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Cabecera Swing Astral 7

Inflation and take-off have no mystery.
The wing inflates very well, it does not demand a strong push on the risers and it rises continuously without shooting forward, which leaves some margin for ‘clumsiness’. In fact, even if ground handling is not your thing the Astral 7 will forgive small mistakes so, with a little practice, any pilot who already handles well an EN B glider should be able to fully control the Astral 7 after a few flights.

Swing Astral 7

The most exciting thing about this glider is the handling, it has the right pressure which increases progressively in a very short travel, just 10 or 15 centimeters are necessary for accessing normal piloting. With 30cm the brake hardens significantly and seems difficult to stall the wing by mistake. The Astral 7 has a direct and sporty feeling; any advanced pilot will appreciate the sensation of precise and dynamic steering, with defined inputs and little effort.
Flat turns are efficient with the Astral 7, and it also "bites in" when you need to do closed turns. It can change the turn direction in a blink, and when things are about centering tight cores the Astral 7 is hard to beat. With this wing you will squeeze the "juice" out of any thermal.

Swing Astral 7

Performance and speed.
The Astral 7 has features that would make envy more than one competition glider of only 3 or 4 seasons ago; some serial gliders of the last season fly virtually the same and require far more attention from the pilot. Having said that, let’s go down to the data. With a glide ratio over +10, the Astral 7 has a place on the "pole position" of the Sport class, and it is also a very stable glider in pitch allowing you to develop that great glide potential in thermal and rough air masses. The Astral 7 requests speed; at trim speed it flies well –it is in this flight configuration where Swing puts its best glide– transmitting security at the same time. This feeling stays if we push the speed bar a little. In XC and competition flight the thing is to step on at least 1/4 of the speed system travel whenever we are not turning a thermal.

Swing Astral 7

Hands up we fly at 39 - 40 Km/h, the bar slides gently and it lets you graduate the speed with precision and without much physical effort.
At half speed bar the Astral 7 cruises superbly, it moves little, and we feel it compact and efficient. If we push it all we can gain about 15 km/h of speed, i.e., we reach a top speed of 54 – 55 Km/h. In comparison, it is about one or 2 Km/h less than the faster EN C gliders of the moment.

Swing Astral 7
Gradual and progressive inflation, easy to control and not violent.

For whom
The Astral 7 is an intermediate wing of advanced performance, quite accessible. It has short and direct handling with a feeling of competition glider which, on the other hand, contrasts with a remarkable stability in all axes and contained reactions.
Any pilot coming down of category will probably not notice a change to less with the Astral 7. Instead, he/she will likely enjoy its handling and stability to navigate.
A pilot coming up in category will discover a surprisingly short brake. The Astral 7 moves a little and transmits what goes on in the air, but the reactions are quite moderate without being stressful. For those who come from the EN B class the challenge will be to do a right traffic to land with that glide, and not to miss the LZ!

Swing Astral 7

The +: Exciting, short and direct handling.
The-: Too sober stripes design.


Color range:


SWING Technical data
     
Swing ASTRAL 7 7.22 7.24 7.26 5.28
Take-off weight incl. equipment (kg) 70-87 80-102 90-110 100-125
No. of cells 57 57 57 57
Area flat (m²) 24 25,5 27 28,5
Area projected (m²) 20,34 21,62 22,89 24,16
Span flat 12,39 12,77 13,14 24,16
Span projected (m) 9,64 9,93 10,22 10,5
Aspect ratio 6,4 6,4 6,4 6,4
Aspect ratio projected 4,57 4,57 4,57 4,57
Glider weight (kg) 5,65 5,8 5,95 6,15
Min. sink rate approx(m/s) 1,05 1,05 1,05 1,05
Trim speed approx.(km/h) 39 39 39 39
Max. speed approx.(km/h) 53 53 53 53
CEN Certification
ENC
EN C
EN C
EN C
LTF Certification
LTF C
LTF C
LTF C
LTF C
   

*See the product's page here

+Info: www.swing.de

The seventh generation of the sportive series Astral from Swing had 13 prototypes before achieving the definite Astral 7, which has very interesting attributes. With glide ratio over 10 points and an effective sink rate in turns, this wing has what it takes to squeeze the best out of your XC flights or even to take top places competing in the Sport class, and it can even face gliders of higher class with pride.
Its construction is high-end: three risers, with rods on the leading edge and lines reduced to three floors –unsheathed, in order to improve aerodynamics by reducing drag. The brake line is simply superb, thanks to partial ribs and a system of pleating that allows separating the distance between the brake hangpoints (nearly 40!) and nevertheless getting a very direct, short and sensational handling that delivers an intense sportive feeling.

Swing Astral 7

The seventh Astral maintains the aspect ratio of its predecessor, however, in many other respects the evolution is noteworthy: less pronounced arch, plastic rods on the leading edge, partial ribs on the trailing edge, 3D Shaping technology used to optimize the air flow at the leading edge and, most remarkably, an impressive line reduction of nearly 20% which definitely increases the performance of the Astral 7 in the medium-high range of speeds.

Swing Astral 7
Inflation is straightforward and direct, very easy for an experienced pilot and somewhat “lively” if you are new to this category. It is a question of training a little and getting used to the glider’s feel.


Turbulences
The day I tried the Astral 7 I found some instability and a bit of turbulence at some parts of my flight. The first thing I noticed is that the movements of the glider are contained; the Astral 7 is damped on the axes, conveying what goes on in the air but with short inputs. Therefore, our response at the controls should be moderate. With a bit of pressure on the brakes we "neutralize" the softer shakes. If turbulence is stronger then corrections will be deeper, but we will almost always resolve and compensate with short brake travel; in general, about 15 cm will be enough to keep a good internal pressure of the glider.

Swing Astral 7

Conclusion
This intermediate-advanced wing has short and direct handling so it takes little effort to fly it. It is very maneuverable and has a large reserve of pressure. It absorbs turbulence well and in rough air it just asks for minimum corrections. The Astral 7 has a glorious glide rate, and the speed bar is well solved making fast-flying easy and comfortable.

Swing Astral 7

The Astral 7 is one of the best gliders manufactured by Swing, built with noticeable quality and every imaginable technological detail. To name a con, I would say that the stripes design of the sail is the only thing that I found a bit dull, in contrast to the vitality and joy offered by the Astral 7 in flight.

Swing Astral 7

I liked flying it well loaded. Always on the top half of the weight range and even near the maximum the Astral 7 offered good features. I could fly with good pilots that had S and M sizes of the Astral 7, and I believe we all had similar performance; I noticed little or no difference in performance among the sizes.

Daniel Crespo

Test by Daniel Crespo
Daniel is a long time pilot and competitor in Paragliding & Paramotor.

Published: May 09, 2012

*Test & article by Ojovolador.com

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