MS yada. We have a. Ziara is a mountain with eight hundred Surtee meters of hide than have flatland toward the seat. And it's not really far from Ziara. It's twenty authors to the sea but its own flat. And this is a very nice site for comparison for wing comparisons for small exceed flights. Very forgiving side not treaty dangerous to fly there. And then these to these sites are for the a winter and summer, but the range we have the range on its and this indoor part, the ice mountain is three thousand nine hundred meter. It's not really far also from the sea so diabetic nine it's forty kilometers. So the condition there are really nice really nice. So a in the morning, we have the other side of this mountain this mall faces faces west and east on the east to have the because alley always not really a a restricted area. We cannot fly there. But you have a very flat. Nand and three powerful thermals. So if you take a take of a ten o'clock probe you get a six meter percents, easy and twelve yes.

00:10:04 - 00:15:14

A twelve it's if you can handle the glider, I think. Sometimes in August, get above six hundred meters bus, of course, it's it's not really fun to fly because it's strong tournament buddies. But anyway, if you get to four thousand meters and just turn their Stor. You have forty glide to the seat. So it's very very easy to go exceed did you say four thousand meters for some meters? It's just the very easy to take. I mean scooting. Yeah. Because it's very easy to the term are really strong. And are you are you in are you in Beirut? No, I'm staying in Chaba issue. Beat blow speed blows. It's in the north part. So I'm between all the sites. Okay. Maybe. Yeah. So our hour drive. I can be into cedars fifteen minutes. I can be Junie forty five minutes. Thank can be MS yada. So I'm between the three sides in most of the pilots there. Fly in the club. Maybe the the non ten pilots are they mostly from Lebanon or they mostly ex pats. Nine must from Lebanon. Okay. I mostly from Nippon. Yes. Wow. You have you have a school there or a couple of schools? Yes. To schools there. But mostly they are focused now on than than trying. The of course, teaching some pilots, but there's no really big interest now in gurney paragliding. But to you're trying to introduce the sport more more. But anyway, they are making ten zones like very often every day each by making than twelve tendons. Don't know are we le- working wed? This is going to sound like a completely just a stupid question. But you know, with with the with everything going on literally right across your border, Damascus. You know, is that how much does that impact? You how much does it impact Lebanon as a country? I mean is there is there any hope of ever dialing up to four thousand and going and going east. That's yeah. That's really difficult to say. I'm in other tried that. Because I can't be. Course quite easily quite easily going because valley for south and it's easy to go exceed. But you can I can go on the on my right to the to the south. I can't go to this house because the the range of mountains, it's separate Lebanon, horizontally, so you can go to the south and go back, but the problem is the airline. Is that the same the same case with going kind of south south west into Israel? Or is that even is that a possibility? Yes, but cannot go there, of course, told the S only fifty kilometers maximum by fifty kilometer this area. We can. Have some fun. Window. And that's how long has it been like that? While it has been like that since I began really since then we had we had tedium army before and the no Spar that time, and it was challenging to fly over them and not being shot. So miserable times have landed far away. Maybe when it was city in the Khuda flats surrounded by mid two army was gone that pointed at me so for me this was ahead of adventure. And not to mention being arrested many times end way again omen still gets released. Yeah. Because. Oh, yeah. It was very difficult in the past. Well, courage by your passion and enthusiasm when it's it's it's kind of an isolated place where you can't really explore too much. I it's neat that you've say state, so passionate about the sport. But the problem to get twenty glider into custom and receiving it. You don't know really the the mess rebuts into only one glider h guy. There comes the customs put it into control and you have to move to treat times to Beirut. It's thirty five to forty kilometers from my place to three times because of the control of the glider the glider stays in the customs office of a guy from the military gums check it than to be cared.

