Transformation: Gin Carrera to Gin Carrera+.


After two months, the line set has arrived.

When I first demo’d the Gin Carrera, I remarked on the inability to A+C’s the wing during launch due to a rather unique riser configuration. The C3 line is mounted to a floating maillon between the main B and C attachment points. The webbing upon which this maillon rides significantly limits the C riser range of motion. The updated Carrera+ riser is expected to help address this short coming by lowering the rear attachment of the webbing strap.

Carrera Riser
Original Carrera riser layout.Note short C3.
Courtesy of Gin Gliders. 
Carrera Plus Riser
Carrera+ riser layout. Note extended C3.
Courtesy of Gin Gliders.  


The other thing that stood out was the ‘floppy’ wing tips. The brake fan layout on the first generation Carrera would engage the centre portion of the trailing edge well ahead of the tips. The byproduct of this configuration is a reduced ‘feeling’ for an impending collapse short of riding somewhat deep into the brake range. The new line layout on the Carrera+ is expected to ‘slow’ the tips and engage the trailing edge in a more even manner.

The upgrade kit itself consists of 50 lines (for XS through to M) or 56 lines (for L and XL), an instruction set, a pair of new risers, a new certification/serial number label, packing bag tab, and a ‘+’ sticker to affix to the right of the ‘Carrera’ label on the wing tip.

The instructions are a single double sided page:


The line set is organized into a collection of daisy chains, grouped by riser and by tier.

I set out to break the chains down and subgroup by pairs of individual lines.

Brake lines mid tier. Each pair (L and R) is placed in a single marked baggie.

Once all of the pairs are divided, its time to label the old lines that are to be replaced. As the instructions are not available online, I went overkill and created a label for every line, unsure which would be flagged for replacement.

Line labels.

Wing laid out in the backyard.

A check of the instructions to confirm which line is next.

Crack open the maillon, slip the line free, follow it to the attachment, un-hitch.

Place the tagged old line in a large baggie and extract the new line from its individual baggie. Check the tag holding the line pair to confirm the index (there is a slight inconsistency in how the lines are labeled on the instructions and on their tags – but it is easy to deduce what goes where).

Follow the new line end to end, being sure to follow the instructions to attach the thicker sheath portion of the bottom most lines to the bottom of the mid cascade.

Re-attach. Rinse and repeat for other lines. When done, place back on old risers in same order.

I will do the riser swap at the dealers, as he has a rigging loft when I can also check each line end to end before taking for a spin kiting.

Thus far, both sides:

  • A+Bs -> 1.5 hours
  • Brakes -> 40 mins.

Next up Cs.


As, Bs and Brakes down. The Cs took another 1.5 hours in the backyard.

Sunday morning, off to FlyBC. I need more space to spread the full wing out and trace the lines from maillon to attachment tab – to make sure nothing is crossed or wrapped.

Laid out for a quick once over.
Transformation Complete.
Laid out in the field for some kiting. Notice the Altocumulus Virga?
Quick pull up. Tips lag. A positive sign.

I also tried my hand at A+Cs, and it appears this new configurations is much more user friendly. I was concerned I might have to engage the floating Cs, but all is good.

Due to the switch winds, more kiting will be needed to ensure there are no problems (mistakes in line attachment) followed a few jaunts up and down the training hill.

Fast forward two weeks.

In the basement sits a Gin Carrera+, its lines swapped over two weeks previous. The conditions that day allowed only for a short kiting session. Inaugural flight is still in the queue.

Today: a sunny Saturday morning with questionable winds – northwest, 15+ kts. A opportunity to head for the training hill @ Diefenbaker Park and try my hand at foot launching in rotor. The recently completed South Fraser Perim Road makes short work of the drive, allowing for a bypass of Burquitlam and New West. All in all, a 40 minute drive in non existent traffic.

Arrive to find the park empty – I gather iPG is none too keen to have students out in this. Wouldn’t blame them as the conditions are leaning towards a plucked and dragged sort of day for new pilots.

7AM on a summer Saturday, this place is typically filled with students and wings. But not today.

Setting up on the southern slope facing into the park bowl, I quickly clip in during a lull. A quick duck under to face the wing and a swipe of the brakes.

The rustle of leaves from the trees to the N/W followed by a rapidly building sway in the trees down the road to my right (west) signals an approaching gust. Gloved hands fumble to get at the C’s – the risers miniscule width coupled with the new lines frustrate my efforts.

The gust builds, snatching the wing.

Pulling in the C risers, the tail is kept firmly planted. Looks like the new riser design does the job.

I use the dying wind to work the wing quickly into a wall and let it settle back onto the ground.

vlcsnap-2015-08-06-11h59m57s116 (1)


And wait…

And wait…

Another gust begins, but more west. There is enough to bring the wing up, turn, and run more or less across slope.


And wack!

The left tip falls victim to the rotor being formed off of the trees backstopping the main slope of the hill.

Kill the wing, ball it up, trudge back up.

A trio of attempts follow before calling it a day. I have one question answered – can I ground handle (thus launch) it in strong conditions?


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