S3 Overview & Features

A Legacy of Innovation

The Sport series of gliders from Wills Wing has always defined what a sport class, recreational high-performance glider should be. The Sport 3 brings that heritage to its highest level.


Aerodynamic Refinements

The most significant aerodynamic revisions to the Sport 3 are a redesigned sail and stability system that together provide for a tighter-flatter sail and allow for lower sprog settings. This lower twist sail both significantly improves high speed performance and reduces pitch pressures at high speed. These changes also contribute to improved handling across the speed range and range of VG adjustment. The Sport 3 can also be configured with carbon fiber raked tips that increase the effective aspect ratio, reducing induced drag to further enhance low speed performance.

Redesigned Sail

Carbon Fiber Raked Tips

 


Airframe and Hardware

The Sport 3 airframe introduces new tuning options to more effectively optimize the control and handling characteristics for a wider range of sail configurations and pilot preferences. Now it’s easier than ever to tighten an older sail or loosen a crisp new wing. The Variable Geometry System has also been redesigned to be more effective and easier to pull. A Kickstand Stinger is also included to make setup and breakdown even easier.

Kickstand Stinger

 

Redesigned VG


Development Goals and Constraints

 

Lightest Weight Glider in its Class

 

Easiest to Fly and Land Glider in its Class

 

Industry’s Highest Quality Materials and Construction Standards

Most Affordable Glider in its Class

 

We were also focused on improving the fit and finish of the smallest details, like adding folded hems to zipper openings and optimizing every single patch for both appearance and effectiveness. Combined with the remarkable performance gains and the extensive service and support that you’ve come to expect from Wills Wing, the Sport 3 will exceed your expectations for sport-class soaring enjoyment.

 

Ready to order? Contact your local dealer today

Configurations and Options

The Sport 3 is available in Two Configurations

 

Options Sport 3 Sport 3 Race
Custom Colors in All Panels. Top and Bottom
Speed Battens
Black Anodized Airframe and Hardware
Kickstand Keel Stinger
Round Speedbar Basetube on request
Laminate Bottom Surface
Laminate Top Surface
Raked Tips
Price (USD MSRP) 5,575 6,475

Note: Custom color choice, black anodized airframe and speed battens were options on the Sport 2 but are now included as standard on the Sport 3.  On the base model Sport 3, panel 3 and 4 are normally cut as one panel and are therefore the same material and color. If you select different colors for panel 3 and 4, there is a split panel charge for that option.  There is no extra charge for splitting P3 and P4 if you choose the Race Trim option.

 

Other Options

Base Model Upgrade Options (Included in Race Package) Part No Retail
Custom Sail Patterns – Quoted on Request
P1 UPGRADE 170 TO 205MT 01A-A2 $90.00
P1 UPGRADE 170 TO UVPX or 240MT 01A-A29 $210.00
P4 UPGRADE 170 TO 205MT 01A-A31 $90.00
P4 UPGRADE 170 TO 240MT 01A-A321 $180.00
P3/P4 UPGRADE 170 TO UVPX 01A-A37 $360.00
MYLAR SAIL UPGRADE UVPXB/W10 P1 and UVPXB/W10 P3/P4 01A-A52 $570.00
UVP2LXB LAMINATE WINDOW BOTTOM SURFACE 01A-A816 $330.00
CARBON FIBER RAKED TIPS 01A-A91 $198.00
Additional Upgrade Options Part No Retail
CARBON SPEEDBAR UPGRADE 01A-B3 $480.00
SPLIT PANEL CHARGE 01A-A8 $150.00
COLORED BATTEN POCKETS 01A-A84 $240.00
Leading Edge Wills Wing Logo Vinyl 70H-1014 $75.00
Slipstream/Litestream Control Bar Wheel Kit 70M-1240 $140.00

