Fizz
Fizz

Fizz... our high performance kingpost glider

With the Fizz, we aim at the top place among the high performance gliders with king-post. The Fizz sets new standards with its thermalling qualities as well as its performance in faster glide mode and in cross-country flying. In 2017, the Fizz SE (SE = special edition) is available, a further refined version of the Fizz with a top-of-the-line configuration (see below). Of course, the improved finetuning of frame and sail is implemented also in the serial version of the Fizz 2017.

Today, most pilots prefer light, uncomplicated but high performance gliders. Heavy topless competition gliders tend to take the fun out of flying, and the price for these sophisticated machines is often not warranted in view of the performance gain. In 2006, our response was the kingposted high performance glider Kite. Its light handling and very good thermalling characteristics were (and still are) a source of pleasure for many pilots. The Fizz continues this development line with improved flight performance over the entire speed range, in particular at higher speeds.

The sail determines the performance of a glider. With form stable, expensive sail materials, a new wing with a thin airfoil was created, which is perfectly adapted to the flexibility of the leading edge tube assemblies. Winglets are at the sail ends. The wing has a shorter chord at the keel than the Kite, and a double surface of 90%. The leading edge tubes are stiffer at the quarter-span. The frame and cables are safe and tested components. Everything is easy and simple to inspect, damage can be repaired economically.

After delivering numerous Fizz gliders, it’s time for an evaluation, based (as always) on the feedback we receive from our customers. At this occasion, a heartfelt thanks to all of you! You can find the client's feedbacks on the bottom of this page.

Without exaggeration, we can say that our customers’ feedback has been unanimously positive. This is a bit of a (pleasant) surprise, as the reports come from very different pilots. Among the Fizz pilots, there are “young guns” flying their first high-performance glider, experienced soaring and cross-country pilots (both male and female) as well as “old eagles” beyond the age of professional retirement. They often emphasize the precise information the glider gives about the surrounding air, the benign stalling characteristics, the directional stability and well-balanced turning and the good landing properties. Nonetheless, it has to be kept in mind that the Fizz is not an intermediate, but a high-performance hang glider which requires precise and anticipatory flying. Due to the flat glide angle, the landing approach has to be set up more carefully than with an intermediate glider. You can optionally also order a fin which increases the directional stability in fast flight and on the winch.

As for flight performance, we are of course fully aware that much depends on the pilot. Nevertheless: All reports mention that the Fizz is an extremely good climber. Whether in weakest thermals or in turbulent air – the Fizz enables the pilot to make the most of the weather conditions. A low sink rate and a good climbing performance, combined with an easy, well-coordinated handling, often make the difference between staying up or going down, and we hear time and again that Fizz pilots “stayed up”. When it comes to gliding against the wind, there are often wing-to-wing comparisons, also with topless high-performance gliders. And in these cases there has been quite some astonishment on both sides about how “close” the Fizz is to those expensive machines. We have no doubt that the Fizz is, also in terms of flight performance, among the very best kingposted gliders; and all this with a simple and robust construction without any load-bearing glass or carbon-fiber parts.

The Fizz is our best design so far. We are convinced that the Fizz matches the expectations of demanding recreational and cross-country pilots.

  • best thermalling and climbing characteristics
  • very good glide ratio in wind penetration or fast flight
  • easy launch and landing characteristics
  • safety tested for DHV airworthiness requirements
  • Bautek maintenance and repair service

Fizz Specialties

  • full Mylar sail of high quality One Design Laminat (Technora Black)
  • 90% double surface sail
  • thin wing profile with 24 top and 6 bottom battens
  • high aspect ratio; 152 sqft wing area
  • VG extended travel with a 24-to-1 advantage
  • radial wingtips with winglets
  • spring loaded side wires
  • optional profiled aluminum basebar with split wheels

Upgrade 2014/15 

  • CNC-milled upright brackets
  • Stiffer battens for improved performance and pitch stability
  • profiled aluminum base bar with low-drag wheels or carbon skids (optional)
  • aerodynamically improved nose cone attachment
  • Fibreglass wingtips with improved shape (new: included in standard configuration)
  • Continuation of the colour scheme on the wingtips (optional)

Fizz SE 2017 - our top-of-the-line glider

The Fizz SE is the result of our constant effort to optimize our high-performance glider. A light, transparent double surface made from ODL, extra-stiff 10mm carbon battens and an improved finetuning of frame and sail result in higher aerodynamic stability, better handling and further improved glide performance.