00:15:14 - 00:20:03

So each glider takes about twenty to twenty five days sometimes to get cleared. So. Magin I received may be one or two gliders, but weak and all this stress to to get it out. That's also it's a challenge for us. But anyway, that's how we do it. And we both have a mutual friend. I haven't seen him in years. But Ronnie who's an American surfer won't mailing stuff. I'm not sure if he's still there. Nice. He's still there. Shit singer on many times. Different for him. Or can he fly the same stuff that you guys? Do knows they limits. You know, sweetie. Yeah. In this part of the country. It's really safe to fly. Okay. If American is any any fi eighty four imparted can fry really safety. It's not that dangerous to fly because it's a order here piece in order. But sport, but you don't really go for that point LeBron is small country. But in this part, it's really really safe. I mean, I was arrested but by my own people by my own army because. To be safe. Yeah. Yeah. Because you going what why did you end here? So that's it. Maybe. Yeah. Maybe when when you fly, and you you like to fly in the condition as really good, you you have to push the envelope. You have to go and to make a long distance flying. And a. Maybe twenty years ago that was not treaty political station are really bad before. I mean, there is no government that Syrian army here. Details militias we were flying naming go. He disturb. Basis. Are you talking about during the civil war? Ninety from ninety four ninety three to two now. It's okay. Now, we have a government. You have an army Lebanese army. No problem. You no study safe and lots of foreign bites are coming. We had the last week dash team. They really really cool. Yeah. Lovin for him pilots coming here. Now, another place that I haven't been, but I've been fascinated for a longtime there, there's you know, Jordan is not far from you. And and that seems like this kind of bastion of security in a very insecure part of the world these days. Do you go to Jordan fly Jordan? I did not. I did. But the heard that also it's it's a bit restricted to fly, my friend isn't a work in Jordan. And he said that it's a bit difficult old. So there are places that you have to fly like to fly onto runaway. Fly ended on. Training for the house. Maybe I should go there. Okay. Well, let's just have had to ask you some of the just to get a sense of the place. I appreciate that. It's fascinating part of the world. And it's sure not without as dangerous. But it sounds sounds awesome. Pretty exciting. I'd like to get out there and fly. Even spires me to come comes. That sounds sounds neat. So a little bit more on your history. And then I wanted to get into gear how long you been flying in and tell us about the, you know, the transition to do these gear reviews. How did that all happen? Okay. Flying began in the early nineties the few friends, we were by using that sport. There was a group of French tourist flying over here at that time over Jounieh bay. And I wasn't one Frenchman state a week later and told me out to fly. Later on I began later on began to guide my glider, practically alone every day. Because this this kind of magic carpet for me flying in some. Yeah, I was flying practically. And somebody Motorola's without knows men know whether report had noted of the weather change anything.

00:20:03 - 00:25:05

So for me. It was great adventure. Individually days I would Streep in the range and fly almost every day. Yeah. It was a dream with nature and weekends was joined the couple of friends. I still remember the by really best friends. They are not flying. Relondo Matthew member? Doma end. It was great to share the flight to them was relieved. It's like, you're alone. You know, and you're discovering everything about bar guiding the fringe guy told me for three days and the incen- me glider, and he sent me he sent me. The guy that a few device Meyer that the glider that really vice Meyer said they were record on. So for me to three dentures. I was pretty scared to fly that guy in the heater. But I learned I've learned two months since then and. Well, that's in. How how did how did you start doing the gear reviews? And and I think a lot of people would would like to know. You know, how that works with the companies, and you know, are they loners or they do you have to buy them. Do they give them to you? How does that all work? Well, actually, I began I began the first of ocal, I must tell you. Why do those testing Miami into? For early days. I had I don't know the I don't know how to say it's like a fee to get to fly other gliders. It's like it's like, I always say that boats cannot exchange wings. But we can't that said that this is. So they. Fly much better than us for a million years, but they cannot exchange wings. So we can extend them, and we can feel the the difference when you extend them. I mean, if you given any NA glider, and then you fly seek lighter the difference, the huge, and I was really happy to exchange the wings from the early stages. I mean, if you friend comes in a wing. I would ask if I can't fly swings at now and afterward. Everyone lent me his wing in. That that's how it began and afterward would the sometimes Boto in the only days. I mean, the gliders from my friends, and then I was contacted by some money factors. I wrote this on the net, and nobody got them seriously. I mean, they said that who gonna listen to them who gonna read. I mean, I'm I'm happy. I'm just writing from my heart everything, I know. That's it. I'm doing my best at then conducted some companies, and I both the gliders. And fifteen years ago. I mean, I sometime I I wasn't then they lend me the glider. But it wasn't good for me. Because if it company lend you the glider sometimes give yeah. Yeah. Yeah. But I'm I'm saying what I want to say, I'm only objective. But the problem is that he lands you glider, and he said ok p before you ride. What's what's what's you are going to ride, and that's what's frustrating to me? So I thought that and and afterward I'm made the budget. I put a budget, then I push some gliders I began to push the gliders, and that's way, I can take food time and then fly the glider, and then glider that's and and so that works out. Is what's the economic model for you? Then is it you're able to buy the glider at maybe cost, and then sell it and make enough or is it basically just a pass through? And you you're you're funding all this through your other work. Yemi? I'm just I put the budget of maybe than southern daughters. Older a small budget said this budget. I'm going to use it for buying stuff. And then because of Libanon on there is no years have been on.

