The latest addition in the family of simple wings, EN A, is a new MuSCat3 made by Ukrainian manufacturer Sky Country, which is able for sale since March 2016. The wing looks tight: it only has 39 sections and aspect ratio of 4,8. In return it has a big arch and a new thick wing profile. MuSCat3 is created mainly for training and its manufacturing quality is simply the best: Porcher fabric, covered dynema and aramid lines. The leading edge has a 3D-cut and short nylon rods specially rounded to create the shark nose, that is fast impossible to avoid (although it’s not really expressed). Cut and fabrication are excellent. The wing weights 5,5 kilo and is completed by a concertina from air-penetrable fabric.
After the careful research on the ground you can see a simple inner structure of the wing, that can be explained by a large amount of lines of upper level that lessen the weight on multiple sections. Air-intakes are wide and rods in the leading edge simplify the shaping of the wing. All lines are covered and are not subject to tangling. Preflight preparation of the lines is very easy: you only need to make a couple of moves with brake handles. Risers are made from wide 25mm webbing and brake handles with neoprene feel very comfortable in your hand. Accelerator with dynema line has two small pulleys with ball bearings.
The first meeting with the wing takes place in the form of land training on the lawn of the flight school. MuSCat3 is very simple. It is filled with air immediately, the filling is full of energy without any additional moves of separate parts of the wing. The wing enters the flight position not sharp but also without any hanging.
The first flight brings the first impressions. MuSCat3 is very easy on start, it’s very tolerate to possible pilot’s mistakes on start and in wing control. The wing won’t go in front of the pilot, even if he doesn’t use handles in the final part of the ascent. The wing takes the load clearly and smoothly, step by step during the run. Direct gliding to escape the start zone. The wing goes directly as if it were on the rails and shows us an incredible stability on every axis. Balance speed is 38 km/h. By huge load on the accelerator the wing goes up to 49 km/h. The leading edge is fantastic on that speed and it’s far and far away from folding. Aerodynamic quality of Muscat is quite fine, it can easily conquest such wings as Ozone Mojo, Gin Bolero5, Niviuk Koyot3.
The brakes are very informative, mainly thanks to expressed load on them. Brakes’ travel is not less than 70 cm and it forgives rude control which is typical for beginners. It’s simple to achieve the coordination of brakes and weight control, because the wing doesn’t roll sharply, but smoothly and step by step. That’s what you need for the beginner to feel sure. Big ears are easy to fold due to special A’ riser. They open fast and on their own.
Minimal descent speed can be achieved by well (approximately 25 cm) used handles. But it’s very far from stall. It can be easily rolled by loaded brakes and allows to change roll angle by weightshift on strongly pulled brakes – it is very controllable and leveling. It’s not a problem for Muscat to get high in the clouds. It’s very comfortable thanks to the strong pitch damping.
Three rounds of a deep spiral to a quick descent. While the roll angle is growing, the wing begins to fall and allows a quick descent. The spiral escape is simple and it doesn’t require any active control from the pilot, but can loose the energy by itself. Some flying on a low speed to appreciate the ability of the wing for a deep stall. Muscat seems to be a right choice for proximity landing: the glide ratio falls rapidly on a low speed. It so nice! The landing is so easy, when you use a classic landing technic, that it becomes just a formality.
I was deeply impressed by simplicity of Muscat from the very beginning and I gave it to beginners with no doubts. Muscat showed great results on training hills, first flights with great difference in height, first turbulence. It is really a cool wing for training that meets all my requirement for a wing of such type. My students, who was using Muscat, learn flying easy and comfortably without annoying me with questions. Having controlled the emotions after the first “big flight” (a flight with a huge difference in the heights) they controlled Muscat with no surprise, no difficulties. Do you need a turn? Muscat gives it to you, a good one and with no exceptions. Turbulence during the landing? Did you really feel it? 😉 Muscat is excellent at smoothing bad weather conditions. A too deep turn with too much speed escape? Even this is not a problem for Muscat. There is no critical roll angle, the wing is stable fast immediately. That’s a great job!
So, as an instructor I would say that Muscat is a very comfortable wing, first of all. It flies good enough to soar in thermals, it’s calm enough to forgive control mistakes (up to complete absence of control!), but in the same time informative enough for the student to learn a correct turns without any difficulties. For more experienced pilots it also has no problems: easy preflight preparation, easy start, fast loading of the wing and calm turn that doesn’t need any special control technics. All in all, the wing has a calm character. Bravo!
Ask if you can use such an EN A out of flight school? Of course, you can! Muscat flies good enough for any conditions (and not only for strong mountain flights). Muscat is so comfortable that it provides a great relaxation to more experienced pilots who are used to equipment of a higher class. Small XC flights with Muscat made me smile, where I needed to work hardly on a sports wing. Muscat allows you leave handles and make photo while you are achieving height in a thermic area. Yes, there are wings in EN A class that give you full flights and complete satisfaction of the flight. But the main thing about them is that comfort and trust to such wings by flights in tight weather.
Wing by Sky Country are a seldom quest in the sky of southern France and that’s a pity, because the materials and production quality are pristine. It is easy to catch that Sky Country tries to produce good wings with a price a bit smaller than the typical market price. Main typical sizes do have certification now and possible claims are small, for example a size mismatch of accelerator line and its pulley (the line doesn’t fit into the pulley and can escape its place).
I didn’t need much time to make a conclusion. It is a simple wing with solid construction and easy in use that is quite competitive. But for me more important was that joy which Muscat can give to the beginners from land trainings and up to the first distant flights. I think that many schools should take notice of Muscat. I did like it. And even more I liked the smiles on the faces of my students. MuSCat3 is recommended for use with no limitations!