Thanks to many clever construction details the set up and break down of this glider is exemplary simple, and without effort.

Standard equipment Fizz SE:

  • Upper / lower sail made of high quality ODL laminate
  • colored batten pockets
  • Extra-stiff 10mm CFRP battens (top and bottom sail)
  • Carbon insert leading edge (center)
  • profiled Speedbar with milled aerodynamic corner elements
  • colored sail end caps in shark fin design
  • on request with fin and divisible wheels

 

Frame and Cables

The Fizz has the classic and time tested kingpost construction, without luff-lines, but with sprogs inside the double sail. With the VG detensioned, the side wires (flying wires) are almost tight and spring loaded. This means the steel springs act as shock absorbers in turbulence at sudden loading and unloading of the flying wires, load extremes are dampened and pilot comfort is higher. The Fizz packs short to 13.5 ft and weighs 69 lbs. The slightly higher weight results from a stiffer leading edge and the greater hook-in weight of 260 lbs. and take-off weight of 328 lbs; this allows all typical engine and electrical start systems to be used with the Fizz.

All wing tubes are 50‐52 mm, the crossbar is 60‐62 mm, the keel is 50‐48 mm Alum. 7075 , 0.9 mm thickness. Kingpost and down tubes are of the low drag Bautek profile, which is a little heavier than normal for these components but can tolerate a bit more abuse. Upon request, the keel, trapeze and kingpost tubes are available in black (+ € 150,- incl. 19% VAT).

The hang point is up on the kingpost. The stainless steel cables are smooth without plastic coating for lower drag. Lower side cables and top rigging are 2.5 mm for extra strength and safety. A profiled Aluminum speedbar, which allows for split wheels to be mounted, is optional. From 2014, new CNC-milled brackets are delivered, adding to the premium-quality of the glider.

The Sail

The Fizz too has radial wingtips, no fiberglass “sticks” to bend. This saves not only energy during set‐up and break-down, but also protects the sail ends from wear and tear, since the sail can be rolled up without fold at the end. Winglets with Velcro attachment close the wing at the outside. Improved fibreglass winglets are now part of the standard configuration. The mainsail is an all Mylar sail, made out of transparent ODL‐Laminate, the leading edge can be PX 10 or ODL. The double sail material is 180 g heavy polyester fabric in standard available colors.

Start

The Fizz is neutral on the shoulders and easy to control on launch. The integral spring system reduces slack in the the side wires to a minimum when the VG is off; so there is no problem to set proper attitudes and balance for the start. Pilots, who like “tight” side wires for launching, can do so with ca. 3 ft pulled out on the VG.

Flight

The Fizz has a very efficient variable geometry (VG) which can increase the sail tension in flight. With loose VG the wing has more twist (remember the “Twister”), is neutral in turns and has a light, agile handling. For the first flight, half tensioned VG is recommended to avoid over controlling. Even with VG full on the Fizz can still be controlled around the vertical axle. In that configuration the wing has little twist and the best glide ratio. The Fizz should preferably be steered by short control impulses, especially at higher speeds; e.g. when winch- or aero‐towed. For a futher increase of directional stability (in particular for winch or aerotowing), an optinal tail fin can be mounted to the keel. The airstream separation (stall) is smooth and is easily controlled, so that in a thermal the Fizz can be flown very slowly with optimal climb rate.

Landing

The Fizz lands easily. It glides a long way in ground effect, especially if accelerated before, but will slow down to very slow speed; at push out time (flare time) the nose comes up by itself, increases the angle of attack and drag and stand up landings are the norm already at a light breeze.

bautek Service

We earned our good reputation for service over a span of more than 30 years. With a competent and trust worthy team we are able to perform all repairs and inspections timely and economically.

Technical Specifications

  • Bautek model: FIZZ
  • HG class: DHV 3 (advanced)
  • Sail area: 152 sqft.
  • Span: 34 ft
  • Nose angle: 130 degr.
  • Aspect ratio: 7.7
  • Double surface: 90%
  • Length packed: long 18.7 ft; short 13.5 ft
  • Battens: 24 top; 6 bottom
  • Stall speed: ca. 16 mph
  • V ne (speed never to exceed): 56 mph
  • V min sink: ca 19 mph
  • V best glide: ca 28 mph
  • Take‐off weight: min 202 Lbs; max 328 Lbs
  • Hook‐in weight: min 132 Lbs; max 260 Lbs
  • Glider weight: 69 Lbs, without cover.

