The X-Fly is the new wing of Neo, a young and dynamic brand driven by the pioneers of speed riding.
It is intended for the flight on foot and on skis according to the PTV.
It comes in 5 sizes:
9 m2 – 11 m2 – 13 m2 – 16 m2 – 18 m2; Each one behaves very differently according to its wing load.
The 9 and 11 m2 are welcome to experienced riders.
The 13 m2 is an intermediate size intended for speed fly, or flying in very strong wind.
The 16 and 18 m2 have a more versatile use in the flight by foot: beginner speed, rando flight, sky, or even initiation in flight for very light pilots under 18.
Its aspect ratio, slightly greater than 4 as many wings typed “mini-sails”, allows to combine performance in gliding and high passive safety.
According to the current trend, the number of cells is quite high, but without exaggeration.
The carrying bag comes with the X-Fly is beautiful, comfortable and sturdy. Finally a sail bag that will not stay at the bottom of the closet!
The 3-line riser are a bit simplistic but are of good manufacture.
The trims are small and a little low; If you like to drive high hands, you may have to release the controls to handle them, but otherwise, no problem.
The ergonomic controls are, like the S-Ride and X-Ride, equipped with a large wooden ball, which can delight some as well as annoy others.
They are held at the elevators by an elastic ring. At first glance, it’s a little cheap … But we get there quickly, and we even end up appreciating, especially when we understand that it is enough to pass only the ball instead of the strap.
If you pass the wrist strap, you may run the entire control through the elastic ring.
The airfoil of the wing is relatively flat, which gives it a good glide in a straight line and allows an important loss of altitude in turn.
The wing are of good quality and Neo chooses to bet on a French manufacture. The result is a robust product with a good finish.
With Skytex fabric of 42g / m2, it is neither the lightest nor the most compact wings of this type, but it is sturdy and we know we will not snatch it on the first branch!
The lines are sheathed and numerous, but without difficulty to disentangle.
The high part of the line is a bit messy, because of the departure of five or even six high lines from a low line on some lines.
Notwithstanding the expert pilots, the cone of riser is rather long and the roll is diminished. But this will have the advantage of putting the least experienced pilots in confidence.
We tested the 11 m2 speed riding and speed flying with pilots of different levels, for the same PTV of about 80kg.
Neo designed the X-Fly to give him 3 flight positions:
– Trimmed to the bottom, the wing is nose-up to facilitate take-off and glide in a straight line.
– 1st notch, it is “neutral”, classic flying position.
– Deep-bottomed, dive is important and resource efficient, but it is more sensitive to turbulence.
On take-off, the sail gets well and rises quickly, almost too much: it tends to overtake and requires a big time delay, which breaks a little the run of momentum. For an area of 11 m2, the management is very good. It will still be necessary to engage a good speed and then frankly display the brake. A well-known take-off technique for pilots taking off speed riding wings on foot.
The glide is rather good for such a surface. Nothing extraordinary however, but by displaying a good 20% brake, one passes at ease the 5 of finesse. This is where we understand the usefulness of wooden balls. Indeed, the X-Fly is physical to the controls and its big balls prove very practical.
The steering is done a lot at the controls, quite physical therefore, but precise and on a long travel. So we must not be too shy with, especially since the piloting fifth wheel is not extremely reactive. Again, we can go frankly into the harness without finishing the head down. It is almost a shame, but more secure to fly very close to the ground.
We found the original setting of the controls very long, but it is appropriate for each to adapt the setting that corresponds to it.
The dive is impressive and allows to stick to the slope without sending very strong. We really find the beach of piqué-plané and the sensations of a wing of speed riding.
The resource is also very good and progressive, but again, you have to dare to shoot the command.
The roll is moderate for this type of wings, which may disappoint some experienced pilots in search of a wing of character. But this will reassure the occasional speed flyers in search of a safe wing.
The barrels are not very fun for a wing of this size. Even if they are done without great difficulty and without great loss of altitude, something is missing.
The lace: the sail is very sensitive on the yaw axis, which makes it slightly unstable when turns accentuated by the brake.
The speed of the X-Fly 11 is important, we have recorded speeds ranging from 50 km / h high arms, wing nose, to more than 60 km / h detrimed.
The posed is quite simple, especially if one is used to this type of wings. If not, be sure to wait until the last moment before starting your rounding, and consider using all the necessary travel to dissipate a maximum speed. You should then be able to pose by trotting.
Taking off and skiing with the X-Fly is pretty simple, but be careful once again of its sensitivity on the yaw axis, which can make you miss your decoration if one half wing inflates before the other. Good preparation is necessary.
Skiing is not so easy, especially on steep slopes. The wing is rather tolerant of low speeds and wing tips have an unfortunate tendency to close. But its yaw sensitivity will, this time, be an asset to turn quickly with little speed, and its dive will help you to stay on the ground, and so keep ski control.
The wide sloping areas where you can ride with speed will be his favorite playgrounds to enjoy skiing and to regain the sensations of speed riding.
A good experience in speed riding will clearly be essential to ski well under this X-Fly, but if one has to compare it with other wings of speed flying, it is surely one of the most adapted to practice both disciplines.