The T3 is the best glider that I have flown in 32 years. Most coordinated, balanced and nicest handling glider I have ever had, in both light and strong thermal conditions. Fun and performance at the top like I’ve never experienced before.
The first two T3s were introduced at the 2019 Governador Valadares meet in Brazil by Filippo Oppici and Alvaro Figueiredo Sandoli (Nene). Filippo took the podium in first place and Nene was close behind in third against a strong international field. A few weeks later, more T3s debuted at the first week of the 2019 US Nationals in Florida. Although we missed the top podium position, T3s took 2nd through 5th, including 3 of 4 day wins, 7 of the top 10 places, and the only 2 gliders in goal on the longest 247 km task. In the second week of the US Nationals, T3 pilots finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd, so altogether 7 of 9 possible podium positions in the first 3 meets after the first 2 T3s were released.
All T3s feature a system of bearings integrated into the tip wand receptacles. This configuration provides a significant improvement in handling and control authority that is especially and increasingly evident as more VG is applied. At any VG setting, you don’t have to plan as far ahead to initiate a turn which allows you to work small scraps of lift more effectively. This extra control pays dividends whenever absolute authority and precision is a priority like landing in turbulent conditions.
The wand receptacle assembly is also extraordinarily effective for fine-tuning lateral and longitudinal trim characteristics so it’s quick and easy to correct a turn, adjust roll stability or change VG-related transient trim speeds.
Climb performance is unquestionably improved compared to the T2C. The ability to fly slower, with more precise control and more VG activated consistently produces superior climb rates. With full VG on glide, you are unlikely to get overpowered by rough air. The extra flexibility in the outboard wing helps performance throughout the speed range because the sail adapts more effectively to the lift distribution throughout the wide angle of attack range from stall to Vd and because you can control the glider precisely without inducing unwanted yaw excursions.
Redesigned and Refined Sail
The sail has been through refinements to the fit and finish, to the planform shape, and with a new panel layout and bottom surface colour pattern. You can choose bottom surface colours for 4 graphic elements—perimeter forward of the W, the W, the central area behind the W and the large panel which is also available in UVP2LX clear-black laminate. All T3s include UV-film laminate top surface. T3 Race and Team editions include Technora laminates with carbon reinforcement on the top surface to prevent any stretch or deformation at the tightest VG settings. The laminate ‘window’ bottom surface option is also included with Race and Team editions. Check out your options with the T3 colour-picker.
Carbon Fiber Raked Tips
All T3s are configured with raked tips. Raked tips improve performance at low speeds by effectively increasing span and reducing induced drag. They also improve stall behaviour and control authority at high angles of attack, especially while thermalling, by mitigating stall propagation over the wingtips.
ACLER – Advanced Composite Leading Edge Reinforcement
The new composite leading edge inserts are made from high-temp Kevlar and carbon fibre pre-preg and are produced at Wills Wing in high-pressure closed aluminium moulds. They precisely fit the leading edge airfoil curvature and have additional geometric features to make them stiffer than simple carbon sheets. Compared to conventional inserts, these inserts are longer, lighter, don’t compromise the handling and support the leading edge panel far more effectively at higher speeds. ACLER inserts are standard on the Team Edition and optional on other trim levels.
Carbon Fiber Over-molded Battens
Our carbon fibre over-moulded battens are produced in-house and are available for the longest 4 battens which are most subject to destabilizing and performance-robbing deformation in high-speed glides. The unidirectional and woven carbon fibre adds only 15 – 18 grams of weight per batten but increases the strength and stiffness by a factor of 3. Carbon-reinforced battens are standard on the Team Edition and optional on lower trim levels.
The T3 is Available in Three Configurations
|Options||T3||T3 Race||T3 Team|
|*New* Bearing Tips||Y||Y||Y|
|Customer choice of colors||Y||Y||Y|
|Black Anodized Airframe and Hardware||Y||Y||Y|
|Carbon Fiber Basetube||Y||Y||Y|
|Carbon Fiber Raked Tips||Y||Y||Y|
|Carbon Fiber Rear Leading Edges and Sprogs||Y||Y||Y|
|UV-Film Laminate Top Surface||Y||Y||Y|
|UV-Film Laminate Technora-Carbon Top Surface||Y||Y|
|Laminate Bottom Surface||Y||Y|
|Carbon Fiber Kickstand Stinger||Y||Y|
|8 Foot Carbon-Kevlar Leading Edge Reinforcements||Y|
|Coloured Batten pockets||Y|
|Carbon Fiber Front Leading Edge||Y|
|12 Foot ACLER Carbon Fiber Leading Edge Reinforcements||Y|
|Carbon Fiber Reinforced Battens (#9-12)|
|Specification||T3 144||T3 154|
|Glider Weight (kg)||32.2||33.1|
|Hook-In Weight (kg)||73-107||84-129|
|Optimum Body Weight (kg)||68-82||82-91|
|Nose Angle (deg)||127-132||127-132|
|Double Surface (%)||92||92|
|Length (in bag) (m)||5.0||5.2|
Now that I have a day off from the competition, here is my full assessment. I received my TIII 144 in February 2019. I transitioned from my 2017 T2C 144 and can say that the handling is much sweeter on the III. I find myself entering thermals and not dumping the VG as the glider is rock-solid in the initial turn. It climbs really well with the new carbon extended tips and leading-edge cup bearings. I feel that I have much better control in the inter-thermal glides and am much better able to take advantage of the lift lines to get an improved glide. I now have over 90 hours on the glider and over 1650 miles. This is without a doubt the best hang glider I have ever owned. I am looking forward to taking it to Texas on my big journey to Canada in two months. Super job Wills Wing!!