00:25:05 - 00:30:09

Yes. That is France. I mean that is an ozone dealer that is a gender, but deeter with fifty let's not tweeted interesting. I mean, they gave me the glider I pay the glider at nearly the cost of the glider. And when there is no dealer, I can get the glider directly from the manufacturer at the dealer price. Sometimes when the glider is finished and a beat. So somebody's interested here. He can sell it here. Otherwise, I can sell it worldwide. It's only one glider one size want. I don't get to work on this stuff. So I only swan. Glider one size or maybe to size m n m s m because I'm thin so small size. Yeah. Smaller size than the medium size. And then I said them afterward. Okay. Is this is this your main job? No, no. It's not my main show. Okay. What what do you do for a quote, unquote, real work? This is obviously fun work, which we all were all trying to figure out how to do. But. I had. Yeah. I special occasion. During the during the war in. In seventy five. We we get out from Beirut. My father. We go into bad. And I was he Levin years old. I must say that schooling. And we finished the my father the his job here debated. We made the big supermarket and to when I finished my school. I work with my father and into south then and four I. I took the job the supermarket enhanced it and now I have a big company, and that's my Mitchell. Okay. Okay. So you're you're very busy with that. How much time how much time would you say you can dedicate to the testing in writing? And we'll have all this in the show notes. But those of you who listening if you don't know it already probably do but on Facebook, it's does to the universe. And if you just Google search does to the university of fine Ziad's blog, which is terrific, and it's easier to Google that way than the then the address, but it's you'll see what what we're talking about all the reviews and the different wings and everything but. How much time are you able to dedicate? Would you say you dedicate to doing the testing maybe each month? Given as I said, my home place is really between all the sides. And while it if it's liable, and is everything is on the right way on my company is really a- a. Lots of people were king, and I can manage to go and fly. So every day, it's liable. I can go flights and I moved back to work. I go back to exit easy. So it's not really like France, maybe euro because the sites really far away and you have to travel, so maybe fifty minutes I gained. Stunning. It's easy to. Mean I'm available when it's okay. Okay. What do you do you cover all manufacturers? Or are. You are you trying to isolate just with a few or eating tell tell us about how you how do you approach the testing? And an I know it's it's harnesses wings everything. Correct. Yeah. I mean, I mean, I like to anything. All the harnesses if I can. From every manufacturer. But sometimes. Sometimes it's difficult to reach old manufacturers. Sometimes it's difficult to to push them. Right from my Xers. Don't let you get their wings. I mean. Yeah. They they know that I can write whenever I want. So some companies are not happy. That's it's a big business end. If everyone is does know the business work, they know that they are keeping their business, you know, probably properly maintained.

