div.wp-caption img

Parapente magazine test Sigma7

s7banner
Parapente magazine has tested the Sigma7 and has published a test report. Here’s an English translation.

SIGMA 7 – Translation of the test report in the french parapente mag
Advance was born 20 years ago, with the very first of the Sigma dynasty. Created by Robert Graham, flown in
competition by Xavier Remond the famous winglets first saw the light of day – and every Advance wing since has
inherited these little features …
The Sigma 7 (seventh generation) is still directed towards the same group of pilots – adventurous thermal hounds
scanning the distant horizon. As a high performance intermediate the Sigma needs good piloting technique, both
because of its aspect ratio (5.65 flat and 4.16 projected) and high speed and energy resources – these need
good management.
Four sizes, certified EN and LTF 2. As usual the attention to detail is the main thing you notice when you unpack
the wing. The bag’s very functional, compact and comfortable with 2 internal pockets, compression strap and
detachable belt, adjustable volume and an internal bag with space for the air to come out at the bottom. The wing
is distinguished by its 3 colours, a design with 2 points and a border outlining the leading edge. 61 cells, semicircular
intakes of decreasing size, mylar reinforcement around the edges of the wing and two lines of
compression straps which run internally along the A and D levels to restrict all concertinaing movement. The brake
effect at the wingtips is gathered through rings. The 3-stage suspension line system consists of covered Aramid
Edelrid and uncovered Liros. The risers:- delicate, superb, have the now conventional „ideal speed-to-fly“
indicated on the rear riser (SPI = Speed Performance Indicator). The brake handles generous, with swivels, held
by magnetic clips. The speed system of braided Polyester, has 2 pulleys, is easy to operate in flight thanks mainly
to the clever little blocking ball. Neat!
I clip my reclining harness with speed bag under this beauty. Take note – this type of harness boosts your
performance: a glide ratio improvement of close to one figure and, in addition, better accelerated performance.
On the ground the Sigma manoeuvres completely normally despite its span. Inflation, thanks to a very smooth
takeup of air happens without violence, pulling or over-enthusiasm. The asymmetric pull-up is very
effective.There’s no shooting in front, even on steep slopes or in strong wind. Mainly it’s quieter than the last
Sigma.
Coordinated, smooth.
A couple of steps and we’re airborne. As the pull-up energy transfers to forward motion there’s the feeling of
gliding and, above all, of a stunning glide angle. For the first flight I am flying the 28 base model, but by the time I
get my feet into the cocoon, and without doing anything else in a gently rising airmass I’m already above the
takeoff! The high tracking stability is obvious, clear pitch damping, and above all a very tight wing, solid, which
turns without fuss, no allowance needed for each half wing’s behaviour. It’s very different in feeling from the Sigma
6, yet again.
The wing is a marvel of equilibrium. A touch of brake slows it up clearly, right from the beginning of brake effect,
and a modest turning demand is enough to bank around, moderately and without lurching about in yaw. But also,
without being oversensitive, and with a brake resistance that is less heavy than an Omega, and scarcely more
than the Sigma 6. The wing tip doesn’t flinch and there’s none of that forward and back lurching you get with high
aspect ratio wings. Truly, coordinated and smooth are the right words.
The handiness is excellent, piloting is precise and without special techniques needed. When I made the
measurements with the 28 I had to carry some water to put me better within the weight range – my takeoff weight
was 91 kg. Sometimes I flew a 26, at the top of the weight range, because of being somewhat middle to low on the
28.
And the performance?
Hands up I flew at 38 km/h. The speed bar, first of all easy then hardening up noticeably, adjusts the wing which
answers its throttle immediately : pulleys together came out at 53 km/h. Brakes on, with an application of around
70 cm, the Sigma slowed up to 23 km/h, deep stalling gently. No wingtips going back aggressively, and very
good stall warning: which looks after those who just like to steer, or on landing.
In calm air, streamlined up, my vario often recorded better than 9.3 glide ratio hands up. This reduced very little
with speed bar up to 45 km/h. But this performance will never be achieved if the wing rocks about in a big way, in
turbulence or entering thermals. This Sigma 7’s trump card is this: you can mostly leave it to fly hands up,
watching out of course, but making use of the important property of auto-damping, but without crazy work with the
brakes.
Quite simply, let it fly to the max, even tread on the speed bar with army boots if you like. Nothing too unusual for
this type of wing, but anyway, now you can drive like a Frenchman! The wing signals its information very well,
similar in roll as in pitch, and largely warns its pilot what’s happening.
In the strong conditions (because autumn was really great at St André), the Sigma 7 stays quiet. I don’t remember
one wingtip quivering, despite transits pushed hard into wind, (not to mention down wind) … The communcation is
excellent. Provided the interpretation matches it, everything goes swimmingly!
And for big wingovers full of energy, and other reversals above the horizon, the wing, super coordinated, seemed
to me to behave itself in a very French intuitive way. Nothing more to say.
For descents everything was completely normal. Big ears with the outside A lines, steep spirals, big asymmetric
ones held in and steered with the seat. At this level of wing, you won’t be surprised by these manoeuvres.
Depending on your wing loading big ears reopen rather reluctantly, and spirals quickly exceed -10m/s. Exit with
outside control, then inside to dissipate the energy. If you need to find out about this you should read and follow
the advice by Christophe Waller.
Conclusion.
After 7 flying hours, alternating with an Axis Mercury (competition), Nova Tritons (Omega 7 area) and the Ibex
(speed fly cool), the Sigma 7 was R&R, like holiday camp! With performance as a bonus.
I handed the wing on, happily. Each time, the pilot was surprised by the gliding qualities, but mainly the glide
angle and user-friendliness of the wing. And always the same comments about the quality of finish, always
equating to excellent.
It really appeals to pilots who want easy-going flying with performance as well. The Sigma 6 pilot will find more
performance, easier flying and a special quality of smoothness. And an Epsilon 5 pilot, on top of his glider, will
have no problem making the step up. Cross country is waiting. A super product, exciting and beautiful.

© Parapente Magazine

Comments are closed.