The new Snake 3 from Dudek is finally here! This long-awaited sequel to Snake XX has been spotted on social media for more than 2 years in competitions and training sessions. It is now available in 7 sizes for advanced pilots looking for next level performance for pylon racing and dynamic flying. Snake 3 is a demanding, uncompromising full reflex wing that fully lives up to its name and lineage. Incredibly fast, agile, precise in the right hands but does not suffer fools. This glider is designed for winning slalom competitions and requires your full attention. Pilots should be intimately familar with slalom class gliders and flying at a high level for several flying seasons.
Snake 3 comes with all the features we’ve come to expect on high performance Dudeks including the beloved Power Attack (PK) system that allows activation of both trimmers and speed system together with the press of the speed bar. Those considering the Snake 3 will have experience with this feature coming from many other wings in the Dudek lineup such as DriftAir and Warp. Power Attack is a mandatory feature for slalom pilots but many sport pilots use Power Attack to spice up their daily dynamic flying and enjoy full speed on tap without touching the trimmers. Most of the Snake’s speed comes from the speed bar so speed bar use should be in your regular repertoire to take full advantage of the performance from Snake 3.
Snake 3 has a lot in common with Driftair as both wings have 60 cells and a 5.8 Aspect Ratio. However, Snake 3 has shorter lines, uses significantly more unsheathed lines than Driftair, and uses a slightly different sail cloth which provides a nominal weight savings. Similar to original Warp brake line layout, Snake 3 has two more brake line attachment points on the trailing edge which extend all the way out to the wing tip when compared to the Driftair. These extra lines cause the wing tips to be engaged with the main brakes giving even without big inputs to the 2d steering system. Size for size, the Snake 3 has 15kg increased weight range than the Driftair which means pilots will be flying this glider with a higher average wingloading. The manufacturing and design improvements combined with higher wing loading give the Snake 3 a 10km/h edge over the Driftair.
We can attribute much of the performance increases to cutting edge glider design and manufacturing from the Dudek factory which now utilizes laser cutting for extreme precision. Dudek’s Leading Edge 3D (LE3D) design subdivides the leading edge panels into 3 pieces of fabric for each cell rather than a single piece for each cell. These additional cuts minmimize the wrinkling of fabric allowing the aerodynamic profile of the glider to remain true to the designed shape in the most crucial, lift-generating zones. LE3D has shown a measurable increase in glide ratio and decrease in drag. Dudek made a heavy investment in both a new factory as well as these new technologies and the results are apparent in the performance of this new generation of gliders – Snake 3 and Warp 2.
While Snake 3 is designed to fly pylons, I’ve found it also great for dynamic flying at my home site. Snake 3 effortlessly performs all freestyle maneuvers like wingovers, barrel rolls, and SATs. However, Snake 3’s most amazing characteristic by far is the amount of energy available with the speed bar and Power Attack. Pressing out the bar is good for 10+mph. Releasing the bar gives an immense but fleeting increase in momentum and altitude you can use to clear obstacles, perform maneuvers, or make tight turns. Power attack with Snake 3 gives you another tool to truly navigate your landscape in 3 dimensions.
Other noteable improvements to the Snake 3 include Slalom style toggles from the factory. The brakes lines and tip steering lines are tied into the hard bar toggle on opposite sides allowing for full and precise use of the 2D steering system when fully accellerated. The brake lines are the perfect length directly out of the box with no adjustment required. Speed bar travel distance is significantly shorter than DriftAir and Warp which required long legs to achieve pulley to pulley.