Price Fizz: € 6.650,- incl. 19 % VAT (serial version)

Price Fizz SE: € 8.330,- incl. 19 % VAT (serial version)

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Pilot Opinions:

 

Here you can read the opinion of Peter Müller about his first flights with his new Fizz SE (Aug.2018):

Dear Harald,

Thank you for sending FIZZ SE to the Alps. The shipment worked really well. The glider was packed in cardboard and arrived here without damage on Friday, so it probably took only two days. Respect for 5,80m and determined 43 kg gross weight. In the last few days there was a lot of flying weather on the Alps and I was able to test my new FIZZ SE under natural, partly very thermal conditions in the Allgäu Alps. In the meantime, I have made 6 takeoffs and landings, made innumerable thermal circuits and was in the air for almost 16 hours. I would like to give you some feedback, especially after your support and the season starting a little later:

Sail, construction and technology: The sail has become visually very beautiful, a real eye-catcher. Here in Oberammergau and Tegelberg some fly a "classic" Fizz, a number of towerless and of course the stare. When building it up therew was great curiosity of the fellow airmen and also envy of the beautiful wing clearly visible.

Trapeze corners and base: The new trapeze corners with the profiled speedbar seem to be very successful in terms of appearance and flow. The recessed grips in the base fit perfectly for my hands and arms. Even in high-speed flight and at crossings you can take the arms well to the body and then grips the base gently and aerodynamically in the middle of the rounding. Ergonomically, that suits perfect to me as a low-flying pilot.

Takeoff, landing, performance: The Fizz SE starts up exactly as I expected and experienced with my Twister and Spice. Easy to balance and handle, even with little wind it’s bearing fast. Love it! In the flying area familiar to me, the Fizz SE glides very well along the mountain profile. As felt and as expected with less loss of height than my previous device the last few years. Very fine! Light, delicate and central lift are instantly transformed into height without leaving the direction. Especially on my last flights, I have done some long gliding flights in moving, thermal air masses. I have analysed these flights - between 4km and 12 km with long valley crossings. It showed the gliding under realistic conditions with a glide ratio over 11, sometimes 12-13 –ie air movements and control impulse is very good! I think that's great and I increasingly trust to arrive high enough on the other side. I definitely dare to go further than before. The landing is expected to be widespread and prudent to choose. I expected that, because I wanted this wing because of the nice performance as well.


Thermal flying and rolling behavior: First and foremost: The FIZZ is rising very well. He reacts to the smallest air movement. I didn‘t like it at all times, especially at the beginning it was a bit exhausting. The reason is for sure also the new and (still) quite tight sail. Compared to my last glider with edge bow I had to relearn and I'm still on it. When flying into strong thermal or turbulent air, the FIZZ SE wants to be flown very attentively, because he wants "to do something with air movement" and thus sends clear signs to the pilot. If I was able to force my former hangglider with edge arch into the beard with little effort, once I fell out, it would not be a good idea to force the FIZZ around the "corner", because I'm just working against the supporting force which the incredibly powerful sail generates. The trick is to feel it before and not to let it come so far that you fall out. This, in turn, requires a very active pilot who knows how to handle speed and harness position, depending on the attitude and situation. And then the pilot will also be rewarded with a super rising wing and it becomes effortless and easy to handle. Just flying! Nevertheless, I keep more distance from dangerous lee side conditions and the bare rock walls than before. Maybe in the meantime  I just have more respect.

Settings: At the end of my third flight, after about 6 flying hours, I flew some Wingover with a large reserve of altitude, perhaps to stretch the sail a bit. Before the fourth flight I lowered the inner and outside sprogs inside by one turn and after the fourth flight also reduced the sheer batten tension by 360 degrees backwards. My impression is that the Fizz now rolls and circles better. He turns in neutral, I have to support neither in curves nor when "high-siding". That's how it should be. The VG is a real surprise for me. On the one hand, it is very smooth and effortless. In the meantime, I really like to use it, because the many different positions make clearly recognizable and noticeable changes to the wing behavior and thus actually make sense in the respective situations and conditions. There is not just "everything" or "nothing". Even with 100% VG the Fizz is still easy to control with the body in case the wing has to be corrected by restless air flow or a wind drift.

Conclusion: A very successful wing with its own characteristics. The Fizz wants to be attentively and sensitively flown and is rewarding you with an outstanding performance. It is a high-performance glider in a beautiful robe for the experienced pilot who frequently fly and want to enjoy the whole flight, definitely not for fresh pilots or small landing sites.