We have just returned from a quick, fantastic trip to Slovenia where we met the team at 777 Paragliders. The purpose of the visit was to re-acquaint ourselves with the team and to get fully up to speed with the new wing development for the 2018 season.
There is a lot going on at the moment with the Queen 2, the MS size is already certified with the other sizes expected to be certified very soon. There will also be a Queen Light (Q light) available in all sizes and certified. We saw the early prototype of the new King and heard all about the extensive efforts that go into the design, build and certification of each size of a new wing. Weather is a big factor as they fly many times a day, tweaking designs and testing. A recent spell of bad weather has therefore hampered progress and been very frustrating.
While we were there we were lucky enough to have flyable weather so Fi and I took advantage of this and demonstrated the 777 Knight ( low ENB), I flew the standard version and Fi flew the lightweight K Light. Here are her thoughts:
Standing on the Lijak take off I remembered Lee’s advice – only ever change one thing at once. We popped over to meet the Valic brothers, Slovenia’s incredibly talented yet modest Paraglider designers in their tiny studio in southern Slovenia. We stupidly hadn’t packed a single piece of flying kit, let alone any warm clothing and it was a great (nice) surprise when the team invited us to come flying with them. How could we refuse?
Here I was on a muddy, slippy launch with a new wing, borrowed harness, borrowed helmet (too large), borrowed sunglasses (too large), borrowed gloves (enormous and 2 right hands), jeans and smooth-soled, suede jodhpur boots with 4 of the best pilots in the world testing prototype wings with bits of string and tape all over them and Lee saying, “Don’t f**k up the take-off Fi”! Seconds later I was in the air on the nicest, lightest, prettiest wing climbing up to 1000′ above take-off…in March! The Knight Light is delightful, peachy to launch, easy to turn, polite and smooth in the bumpy bits and quick on the speed bar. It was great to turn tightly and confidently into sharp little thermals and climbed really well. It really didn’t want to come out of the sky but I was freezing cold so deployed big ears and found it lovely to weight shift round and round and perfect to glide in to land. I’d have one like a shot except I have a lovely Rook2 at home.
As well as the Knight Light ENB, Triple Seven have a Queen Light (Q Light) ENC for more experienced pilots and both Lights, at 20% lighter than standard, are super options for pilots wanting the same excellent performance and durability in lightweight form.