00:30:09 - 00:35:12

I mean, he's a problem with any glider. I'm I will write it because you know, you're reviewing these things, and you're very honest. And sometimes they aren't glowing reports, you know, do you do receive much blowback from the community. Do you have to get into you know? I don't know little pissing matches. No, I'm just I ride exactly feed. Exactly every word. I mean, but always being polite because I know I have a company, and I understand the load and pressure the company had the payments that that that they have to to expand. So, but I write everything right anyway, the people who get. Pissed off. I mean, they said they companies to the owner the companies and everyone, of course, maybe some tell me that losing lots of money, and you you you wrote that it's not really nice to roll this the guy that was really nice. I mean, I say the guy is really nice. But I mean, it's shown on the video. It's clear. It's a maybe it's decli- there and the Sieg lighters performing much better. I mean, it's it's it's obvious. What do you want me to write? This is the right to do. Are you should not the wing should not release the wing before you make own testing if it's days, I cannot I'm saying that. Okay. So they are the performance are really close. I say that the format I write that the performance Aridi close. I mean, that's a really close if they are close. But if they are not close. I would I would write as this. I write it because but I write it. But you know, I'm not. I'm not the guy who just old companies. No, I'm just I'm just the writing what she. That's yeah. Sure. Sure. The so. So what what manufacturers do you mostly? Review? Miami won every. Yeah. If I can purchase a wing, I can push it review. The wink, I may the glass in the Sikh loss and end the declaws. See because mainly competition drivers done doesn't need the reviews they fly by the own and they just but maybe NCNB lenders. Okay. So what what companies right now, and again listeners this opinion. And so we're all allowed to have them. So you know, obviously, you've probably got favorites. And unfavorable, but, you know, without you know, maybe angering too many companies here. Which which manufacturer because there's there's some new players on the block. We just did a podcast with Felipe present day with Flo. There's the there's the Korean the new Korean company. There's fee. She's kind of exciting. You know, men, they're they're really just concentrating on the gliders right now. But, you know, long history there with with honest. But what what manufacturers right now, do you feel like, you know, a really kind of pushing the envelope. Are you kind of most excited about maybe you can predict future? They're going to have the you know the. Who who's who undermined? Yeah. Let stuff question here. I mean, I felt that over the years that was always some glad that that will Mark the lightning world by that efficiencies and the air every may be four to five years six years. I don't know that would be a new discovery from certain company that lead to better performance improvement. And then other companies do some effort to reach that developed. I think today eliminating the drag is the most challenging part and moving forward toward the better performance because all the companies are really professional, and they have a big RND and the top leading grants as you know, them to. Yeah. The body's already very high in every ticket in the B C N D. And as I said that the bidding brands tend to beating are trying to move forward, or at least to uptodate gliders because maybe indices category today that performances nearly the same and the high be old.

00:35:12 - 00:40:07

So it's very close. And that's it. So the as of flight also days reading, not cannot say, I cannot mention one company, but there's read it up companies here. Doing reunites job. Yeah. So I'm gonna put you on the spot here. You don't have to answer this. But if you if you'd like to go for it. Well, first of all when you're just flying for your own personal fund. Are you flying CCC or a or where where what are you flying for when you're trying to go out? And do you know a challenging exc- flight? You see my philosophy in flying? His pleasure flight. That's why I I like the gliders that. I mean, I've been swapping gliders like crazy. It's difficult for me to have only one glider, but of course, Nazis, because I'm not competing not shoot that clutter and it's difficult anyway in to use it in some very turban on taking a risk and the risk is worth it. Elicits? Yeah. That's it. I mean, today's gliders are if I want to fly in the past now then years ago. I was in dream of flying. Maybe a siegler big lie in this. The performance of those gliders today weren't available in competition gliders ten years ago. So I mean, I fly maybe a c or d glider if I want to that's one specific glider? Okay. Great. I think that helps us just understand you know, what what you'd like to fly. So let's run let's run through in again, everybody understands your opinion. But it's but you must have a favorite in each. You know, what your favorite be? What's your favorite? See? What's your favorite de right now? Currently, of course, of course, it's very easy on. So I mean, I'm a person who favors the pleasure of flight. I mean, the handling of leather if the lighter hands pretty, well, I'm sensitive to that. So I mean, it's personal. I mean, if I fly glide around the sky there. Gives me exact feeling of agility inside the cut through and climb. And I like that either favor this guy, there's the beak take renowned today of I mean, this chili for is really nice to fly. Yes. Sky woke the cheating. Four serene is to fly among the plus. I can't stay dozen of gliders may really. Yeah. Because I've made the I've made the competiton be competiton band Lingus. What I really looking forward to me the rush five. Now, it's not handles swiftly like the chili four. But it has really nice performance varies to fly on. So. So this MRs interesting to make a B plus glider that is really comfortable to fly. And then also very a high performance and also on the category. Yeah. I almost feel like we need to actually have expanded on my question because the B category. You know, I haven't flown a b in many many many years. So I I don't have experience, but the category is. Is is massive. Now, isn't it? I mean, we we didn't use to say a hot be or Lobi we used to just say be. But now it's like there's a middle be is a low B. There's a high be I mean, high Bs everybody says, oh, well, it should be see. Some maybe I should even say, you know, what's your favorite Lobi high be? And then I think we have to do the same thing for the season. Now, don't we? Govern the categories really big huge and the manufacturers. Yeah. Because of the pilots this is the this is the most purchased wings of all the categories. And. This category. I mean, it changes a lot. I mean Lobi activities sometimes sometimes nobody category is not is not really a low big takeaway, mice actors. Somebody factors has a low b and a high b but many be sometimes on a flyer Lobi. I send that well. It's dynamic, wink. Shouldn't be but it's the race for four months for performance is is race performance.