Ready to order? Contact your local dealer today

Specifications

Specification Sport 3 135 Sport 3 155 Sport 3 170
Area (m^2) 12.5 14.4 15.8
Span (m) 8.9 9.6 10.1
Span w/ Raked Tips (ft) 9.1 9.8 10.2
Aspect Ratio 6.4 6.4 6.4
Aspect Ratio w/ Raked Tips 6.6 6.6 6.6
Glider Weight (kg) 24.5 26.3 29.5
Hook-In Weight (kg) 61-94 68-113 79-141
Optimum Body Weight (kg) 59-70 70-98 98-125
Double Surface (%) 85
USHPA Rating 3
Vne (kph) 85
Va (kph) 74
Vms (kph) 30
Length (m bag) (in) 4.7 5.1 5.3
Break-down (m) 3.4 3.7 3.9
Specification Sport 3 135 Sport 3 155 Sport 3 170
Area (ft^2) 135 155 170
Span (ft) 29.3 31.5 33
Span w/ Raked Tips (ft) 29.8 32.1 33.5
Aspect Ratio 6.4 6.4 6.4
Aspect Ratio w/ Raked Tips 6.6 6.6 6.6
Glider Weight (lbs) 54 58 65
Hook-In Weight (lbs) 135-200 150-250 175-310
Optimum Body Weight (lbs) 130-155 155-215 215-275
Double Surface (%) 85
USHPA Rating 3
Vne (mph) 53
Va (mph) 46
Vms (mph) 19
Length (in bag) (in) 184 200 209
Break-down (in) 136 146 155

Key to specifications

 

Ready to order? Contact your local dealer today

Comments

Mitch Keebler

After a 30 year layoff, I returned to the sport of Hang Gliding in the summer of 2017. Back in the “day”, I was a fairly competent pilot (one of a few that flew 100+ miles at Lookout Mountain), and remember my last Wills Wing glider being the big HPII monster.

When I returned in the summer, I was amazed at the performance and light weight of the Sport 2c. After a couple mountain flights on a Falcon to get reacquainted with flying, I purchased a beautiful new Sport 2C. Nothing but strong raves about how it performed, especially compared to the gliders of the 80’s.

As most pilots do, I was chomping to purchase a new glider again in the winter of 2018, and was thinking of moving to a U2C. After a quick email to Steve Pearson with lots of questions about the U2C, he said “be patient, and hang on”. A few weeks later, I noticed the beginnings on social media of a Sport 3, and found a clone of my Sport 2 being manufactured. I was definitely interested, and pushed to have the glider delivered to Lookout after Wills Wing Demos days at Wallaby Ranch in March.

During the first week of April, 2018, Wills Wing brought the glider (as well as a few others) to Lookout for a few days of spectacular flying.

My first flight was a 25 minute mountain launch scratching close to the ridge. My first impression? Amazing handling and tremendously less bar pressure. I bought it immediately.

The second day brought some special conditions. Set up was identical to the Sport 2, so nothing new there. What was new? After a light wind launch, conditions turned on dramatically, with cloud base 7,000 AGL, and some fairly significant strong thermals. I immediately noticed how easy the handling was on the S3, and how the VG played a much bigger improvement in performance with a broader range.

With a cloud street setting up from Lookout to the Sequatchie Valley, I was intrigued about going upwind with a 10 knot headwind and doing something I never did back in the 80’s; a flight from Lookout upwind to Henson’s Gap. I had several “milk run” flights the other way, but never went upwind. Until now.

I was amazed at the difference in glide performance between the S2 and S3, and with the improved handling and VG range, I was on my way to a special upwind flight of 33 miles on only my 2nd flight on the S3. The flight upwind is very intimating, since there are few to any landing fields crossing the river gorge and plateau to Henson’s. However, with the performance and handling of the new S3, there was never a doubt in my mind. What a machine!

I have since flown 60+ hours in the six months I have owned the S3, and can’t imagine any other glider on the market that provides the handling, performance, light weight, and just flat out fun of the S3. My 62 year old bones definitely appreciate this glider!

 

Tyson Richmond

The summer rain finally held off long enough for me to get a first flight on my Sport 3.    I heard after everyone else was down, people thought I had landed out, perhaps over-estimating my glide range based on years with the Litespeed.  An hour and a half later I showed up back at Wallaby (3+ hrs total) and … despite a swing and a miss for a downtube and a double-pump crappy excuse for a “flare”, the glider gave me a nice one-step landing.  I’m convinced the thing flew even better than your demo and it was FAR less tiring than any glider I can remember.

