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Pilot feedback:

The BiGolden3 feels very much like its predecessor, the BiGolden-XC. From the instant I launched I felt at home and had to look up a few times to remind myself it was not my old wing. This is a great thing because the handling of the BG-XC was fantastic and I was afraid something may be lost with the new wing.

Launching is much easier than the BG-XC. It has a lot less tendency to overshoot. Probably to do with the lighter materials as much as anything. Regardless, this is a big plus for the wing as flying big XC flights often means you don't choose the easiest of launches to start. Knowing it will need less brake input to stop an overshoot inspires more confidence on allows you to focus on other aspects more.

The slightly lowered aspect (vs BG-XC) is not really noticeable, but the improved performance definitely does stand out. The polar is much flatter and the wing is clearly faster. I would have liked to have flown it wingtip to wingtip with my old wing but didn't get a chance. However having flown it alongside various other wings you can see the performance is there. I had a good week flying the wing alongside the British Championships tasks in Gemona, Italy last month, taking the cameraman up for good photos and video. A lot of comments were made by competitors as I managed to stay with the lead gaggle for a reasonable percentage of the tasks. On 10km glides it clearly lost out against the Enzo's & Boomerangs, but the difference was surprisingly little and in thermic conditions, where they were not able to use the bar effectively, it was easy to keep up with them. The glide in smooth air was easily a match for Delta2's and other mid end C wings, but with speed that surprised them all as I effortlessly matched their glide, but several kmh faster than them.

The wing is solid, even on full speed. I would happily fit a set of risers with several cm's more travel if they were available. Although I am still not sure of the best way to fit a speed bar on a tandem, I miss the fact that the option is not available to explore. On full speed, like the predecessor, the wing has a 'wobble' to it, almost like it is breathing, but it remains quite solid.

In collapses of various sorts the wing behaves impeccably. I haven't had chance to do a great deal of SIV on it yet but the wing is well behaved in asymmetric, full frontal and B-line. As with the prior Gradient tandems, this one remains one of the easiest tandems to perform a B-line on as the internal pressure is light enough to be able to break the back of the wing without any passenger input, which is very much my preferred decent method with young passengers rather than the scary G's of a spiral.

Throwing the wing around, it can be extremely dynamic, again as per the predecessor. Wingovers and loops are a breeze with this wing, although possible it runs out of energy slightly quicker than the BG-XC. Probably due to the lighter weight. I haven't SAT'd the wing yet but I can see no reason why it would not (not that I do any of these on tandems and never with passengers over 70kg or I'll break my arms! ;) )

The trimmers being able to go slower than slow are a great benefit for thermalling and climbing just that little bit faster. For me this is one of the best improvements over the BG-XC. In long XC's, starting early in the day, it was always hard to keep up with the solo wings in the weak climbs. It is still hard with this wing, but no where near as hard. The shortened spreaders on the pilot side are also living up to expectations and allow a little easier visibility (at a cost of some drag) as well as a little less stretch on the brakes, so reducing some drag and, most importantly, reducing some arm ache.

The new colour schemes help the wing stand out a lot better. Gone are the days of white undersides.

In summary, the wing is most definitely an XC wing. It is less demanding than the BG-XC, but the performance is clearly better. The climb is faster, the handling is nimble (for a tandem) and it looks a lot better too. There is scope for even greater trimmer travel in both directions but this would of course limit the potential market for the wing further. It is a wing that turns heads when it is racing down the valley, overtaking other wings on the way!

 Brett  Janaway