00:40:07 - 00:45:06

So when you challenge when you make challenges with a low B, and you marketing, your marketing alot big lighter, expect to have a little big lider that is a bit spicy. I mean. Yeah. I mean, I mean companies maybe should market should be marketing high glider. Okay. We understand. So it's b but it's marketing for excuse and the other one it's for a beginner beginner. Plus that said, but today, it's three messy. I may have all all of them are in the category, all of them participation, but not all of them are similar. I mean in the low category as the cheese state that they are maybe one to three classes and in the low bec- agree. They put three four glasses. I don't know maybe the high Beal. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I think about like a career versus what what would be a good. Is not to be. Put it to be. But it's not really a B. Right. Right. Right. I think that's where people need to be careful, don't they? Because it's you know, you're if you've just come out of the school in European one, and you're looking for your first glider, and you go get a B, and you get a career you're eve just you've just purchased a pretty hot ship. Course for them yet. I mean, also if if you got a wing, that's really tuned to pacify Asian. I don't think you get a most of the performance with the regional Carrera. Original career was really nice to fly was dynamic to fly. And we forget to be about. I mean later on the be the cover plus was smooths to fly more pitch bag and. It wasn't to be of course. But it did did not have the the performance feed. I mean, lots of pilots today are going to ask about the category. I mean today if you have a category new flying for fun. That's the Korea have to aim. But if you are you on to more challenging sensations of flights. I think big leather can be boring, of course. But not for all the by. Let's I mean for weekend pilots for a pilot flying may be fifty hours per year. I mean, the beak take the be plus particularly is more than enough. I mean, if I fly the big category, I can practically with any glider with any good CO deny that he is that he's a good by flying B-plus glider. I don't miss anything about their formats fly, very competitively. I mean, okay, not for competition. But maybe for exceed for pleasure for going on his own challenging. Yeah. I mean, I think I think no the proved that beyond a shadow of a doubt with the mentor. You know, when they put those great pilots on I think people often miss that. These were very very good pilots flying that wing these pilots in many cases. But you know, they were the doing these. Massive triangles in the Alps on a mentor proved to everybody that you know, that you don't necessarily need to take a lot of risk with your with your glider choice. You can get on a mentor and have a really good day. Look. Yeah. It's not it's really this. This question of mentor. The best mentor was created. It was the mentor to ahead one in Esau and flying that glider was spiciest bit. But really competitive among the current at the time current glided at the time it was competitive. Of course, it wasn't the glider for any beginner going to the sport. But it was like in new it's was it was that glider that you feel that it. At the time. It was bitching inside the term slipping the ceremony can feed everything it's like the dry any Twas Twas digging sue the stuff is surfing getting. So I was really impressed by the visor, and then the mentor series, the three was more mellow. The four was I don't know a bit. Very wet performance. But anyway, changes a bit and the five combined all of them. Stated about very meadow. Not all of them are not a like mentor to in the.

