Test flight

Two-liner | cells: 65 | aspect ratio: 6.7 | weight: 3.15 kg - size 17 | (EN/LTF D)

XENON – Pure racing spirit

The XENON (EN/LTF D) is an ultralight two-liner for experienced pilots. Excellent glide performance, simple handling and a high degree of stability guarantee extensive XC miles without the risk of fatigue.

Reliable in extreme situations. Challenging launches, long flights in changeable conditions and spot landings in rough terrain - this is what the Red Bull X-Alps is all about. The XENON (EN/LTF D) was designed to rise to these extreme situations. It offers pilots who want to get the most out of an XC day the perfect package of performance and safety. Thanks to a clever mix of materials, the superlight XENON is also extraordinarily durable.

Achieve top flight. Even at launch you will notice the simple handling, which ensures effortless thermalling for many hours. In accelerated straight flight, the XENON impresses with its glide performance and speed. The great stability and moderate pressure on the B-area allow this performance to be utilised in a relaxed manner, even in lively air. Therefore collapses are really rare. If the XENON does collapses, the reaction is tame for a glider of this aspect ratio. It does not tend to reopen abruptly, responds well to input during asymmetric collapses and shows no tendency to stall during a frontal.

Smart use of materials. With the XENON, we spared no effort to increase performance -including with the choice of materials. Nitinol rods fitted throughout the wing depth of the upper surface increase stability and thus performance. Nitinol is kink-resistant due to its shape memory and has better length stability than conventional nylon reinforcements. When it comes to the cloth, we rely on robust and dimensionally stable cloth in the front area of the upper surface. On the trailing edge we also dispensed with the lightest cloth available in favour of greater stability. This cloth is used for the entire undersurface and the main parts of the upper surface. Optimised in this way, the weight of the XENON is 3.15 kg in size 17.

No compromise with the risers. We use 8 mm slim Kevlar webbing for the risers, which twist very little despite their narrow width. Thanks to their great length stability, the clearly arranged risers make a significant contribution to the trim stability of the XENON. We are happy to accept that the risers weigh about 30 g more per pair than, for example, ultra-light Dyneema "shoelaces". After all, high trim stability and easy riser and line sorting before take off are essential not only during the X-Alps.
The Height-Adjustable B-Handles (HAB-Handles) can be adjusted to six different heights and thus optimally adapted to pilot size and harness geometry. The individual adjustment of the B-handles enables more effective glider control in accelerated flight. For weight reduction, we use carbon as an extraordinarily light material. For even more performance, the XENON offered a special solution for the riser: due to a moveable pulley on the B3 main line, the optimum wing twist is maintained even when pulling on the B-handles.

Photos: Fabian Gasteiger, Vera Polaschegg

Pilot target group

The XENON (EN/LTF D) was designed for experienced XC pilots and hike & fly competitions. It is also perfect for those who are flying a two-liner for the first time. The XENON is as challenging as its aspect ratio of 6.7 would suggest. To meet the requirements for the pilot target group, we recommend experience in the safe control of gliders with an aspect ratio of at least 6.

New Features

Optimal combination of cloths. For the nose we use the dimensionally stable and UV-resistant Dominico 20D (34 g/m2). On the upper surface trailing edge we also prioritised stability over minimal weight and chose Skytex27 C2 (29 g/m2). On the entire undersurface and most of the upper surface, we use Dominico 10D (25 g/m2), which is outstanding in terms of weight, packing volume and UV resistance. The entire internal construction is made from Skytex27 hard (27 g/m2), and has been additionally reinforced at particularly loaded points on the profile ribs and diagonal ribs.

Efficient risers. Despite the slim width of 8 mm, the Kevlar risers have an extremely low tendency to twist. Thanks to their great length stability, they make a significant contribution to the trim stability of the wing. The Height-Adjustable B-handles can be adjusted and optimally adapted to pilot size and harness geometry. Due to the moveable pulley on the B3 main line, the optimum wing twist is maintained, even when pulling on the B-handles.

Speed optimised aerodynamics. The development of the XENON focused on speed. The profile ensures a high degree of pitch stability even at low angles of attack. In numerous simulations, the ballooning or stress distribution was refined to minimise the deformation of the glider at full speed. The cell openings are designed so that the internal pressure remains perfect even in accelerated flight. The result of these measures is excellent glide performance with exceptionally high stability.

Video: Development and testing phase

Quote from ...

... Philipp Medicus (Head of R&D / NOVA)

"The development of the XENON was particularly exciting because we have enthusiastic XC and hike & fly pilots in the development team who are fascinated by the X-Alps and bivouac flying. From a technical point of view, the XENON is interesting because the target group demands a purist concept. You have to weigh up - literally - exactly what the glider needs and what is omitted to save weight."

... Toni Bender (Toni on Tour / NOVA)

“To fly this glider I happily drive to Bassano for the day and then back home in the evening. It really is fun to fly. In terms of potential, the wing reminds me a little of the 1995 XENON. The 'old' XENON was by far the most successful competition glider in its day."


Technical data

    17 18
Number of cells  


Projected span m 9,49 9,78
Projected area 17,35 18,42
Projected aspect ratio   5,20
Flat span m 11,65 12,00
Flat area 20,24 21,49
Flat aspect ratio   6,70
Line length m 7,22 7,44
Total line length m 182,64 188,49
Max. chord m 2,16 2,23
Weight kg 3,15 3,30
Recommended take off weight kg 65-80 75-90
Certification (EN/LTF)   D D






A two-liner has the advantage of less line drag. Even more important is the so-called B-steering, which is particularly relevant to accelerated flight. With it, you can very directly change the angle of attack of the paraglider and thus compensate for turbulence. Ultimately, this enables faster flying through turbulent air than would be possible with a three-liner.

B-steering means controlling the wing using the Height-Adjustable B-Handles (HAB Handles). As an alternative to control via the brake lines, pitch and direction control can thus be carried out in accelerated flight without deforming the airfoil in a way that reduces performance.

For even more performance, the XENON offered a special solution for the riser: pull the B-handle and the outermost B main line shortens only half as much as the two inner ones. Consequently, the B-steering has the same effect as releasing the speed-bar. The wing twist and thus the glide performance remains optimised in both cases.

Rods made of Nitinol, a nickel-titanium alloy, can be bent (e.g. when packing up the equipment) but always return to their original shape. As if they could remember… This is why they are called “memory materials”.

Compared to the nylon rods often used in paraglider construction, the Nitinol rods are characterised by their shape memory and they are also particularly resistant to kinking. Nitinol is also very stable in length and lighter than nylon with the same stiffness. With these advantages, the price for Nitinol is accordingly higher.

Light, high performance, yet still durable. That is our aim, which we have realised in the construction of the XENON. For this reason we did not pursue lightness at all cost. In parallel we always kept an eye on the durability of the wing. This includes good UV resistance of the cloth. With the XENON we refute the cliché that an X-Alps glider only lasts for one race. It will accompany pilots on long cross-country flights far beyond the competition. Its durability is comparable with our classic lightweight XC wings like the MENTOR Light in our EN B range. In addition, our comprehensive guarantee "NOVA Protect" also applies to the XENON.

The best way to pack your XENON is to use the Concertina Bag Light which is included in the delivery. Please check the manual for more information.

The TRITON 2 Light (EN/LTF C, EN CCC) was designed by NOVA for the 2014 X-Alps race and has since been discontinued. The TRITON 2 Light and the XENON (EN/LTF D) are distinguished by the glider class and their respective construction as three- or two-line gliders. Both are designed for cross-country flying during competitions. However, the XENON is superior to the TRITON 2 Light in terms of performance.