Skywalk CHILI 4 (Flight Test)


I test flew the Skywalk CHILI 4 S (85-105) at 95 kg all up for the test manoeuvres, and
103 as per Skywalk’s recommendation for cross country flying. I have to start by saying
that for the last three years I’ve flown 2 liner comp gliders, so I’m coming at this
having not flown EN Bs since my very first wing. So I have nothing to compare it to,
but there were still some things that jumped out straight away.
The first when I got it out of the bag was actually how much more like a comp wing this
EN B is when compared to the EN B wings I was used to. The lines are highly optimised,
it has a shark nose profile, and it has modern internal strengthening like the Enzo. I was
pleasantly surprised, from the start. In the air even though I had about 5 square
metres more cloth (than I’d have on a competition wing), it still felt well pressurised and
I didn’t feel lightly loaded on it at all. Trim speed frontals were a complete non-event, I even did some porpoising to make them more
aggressive, and it was very hard to destroy the chord. I couldn’t get to full speed the
way my front camera was mounted I had to loosen off the speedbar a bit, but with the high
speed frontal I did I managed to destroy the chord more, and even though it started to
open asymmetrically it recovered on course and dealt with it very well. That’s about
the most catastrophic thing you’ll get flying a glider like this, and it was a complete
non-event so that was very good. Spiral exit was nice, it would come out the
second you would lift your hand up, it came out much more positively than higher aspect
ratio wings I’m used to flying, so that’s a good safety aspect built in.
I did quite a few asymmetric collapses with the brake in my hand and any action on the
trailing edge would stop the span from collapsing, so if you’re an active pilot even a small
amount of brake input is going to help keep the span with asymmetrics. I did a few with
weightshift towards the collapse, and that was the only way I could get a turn with this
glider, it’s pretty stable with up to 50% asymmetric collapses.
I tested pitch control to frontal, it took four well-timed pitch controls to get it to
frontal, on the third the lines went slack so I knew the fourth one would be the frontal,
again the recovery was straight-forward, it shows that there’s a bit of energy in this
wing, but for its class its fine. The recovery from searching for spin was very
quick to react and to fly again. In the stall, the glider was very keen to
refly again, there was a very small parachutal window for tailslide, and it definitely wanted
to fly, which is a good characteristic. What I have to say about these tests, we are
not trying to replicate the EN tests, it’s already got an EN B. We also aren’t trying
to test outside the realms of EN and then go aha! this shouldn’t be in this category.
With any glider you can get results the level above their EN test. What we’re trying to
do is be playful with the glider and if anything nasty jumps out report that. But really just
to see the different characteristics that come to light from pushing gliders outside
of their normal flight envelope. So in conclusion, nothing jumped out at me
with this wing that said it shouldn’t be in the class that it’s in, Skywalk don’t aim
it at lower EN B pilots, but for mid-high EN B pilots, and I think you’ll get on very
well with this wing. It was very nice to fly, and didn’t have too much energy for the average
recreational pilot.

5 thoughts on “Skywalk CHILI 4 (Flight Test)

  1. why won't you review Swing gliders, e.g. the Swing Discus, Sensis and Nyos? I think i'm not the only one who likes too see them compared to the advance Alpha, Epsilon and Iota. Thank you (in advance)

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