00:45:08 - 00:50:08

End the field and all the other competitors catch up caught up with them. The now now now we have really five or six B-plus company, allied IRS. Which are really competitive. Okay about sees. About sees. Whether you want to know your your favorite right now. You know, you're you're only had if you had fifty nine I'm sitting there from fifteen different companies, which would you grab Bill which are excited about. Okay. Okay. I'm in my favorite one was five years ago. A delta two and then to Incisa MS because also very important to stay the size. When I make a some people is agree because they do not fly the glider same side of the that at the same load is still different criteria vetted difficult. I mean, yeah. Defers a lot. Sometimes. So did the to MS. It was really nice glider. And then sky woke make the in the Cayenne five very impressive glider. And now when I flew the that the street it was okay, not really the handling the fun handing the precise handling of the two which was nice performance into performance injury layer. But I like more had been three this one. I'd be three. Now, I have and I tested the new view Arctic five, which is really impressive gut the debate over the peanut in some ways and end also and also the new Jin Boone's at two. Yeah. Three nice at tool. So the all three have very close performance. I mean, I have the three of them in my truck now and each day I gonna fly him a big one. I just go and fly land. I take another one and practically the same the same. Happy with them. We're working right now on in fact, it'd be released today, and that's not gonna be that will make any sense to the listeners because this will be out. It'd be the Dave where you and I are talking about hang big hang gliding episode. And we've we had Dustin Martin, wait. We're actually there's a bunch of different people that are in that episode and Dustin Martin who has the current world record. And hang gliding for distance is has gotten an apparent guiding the last few years, and he's flying Arctic five, and he was talking about the the launch characteristics are just on real. He says that you can just launch it from anywhere almost any kind of condition. These it's really really nice and made me wanna fly a glider. I I spent maybe as you know, I spent quite a bit of time on the Arctic back in the old day Arctic to the Arctic one. But as I haven't flown any of the more recent Nixon that in the in that range, but I've heard good things about the Arctic. That's that's great. Yes. It's out mean, I mean, this guy I like very much strider. This is a good guy that's comfortable to fly. Also knew you change a bit from the early versions. Twas a bit more aggressive. I mean changed a bit of the lines. It's a bit less, but still very well. Sorted out on squad. Okay. How about dis? Well, these. Like three much the six. I add 'em six. And then I got 'em six the light version of m six which is. Improvement of bit in the ruin conditions. It was reunites glider this impressive de glider. I don't think till now that he's a competitive decliner into the market maybe a few but not treaty getting better on this one. And as you know, busy. No. Of course, my best glider is is the best guide to fly itself. Very soft in reaction, very competitive. It has everything man. This is the most efficient glider in ABC. Of course in the declines the deconfiguring. I mean, yeah, he's anybody else. Does he knows just taken the world by storm? Isn't it hasn't it is it really isn't. I have to give it to them. It's an amazing glider is anybody else threatening in that space right now in your opinion. I mean, I flew some of the two liners the new generation to liners.

00:50:08 - 00:55:14

I mean, yes, of course, they are really close. I mean, it's really close some of them are bit faster than disease and this forward speed sometimes helps may be in getting more. If you don't push the bar often. But they're very close not three. I I mean, I prefer still vizino for the time. Tell us how you approach testing. How you know? You get a new glider take me through what you do with it. You know, how how do you assimilate opinions with indifferent air, you know, different conditions. You're you've you document your process quite well on your website. But I just if you could run us through a summary of how you do it. That would be useful. Of course, it's it's very for me here flying in this small in the same area for a very long time in the same spot in the place. I know for thirty years, though, blending swapping gears on the same day, very often. I mean, Surtee minutes flying one hour frying gum planned, get another, wink, let me understand better ability of certain glider. That's the feeling of the wink and the same condition, of course of the day. And then I will fly next to a friend of mine was reference guide their reference guy that I mean in the category. I keep always reference glider on certain size. Okay. It'd be okay. And in the. See category. Also, I keep on the surface glider, maybe on the D. I'm keping vizino on the see I'm keeping. I dunno. I have three guide. There's no I don't know what to keep. If I keep the piano, the bonanza or the the Jin is the same keep one. So end the beak to grab the rush five. And I fly next to a friend with same load. We put Balas to to to be on the same load, and I tried to be on the same size. Of course. I try to be not always possible. But I'm trying and the sizes are not really from the s to the large notes s m s that's or the same size or only one size above. And then I fly always in a moving air. I'm not I don't make competitive Kleiner flights. Okay. Okay. No. We don't fly any not any of us. Fly in corner in coordinator and numbers on papers. Are really silly. You know, it's if you if anybody if anybody that's just get this GPS and go on the corn missed off air and makes glides he understand that he cannot put any number because he will always get minus zero point one the point to a difference. And that glide will defer from nine to nine point five to eight point eight. So that greed, it's useless exercise. Yeah. Okay. That's it. So so you've eight by my feel like I look we see how the glider ability can show glider has the ability serve the air better and the glider who's who what guy there move forward and gets a bit higher. Of course, it's moving air. But we don't make only one glide so one to streak light are not enough to determine which glider is more efficient many attempts. Are needed to evaluate their potential in. What about how are you? Judging eat like. Safety characteristics. Are you are you putting every gladder you fly through through some kind of a similar sl? Are you stalling? Are you doing are you doing kind of stuff or is it mostly just fun flying thermal flying, XY flying? No, don't put into I don't stall lighters. I don't I find that the limit of the stones. I'm I know when when it's was still I release. I don't make a full stole. Okay. I make I make it frontal, and but frontal is in a symmetrical. So I make but all of their own of those cannot street if the pilots now do know that, but that doesn't three present the glider in moving aired when they collapse because when I collapse the glider my head are thinking that I'm collapsing the glider, and I'm ready and my muscles.

