The Alpha is a new model that looks and flies like a lower aspect ratio Falcon 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. The Alpha 180 has about the same span as a Falcon 4 145 but more area than a Falcon 4 170. The new Alpha 235 replaces the Alpha 210. Compared to the 210, the stall speed is lower and the controllability at speeds close to stall is significantly better.
The Alpha 180 uses the same F3-60 size control bar as the Falcon 4 145, and the Alpha 235 uses a new Falcon 3 64 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, and yet they 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 flown in any reasonable flying conditions, and purchased by new students or experienced pilots. The Alpha is 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 the Alphas are easier for students than the Condor, because they are smaller gliders, and therefore easier to ground handle if there is wind. The Alpha’s launching speed is not quite as slow as the Condor 330, but it is noticeably slower than a Falcon.
How capable is the Alpha? Willy Dydo from Fly Away Hang Gliding in Santa Barbara shared this with us, “I sold my 144 so I’ve been racking up a ton of time on the Alpha lately ( : I’ve had some amazing flights on it and have even gotten my best out and return to the West on it. So much fun to fly! It’s been making training for new pilots so much easier too. Thanks again for making such a great glider! ”