April 26, 2019
NOVA Mentor 6 XS And here is the new Mentor 6 in XS size flown at 88 all up. The launching is simple, easy and very forgiving due mainly to the light materials used on this glider. It’s not completely a light glider, but NOVA used some light cloth on some parts on it. Immediately after taking off and touching the brakes, I looked high up to see if it’s really a NOVA Mentor? Yes, it was…I was completely shocked to see that big switch from the older series! Finally, something new concerning the handling and agility to talk about! :-) The brake pressure is toward the light side and moderates after 15 cm. The authority on the brakes and precision made me smile from ear to ear! ( It’s the first NOVA wing after the Mentor 2 that has a relatively short, precise, linear, and direct brake response worthy of delivering pure pleasure for the handling seeker! Finally, a Mentor that has a very nice, super quick and short turning radius. I could really core the tiniest thermal available with infinite precision. I liked very much the authority on the brakes of that glider. In weak thermals, the Mentor 6 even loaded is a revelation! After some hours comparing and comparing it to different top B gliders in the climb, I could definitely say that this latest Mentor 6 XS could be very difficult to over climb! I think that this one will stay on top of the stack period. The Mentor 6 nose pulls you smoothly inside the core, and searches for the best lift! It is difficult to miss a thermal with that glider. The Mentor 6 XS communicates well the airmass and needs a high B pilot to master it in turbulent and strong air. Nothing more than a high B. I’ll update my B comparison to place it accurately among others, but I need more time and also the S size (80-100) will eventually arrive in a couple weeks. The tips, however, flap in turbulent air without any consequences. They do flap, because probably they are happy flying, like the ears of a puppy when you come home:-). The midsection is very solid and I sensed that even at 90 all up the M6 XS will be even better inside the turbulent airmass. The trim speed is good, and I could say fast for the category. Slightly faster than Swift 5 and Cumeo SM similarly loaded. The top speed is around 15 km/h over trim and very usable. The C risers control is hard to pull after test flying the light pull on the Mantra7 but could stop some moderate surges while keeping your foot on bar. The glide at trim and even at the full bar is also similar to the best high B’s with very good top-end speed for the high B category. (See B comparison chart) For an efficient glide into the wind, the Mentor 6 needs to be loaded at the top for better results. It’s quite efficient for the B class. It does in fact surf forward without any useless pitch. To sum it up, IMHO, this is by far the ‘best’ Mentor ever produced. Ears and big ears are very stable and very efficient. With the bar, I could get -4…5..m/s! Inducing some asymmetries and holing the A’s will result in a 90 degrees turn max, counter steering and staying straight is easy. Conclusion: Superb agility, impressive climb rate, top gliding power, good top speed for a B! Highly recommended for the high B pilots who thought that the older Mentor series were a bit boring to fly. Lovely, piece of a flying machine. The Mentor 6 is pleasurable to fly XC machine by excellence! This is only my opinion. Make your own !