ECHO 2 is a multi-purpose superstar, a quiver of one! Whether you’re a relative beginner or have 20 flying years under your belt, she’s safe and accessible, with fun handling and good performance. We found a solution to the lightness/durability paradox with clever cloth combos that mean she’s light but still durable, and easy to handle too. So whether you fly locally, hike, travel or vol-bivouac, the ECHO 2 is everything you need.
With the ECHO 2 we wanted to make something nice and light, that is easy to fold and carry. At the same time, it had to be user-friendly, not too fragile and have really usable performance.
The ECHO 2 is made entirely from high quality and industry proven Porcher cloth, mostly in 27g/m2 weight for both surfaces. On the leading edge there is sturdy 38g/m2 cloth in the center where it is needed for additional strength and to ensure longevity.
There are small rods in the leading edge, but none are very long, and there are no rods in the back of the sail so it’s easily foldable and can be packed small.
We opted for the same risers as are on the EPIC 2, because they are much easier to handle than Dyneema ‘rope’ style risers, and this wing is designed to be accessible to lower-airtime pilots. We also kept to sheathed lower lines for the same reason, especially for rocky or awkward launches. They are easier to see, so you can spot if they are caught around anything before you try to launch, and it means they can be color coded so you can easily tell the lines apart.
We worked a LOT on perfecting the launch, and from the feedback we’re getting we reckon we got it right. The light sail comes up like a dream and settles over your head till you decide to go. No holding back or over-flying, and no hurtling forwards at high speed in strong winds. It’s easy and relaxing, just the way we like it!
While safety is always a priority with a low-B wing, the ECHO 2 included, we also wanted the ECHO 2 to have really usable performance. It is a bit faster than the original, and we’ve used a similar B/C steering system to that on the BASE 2, on the EPIC 2 and ECHO 2. You can safely explore the whole bar travel, and learn to correct your direction with the rear risers. There won’t be a lot of pitch-correction to manage with the ECHO 2, and rear-riser steering is a good method to get used to if you’re a newer pilot moving up through the glider levels. If you’d rather not use it yet, that’s fine. The way it’s designed it does not clutter the risers, and can be ignored until you’re ready.
Long brake travel helps avoid an accidental stall or spin, and the brakes are beautifully precise and direct. The handling is BGD through and through – playful and fun and the colors have crept onto the undersurface too for even more pzazz. (And as the pilot you get to see them too, bonus!)