00:55:14 - 01:00:02

Might but the muscles. I ready to counter steer if I'm thinking properly. So I'm ready for the for the collapse. And but collapses in real life are really much more different. And I got some collapses when a fly in turbulent air, some high rate gliders, and I was really, you know, surprised by the dynamics of those gliders that were tested before Inco I made over the sea. So yeah, I mean, I see metrics and frontal. Induced SE metric doesn't show that real the reload. Glider in the air of a bit of small victory. I think. And in moving air in moving air when you get collapsed. Maybe the the wing is front of you. Maybe it's a bit on the side. So it's all different. I'm gonna run a scenario by you. Let's say tomorrow you, and I get an invitation not tomorrow because the wrong time of year. Okay. Let's say it's by you. And I get an invitation to go fly, you know, some really cool part of the Alps together. So you've got you gonna root yourself up from from Lebanon, get on a plane. You know, you don't want. You can't take ten gliders. You gotta take one and one harness, and you, and I are going to go fly, you know, some really cool line across the Alps for a few days. What would you take? Harness wing, maybe even instruments and why? Why if I'm gonna go to fly with you and the? I'm gonna take an end zone for. No, we're not. Just to catch up. No, we're flying for fun. We're flying for fun. We're gonna go fly in the dolemite's, and we're not trying to break any records. There's you know, we're we're we're gaggle flying. We're just having fun together. I I can't take any any of the availability is I have here. Maybe I get a Sieg either. I okay, which one would you like, which you know, you must have a favorite for for just going to have a fun trip in a in a part of the world where we don't have to worry too much about, you know, hiking. It doesn't have to be necessarily be lightweight kid. It's just for for fun flying vacation. What I can get to maybe which harness. I mean, there's lots of harnessed I have five harnesses here for testing. I will get may be the. I don't know. I have liked harnesses. Maybe I get my own harness. I mean, I have a extracted six I like the scribe very on this hour is very much and Brickley. My own horn is for every day test flying fell on to get the light on. I will get the. I have the would evolve to the new on the lights. I mean, it's nicer board also. But it's it's okay. And wing. And wink mouth get to maybe the. The. The DV. Excellent. Good. Good answer. He would like it a lot like a lot perfect. Okay. Okay. Let let's switch to harnesses. Seaboard or no seat board. And and why. Okay. So how mcq style harnesses are really very comfortable. I mean, the participating position for the back convert the lightness to the foresaw the imprest three they would evaluate till lights by the but they do not provide the precision of away in turbulent there. I mean, the seats harnessed let you lean on a Mike on a stiff corner and doc yourself into precise to you know, that kind of angle, and that's what I personally prefer the seat harness for the moment to ally, that's support. But mean, I fly for fun with a seat nece in Iraq them very much. But maybe for a high aspect ratio glider and competition. Glider I surely would prefer see Thomas. There's some there's some interesting work being done.

