The Alpha is a new model that looks like a lower aspect ratio Falcon (less wing span, more area), and is intended for flight schools and for pilots who value light weight, convenience, slow flying and easy take-off and landing above other performance attributes.
Comparing the Alpha with the Falcon 4:
- The Alpha 180 has about the same span as a Falcon 4 145 but more area than a Falcon 4 170.
- The Alpha 210 has about the same span as a Falcon 4 170, but more area than a Falcon 4 195.
- The Alpha 180 uses the same size control bar as the Falcon 4 145
- The Alpha 210 uses a control bar size between that of the Falcon 4 170 and Falcon 4 195.
The Alphas fly very slowly, and are very docile and easy in handling, take-off and landing. Yet, the Alphas have exceptionally good soaring performance – better in fact in very light lift and small thermals than a Falcon. Unlike the Condor, the Alpha is a fully airworthy, utility class glider, and can be sold to new students or experienced pilots. The Alpha will be a better first purchase glider for most new pilots than a Falcon, and almost as easy for first training flights as a Condor. In some ways they will be easier – because they are smaller gliders, they are easier to ground handle if there is wind. Their launching speed will probably not be quite as slow as the Condor, but it will be very close. The minimum flying speed on the Alpha 180 is within 1 mph of that of the Condor 225, and the minimum flying speed on the Alpha 210 is within 1 mph of that of the Condor 330, and almost 2mph slower than that of the Condor 225. Since the Condor is only approved for flight within a few feet of the ground, anyone who is going to progress beyond the first day of training will need to be able to adapt to launching something other than the Condor, and the Alpha is, by far, the easiest next step - quite a bit easier in every respect than a Falcon.
The retail price of the Alpha is $100 less than the Falcon 4 - $3,775 for stock colors.
|Specifications||Alpha 180||Alpha 210|
|Glider Weight (lbs)||46||51|
|Hook-In Weight (lbs)||120-200||150-280|
|Optimum Body Weight (lbs)||120-150||150-220|
|Length (in bag) (in)||215||228|
The Alpha should allow a new student to achieve their ratings in 3/4 the time needed on a Falcon.