Nova Mentor 7 light Review- My opinion
I got to fly the Mentor 7 light S and the Mentor 7 XXS so far. I am very surprised, i wouldn’t have expected such a step from Nova, rather from Ozone. The Mentor 7 light is a glider from the future. It’s a revolutionary as 2-liners were back then i think. Not in terms of performance, in terms of collapse stability. It is the most comfortable and reassuring high-B wing i have ever flown. It is easier to fly than most other high-B wings, while having the same performance. You will notice this when watching other pilots around your working a lot and you are quite relaxed and thinking it’s not this turbulent. If you are scared of collapses, this wing is for you. It will collapse less than any other high-B wing out there. And it also doesn’t pitch around a lot. And if it does collapse it reopens very quickly, unless the wingtip makes a small cravat which you can pump open easily.
Also quite outstanding is the pitch control with the handles you have on the back risers. They are very easy to pull, a lot less force needed then on most other high-B wings. The only one with such light pitch-control is the Flow Freedom 2. This gives you a lot of 2-Liner feeling, but you have to pull twice as much as on a 2-liner, due to the missing aspect ratio. Important to understand is that you don’t support the wingtips with the pitch control on the Mentor 7, since you don’t pull down the B3 line. Thats why the wingtip can still collapse while flying on bar and actively using the pitch control. It doesn’t happen very often do and if, it’s really only the wingtip.
Quite surprising to me was also the speed when flying on bar. The Mentor 7 has a very long speedbar travel, probably the longest i have seen on a glider. Too long for my setup actually…i only got to 85% maybe. On the other hand the wing goes this fast, you don’t really need to fly this fast anyway in normal conditions. As with all wings you loose a lot of glide when pushing more than half bar. I haven’t measured how fast it flies, but probably faster than any high-B wings out there. It is still very stable when flying on bar, more stable than any other wing i feel. Even when pushing half bar and pulling 10% brake it still felt stable. This is something you should’t really do at all with modern gliders unless you want to ask for collapses! I think selling it with less speedbar travel would be enough. The faster you fly, the worse potential collapses will be, this is simple physics. I don’t know how a real life full speedbar collapse is like on it, but i’m afraid it could surprise B-Pilots, because the Mentor 7 can fly this fast.
Pulling collapses on it works, but you get a different reaction anytime. The Mentor 7 should be certified with folding lines, but this is not possible yet, it would automatically get a C. Pulling collapses is possible, but you can get everything from super snappy openings on asymmetrics to very delayed openings. With frontals it’s the same. You will notice that the middle is very hard to collapse, it doesn’t really fold in. As soon as you let go the A-Lines, the middle is open again and the tips still collapsed, looking like your pulling big ears. To me it feels like the Mentor 7 is made to not collapse and if you try it anyway, it reacts different to normal gliders.
The Mentor 7 is easy to turn, you don’t need a lot of brake to get it around. The brake pressure is on the lighter side, but still gets very hard lower down and warns you before it stalls. The stallpoint is quite low, especially on the S size. When flying fullstalls you need to keep the brakes low, otherwise the glider will start flying again. It doesn’t shoot much out of the stall and stopps itself when exited correctly.
It feels agile without being too rolly. Even when flying on bar it goes straight without rolling.
To me a revolutionary wing that doesn’t compare to anything out there. If you are looking for a stable, safe and easy to fly high-B glider, this wing is for you. Also if you want to step up from a low-B or mid-B wing this one is great. If you are already flying high-B wings with lots of aspect ratio or C-wings, you might find the Mentor 7 a little boring, since it feels very compact and has „only“ aspect ratio 5.5. I’m sure some pilots will find it a little too boring, too easy to fly. I think it’s amazing having such performance with such stability in such an easy package. I feel many other High-B wings are too demanding for it’s class, the Mentor 7 really isn’t. If you want something more sporty, you can go for an Ozone Alpina 4, which isn’t much more demanding than some other High-B wings. By the way the Mentor can keep up with the speed of the Alpina 4…while being more stable on bar.
How did Nova achieve this? I don’t know, but Nova says they have developed their own software that let’s them simulate collapses for the first time. So they came up with a completly new airfoil (they use 2 different ones in the wing) and a new tensioning of the wing. I’m already looking forward to a C-wing with this stability and a Ion 7:-)
The new Nova Software
Designer Phillip Medicus is very happy about their new software they developed over the last 3 years. He says it’s surprising how accurate we can now simulate ballooning or collapses. He sent me those pics, i think this is amazing if you keep in mind that paragliders are soft and made out of fabric that are a bit elastic too…it’s not a rigid wing like an airplane has. Check yourself; The first one showes the Mentor 7 in fullspeed (around 58km/h) and the 2nd one shows a frontal.
What we like about the Mentor 7 light.
- Most collapse stable performance glider i have flown
- very Pitchstable
- Reassuring in turbulences
- Very light pitch control
- Nice to turn and thermal, needs very little brake input to turn
- Very responsive on weightshift
Good to know
- When pulling collapses you get different ones every time. Not ideal for SIV trainings.
- It rolls a lot (we like this), some pilots might not
- Ask us for an offer!