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Fast reflex trim landings, energy / lift trade off


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Let me start with some warnings:

1) I don't suggest anyone come barreling in on full fast trim

2) Speed kills

3) cartwheels are for gymnasts

4) no one can run 50kph+

5) insert reason here

That said, I know inertial energy is your best friend to trade for lift, and on a Fusion a full slow flare leaves something to be desired for flare authority (Nil wind conditions for sake of discussion). My preference is a neutral trim landing for the added energy that can be bled off for a flared one step landing. Full slow trim removes this energy from flare, however much it slows you prior to that event, it does leave fewer reaction options to unforeseen air variables.

I do know pilots that prefer a much faster trim setting then that as a tool they have picked up with experience to further extend ground effect glide and progressively control their flare. While this is something that is certainly a risk vs reward situation tempered with experience, I make this post to solicit comments and stories on the matter.

Some folks are taught in training to stay on some brake until a couple wing heights, then let off to increase pendulum speed and use that to trade for a more progressive flare. This applies more to a conventional wing then one which can be tuned in flight for glide speed. The effect is the same - more ground speed on final to use/bleed off as lift for a more controlled, less timing dependent flare.

My challenge to you is to discuss the heck out of the topic.

Wheelers are disqualified from wheeled input, although their thoughts are as valid as footslappers.

I sit in anticipation.

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The best way is!!!!!!!! which ever one works for you.

Fusion I come in on neutral, reaction full slow, synth cabrio full slow all unless it is above 15mph then its fast trim exept the cabrio because that has about 500mm of reflex :shock: and brakes like a bus with no servo working

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Todd, surely it is dependent on the geometry of the wing and trim system to some extent.

I have only had experience of the Reaction in reflex wings.

Does it not still have some reflex when in full slow setting? So there is 'automatically' some energy left for the flare, when compared to the likes of the Fusion where there is no reflex on slow trim.

Full slow on the reaction for me.



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I fly a Nucleon 29 and Fusion 26.

Nil wind landings I have trimmers set half open for improved flare authority. Yes you can land the Nucleon at full slow in nil wind but you'll have a softer touchdown and better flare with more airspeed.

High wind and gusty conditions between half and fully open. This for me improves 1: penetration into a gust and prevents the diving surge to the ground having been pinned by said gust and 2: improved flare authority with the associated increased airspeed. However, the flare is far more physical at trims fully open and there is an appreciable gound rush. BUT all of that speed can be converted to lift with the flare and round out.

Whatever the conditions airspeed is the key. As Andrew elluded to, any glider on full slow to start with has a limited flare authority. It just so happens that at full slow the Fusion lands better than the Nucleon, I feel because of the Fusion's shorter brake travel and therefore more useable flare authority at that airspeed. I have added toggles above my Nucleon brakes as the brake travel is quite long and I prefer reaching for the toggle than taking a wrap on the brakes.

This was initially suggested to me by Michel Carnet and I was initially a bit sceptical but use it everytime now. Just watch his spot landings at the competitiions and you'll see it works.

I would also say that in windy / gusty conditions I always keep the engine running to facilitate either a go around and try again or a powered landing if its required.

Similarly for nil wind take offs I have the trimmers set at between 2 and 3 past neutral trim. This works for me and again was something a wise man showed me once :D


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Hi Luke.

Am interested in your comments about second set of toggles

above brake handles.

I have neucleon 27 and land on setting midway between

full slow and neutral but still need to take a wrap in nil winds.

Could you please expand on how second set of toggles are

attached, how far above primary toggles are they fitted and do they affect

flight when brakes stowed ie. fully up.


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Hi Slapper,

I simply untied my brake handles and put some toggles on. They lie just above the metal swivels on the brake handles and do not prevent the brakes from returning to the pullys properly. Doesn't sound like it would help but it really does. Another option is to fit the acro handles from sky paragliders that do the same in the form of a small t-bar on top of the brake handle.



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