I especially liked the VG.    +/- 1/4 produced a nice bar position and speed for turning in (today’s) thermals, without constant push out or high siding.  1/4 also felt pretty good for a light-and-variable landing (more experimentation to come).  1/2 was perfect for a surprisingly low-bar-pressure aerotow (3pt, attached at carabiner and shoulders).   I also used 1/2 for some larger turns in and out of weak lift and the handling was still very nice.   3/4-4/4 gave a nice bar position and speed for glides between thermals, without having to a pullup/pressdown except when the sink was particularly vicious.  The bottom line is that the flight actually required very little energy from me.  It was geezer-friendly.  Maybe don’t put that in the brochure.
I’m still figuring out the polar.  I flew a little with a T2C and of course lost some on glide but maybe not so much that it can’t be made up by picking just a slightly better line.  Unscientifically and subjectively: the inter-thermal glide is not bad at all.  Powering through 1000 down is going to hurt, but powering through 1000 down always hurts, and with the Sport maybe I can actually hold heading while doing it.
I want to get in a few more flights before considering any tuning.  Right now I’m not sure I’d change anything.
So, thanks.  You guys did a great job!
Rudy Gotes

Flying the Sport 3 during the competition at El Peñon classic race against the U2C 145 and U2C 160 was a very interesting challenge. I was competing against Daniel Velez. He is very similar weight as me and we have been competing against each other and we have very similar level.
The Sport 3 155 at 65 km/h during transitions was doing very well against the U2C 145. The U2C 160 I noticed that had a little better performance at 65 km/h In a 5 km glide. I would be a little behind but I could climb a bit faster, so I realized that my advantage was the climb rate and the handling. At higher speeds like 85 or 95 km/h I could not beat Daniel or the U2s. I believe that a pilot that weights 85 kg with a competition Sport 3 155 will be almost better than flying a U2 145.
That handling on Sport 3 155 is amazing and it really makes a difference flying with the raked tips.

Jonathan Dietch

Tom Evans

I quite enjoyed flying the S3 135 last Friday. Setup was just like the S2 with the exception of adding 6 speed batons in the trailing edge, which were easily inserted. Launch at Crestline was breezy so thanks to Tim and Mori for watching my wires – two steps and airborne. Ridge lift easily carried me up a couple hundred feet as I worked toward BB. BB had the usual rowdy stuff happening but I found the S3 to be responsive and was able to maneuver into the stronger areas of lift and get up to 6K. I then pulled the VG tight and aimed for Pine. This is perhaps the nicest improvement to the Sport, the VG is significantly easier to pull (talking with Marc later we both agreed we used the VG more often simply because it was easier). I didn’t find any lift on my way to Pine and was starting to think of heading to Last Chance when the vario finally sounded relief. Dabbled around Pine getting up to 6.3K. Tried heading further North but couldn’t find anything. I watched Frank scratch North too only to return to Pine as well so I headed back to BB thinking of continuing South when I came across Mario. He was headed to Pine so I followed him letting him be my visual vario (Mario..vario…hmmmm). Lift was still working at Pine and I watched Mario scratch North. It still didn’t look like he was doing all that well so I chickened out and headed towards Marshall (besides, I was getting close to two hours and didn’t want to piss off Dave after he so generously let me test fly the S3). With the VG full on and a bar positioned for speed (sorry no airspeed indicator but probably around 35 mph) I flew from the lower portion of Pine ridge to Last Chance losing only 500′. I happened on a nice thermal over Cloud and couldn’t resist one more climb to 5K. I was over two hours now so I headed to the LZ. With lots of altitude to burn, I put the S3 through its range. A gradual pull in to full arm extension quickly brought the glider up to speed. The sail stayed quiet and still – not a hint of flutter. I then slowed down to full arm extension and the glider did a gradual mush through stall with no tendency to drop a wing. I sped up some and cranked tight turns in both directions feeling heavy in my harness. There was no tendency to over-bank nor was any high side input required. I did a few mild wing overs and then headed to the 750. Found more lift there but thought better of prolonging my flight and set up to land. This was my biggest concern flying a 135 as I am on the heavy side of the hook-in range. Turned out to be a complete non-event as I did a gentle two stepper and walked the noticeably lighter glider over to the shade structure. Breakdown was quick with Dave’s help (the kickstand keel keep the tips off the ground and makes it easier to roll up the sail).
I think to summarize my overall impression would be to say flying this glider was the most relaxed and confident I have felt in a hang-glider. Wills has made real improvements to an already terrific glider. It handled well, climbed well, flew straight and true when I wanted it to, and best of all, was easy on my 60 year old landing gear.

 

Retail prices listed are Wills Wing's suggested retail prices not including packaging for shipment from the factory, freight costs to the destination, import and local taxes, and dealer preparation and delivery charges.