My hopes for a warm spring were dashed. I’ve gone flying a few times this spring, but the windows of opportunity were short- always nestled between frigid dry jet stream days and the calm before a looming storm from the North Atlantic.
Memorably, I teamed up with Johnson Qu to demo the sport in Massachussets for a couple of interested folks. I lasted about 10 minutes before my fingers froze and I had to land. The field was littered with mercifully frozen-solid dog turds, so no foul debris made it into my car or on to my wing.
Then a couple weeks later, some new wings came in, and an old one: A Dudek Hadron 20-meter. It is actually new from the factory, but has been in a box since 2015. The design is from 2011, but they nailed it, so they’re reproducing the same design in 2017 and labelling it the Hadron 1.1. People loved this wing, and I can see why– it’s easy to launch, fast, efficient, and has simpler controls compared to the newer Hadron XX. I had the opportunity to test its surprising stability in turbulence (air has been weird around here). Before flying it for the first time, I kited it for at least an hour. After my cavalier approach to new wings in Mexico and the damage inflicted to my body, I took a rightfully cautious approach.
In the end, the Dudek Hadron is a fun wing for an experienced pilot looking for an fast and efficient cruiser. It is by no means a beginner wing, but the positive pitching moment of the reflex profile kept the wing open and over my head even in chaotic Spring convergence lift. Though the Hadron XX is unquestionably a more efficient wing, this highly-loaded Hadron 20 kept me climbing in 100-300 foot/minute lift for 10 minutes while I coasted, engine idling, back to the airport.