01:00:02 - 01:05:02

I'm seeing like in the new the new light three. I guess it is the new supper harnessed, they're using quite stiff. Regulate e exactly quite stiff underneath your. But so it's almost like having a seat board. But I don't have personal experience with that. Are you noticing that that? Is it helping? While the fours doesn't have a seat board. But very easy to just open the visit and slide carbon seat played just over the protection. And when you sit with the protect with the seaboard it gets a bit like you have a seaport. But I mean, it's not connected to the the Sita bent to the beds. It's not the best don't you? So you feel you feed it, but it's not as connected as a seat on this town of the seaboard is connected is under the bent. So you get all the the precise to them stern. But it's okay. It's much. Yeah. I'm kind of going through my own interesting phase with with harnesses because you know, of course, in the x Alps you fly the lightest lightest stuff you possibly can you know in two thousand fifteen I flew the ice peak seven. The regular one wasn't even a light version, and then I flew with the strike, and I I'd flown the impress for for quite a while even my early years racing. And I saw quite comfortable at the hammock Arnie's, but I really feel like. Maybe made a mistake there. I think I think in this next x Alps, I think I'm willing to carry that, you know, very small additional weight of carbon seat board and go with the seaport because I agree with you. I think when you're flying higher aspect wing, you really need that extra feel because maybe of course, that the anyone can try may be not anyone. I mean, it's like yourself can fly is on a harness at the competition, wink, but you have to pay the extra the extra workout. And maybe if in competition like excel may be you will be happy not to bay those extra charges in the air. So if you she can minimize the load it's much much better the load the workload. I mean. Yeah. It's. Yeah. Exactly. If insane if the harness compensate, the the movement that all movement of the harness and have much less workout gun may be have more energy to for another maters. I don't know. Diet. I want to be mindful of your your time. So we'll wrap things up here. This has been enormously educational and fun. I really appreciate it before we delight. You know, you listen to the podcast. Sometimes you've heard this question before so maybe prepare for it. But if you could rewind the clock, and for you, it's it's it's a long rewind thirty years back to if you can kind of imagine where you were what you're doing. When you were fifty our pilot sounds like it was shortly after your your French friend taught you had to ground handling do a little bit of flying handed off comp glider to you. Would you what would you do differently? Or what what advice would you have for the audience who are just starting out? You know, like when you look back at your own progression. Would there be anything? You would change. No, really, no. Because. The best thing. I remember is that I'm frying for fun. From the first day I learned providing and the feeling of weightless field on the ground and soaring. Sometimes this is a field. I wanna get this defeat. I wanna stay with meat. So it's if anyone wants to fly beside competition, I mean, they have to fund only for the fly for the pleasure having fun. And that's maybe I don't know. That's that's my goal. Then I hope it still be available. Just fly for the fun. I like that that works. What you I mean? I mean, she can't fly. Because I mean in my country, I cannot really go to very long exceeds and those circuits I make and that's that's what I can do.

01:05:02 - 01:07:46

So I mean, if I wanna stay here, I wanna fly on a change wings and. That's the field that I get from the wings. I hope to get the most of the pleasure field when flying them. Love it Ziad. Thank you very much. A real pleasure. I've been smiling constantly for an hour. It's it's a real treat to to speak to you, quote, uncle not really in person here. But it's it's nice to hear your voice feel like you. And I know each other for many years of reading all your your material, which is fantastic will add all that to the show notes on courage people to again, go check out does to the universe and been reads, I enter views and good luck there. And I do hope we get a chance some day to fly in the Alps or somewhere else in the world. And and you're hot the cloud base. Thank you given. Thank you for having me on this both guest resorting for English. But yes, of course, it would be a great pleasure for me to fly with you wherever and if you come over here also. So thank you very much. Thank you. Appreciate toxin. Thank you. Thank you very much. Hope you enjoyed that has always if you're getting something out of the show. All we ask for is a buck show if you can afford it, and you can do that as a one time donation, don't you send us a buck? That's kind of silly pay pal takes big chunk of it. And you know, listen to twenty or something and make sure you really dig it. You can do that. If you go to the website, cloud base, mayhem dot com. You can see how to contribute to the show financially through pay pal or you can set it and forget it through patriot. Which is really cool way to contribute every time. We put content out. So it's only you'll only pay when something when we create content, and then you can be rewarded for doing so at various different levels. So that's kind of fun. But there are many other ways, you can sport the show, you can share it. You can blog about it. You can post it on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter. However, you like to communicate you can talk about it with your friends on the way to launch. What this is all about is just spreading knowledge spreading information and trying to make us all. Better pilots, and and safer pilots. So you can also rate us on itunes or Stitcher, or however, you get your podcast that actually goes a long way, I've learned a lot about that in the last couple of months, so that we've got tons of great ratings already fantastic. A really appreciate that. Thank y'all so much so yeah, that's it. Thank you very much. Thanks for listening. We'll see on the next show. Cheers.