ANDA reviewed in Parapente+ magazine
Parapente+ published an ANDA test in issue 488 (May/June 2023). We have permission to publish the article, so here it is (auto-translated). Nice choice of cover photo too!
In the world of light wings, where concepts abound, the Anda clearly states what it is... A very accessible free flight wing (EN A), high-performance in its category and rather sophisticated, but of minimum weight. Do you want to progress on sites just out of school, or take it for a hike? There's no doubt about it, it's not going to limit you, it's designed for it all.
A look at the design
BGD produces gliders with an impeccable surface finish... Such is the case with the Anda. Thanks in particular to the Chord Cut Billow (CCB) system, which has been in use since the first models. This cutting of the fabric elements gives it a very smooth nose profile. And that's an important factor in its aerodynamic efficiency. All the fabric is made from Porcher Skytex 27 g/m2 double-coated fabric (Classic 2), with the exception of the leading edge, which is 32 g/m2 for greater durability in this exposed area.
Bruce Goldsmith has been designing paragliders for over 30 years. Even at the time of Airwave, his first brand, he was already optimising the structure of his wings. The Anda benefits from these years of experience. The internal architecture, particularly complex on a wing of this aspect ratio, makes for a very homogeneous whole. The line, all in coloured but unsheathed Aramid-Kevlar (in Edelrid Pro Dry from the new 8001 series) is a daring choice for this type of wing. I was a bit surprised... The unsheathed lines are sometimes difficult to untangle, but here it's particularly smooth and easy. The only drawback is that they tend to 'pick up' any small branches or roots. The pilot will therefore have to be more careful on this type of terrain.
The risers are made from thin 12mm Kevlar webbing. BGD has prioritised ease of use over weight. A control pulley has been preferred to a friction ring, the use of which has been controversial following a number of cases of abnormal brake line wear. The handles are fitted with a riser attachment system (called Snap-Lock) which is one of the best I've used so far. The speed bar is attached using a slip knot, which removes any potential problems associated with hooks.
The line-accelerator link is provided by soft-links (Dyneema rings). They're lighter than carabiners, so you don't have to change a line very often.
The Anda is available in 5 sizes, ranging in weight from 50 to 130 kg. Each one is EN A, and they have also been re-tested in weight ranges extended by +10 kg (when the glider is overloaded, with mountain equipment for example), while retaining the same certification... Which is rare enough to merit a mention.
A surprising wing (in a good way!)
The inflation must be done very gently. There's no need to set off like a fury, even downwind. The Anda will inflate much better if you start walking. In this phase, it is very tolerant of pitching. If you let go of the risers too early or too late, or if the pilot doesn't use the brakes correctly, the Anda will still inflate. It's perfect for beginners! BGD says on its website: "Turning will be easy and precise". And it's true, in fact all the piloting is. In fact, it's quite impressive, because on the one hand, the symmetrical travel on the controls is such that without brake input and a lot of effort, the wing won't stall. On the other hand, it can be flown with an amplitude of around twenty centimetres and is really light on the controls. In thermals, it requires little or no work to optimise the outer wing. Of course, keeping a bit of support from the outside hand will help you get the most out of your performance in lift. But a beginner pilot will easily be able to exploit the air mass by using just one control and maintaining a thin line of brake on the outside. Its glide ratio is good. I compared it with two EN A's of the same generation and, objectively, the Anda was better in this respect. Admittedly, not a point more... But a little better. Accelerated, it's still an EN A. If there's one speed at which all the wings in this category are penalised, it's at the accelerator. On landing, the final flare is very forgiving. If the pilot brakes too early, the Anda doesn't have a marked tendency to climb, so there's no need to give up to avoid a resource that would end in a dive. The pilot waits and finishes braking just before the ground. If he gets caught out and brakes late, it's still effective.
Well, if he waits for ground contact, then it's too late, but the problem isn't with the glider! I told you about its long travel... If I had to take a wing to get into precision landing, it would be this one. With almost 50 cm of control travel, the glide ratio shouldn't be more than 2.5 or 3 and it still flies, with a little margin for flare. It's amazing! I'd like to add a small note on the extended PTV. My friend Philou tried the Anda M (usual all-up weight 75-95 kg, rising to 105 kg) at a weight just under this maximum. It's still disconcertingly easy. It's quick to take off and easy to flare on landing. And in the air, it's still a classic paraglider, nothing like some mini gliders.
The Anda comes with a very practical compression bag that makes folding quick and easy. Its volume is then much less than a classic paraglider of the same category. And its weight is barely above that of the most optimised dual-surface light gliders, which don't claim to offer the same performance as a traditional wing. It seems to me to be a fairly ideal compromise for combining walking and flying, with safe practice on sites. Its performance and the precision and lightness of its controls make it a very pleasant wing to fly. It will therefore suit a wide range of pilots, from hikers to beginners, occasional pilots (of which there are many), all those who wish to progress, as well as travellers who never part with their glider.
Test conditions: Samoëns, late March and early April. Several flights in all conditions, including spring thermals.
Pilots Laurent van Hille at 75kg all-up on the S and Philippe Aumis on the M. Classic seated harnesses.