The first wing made by the paramotor division of the prestigious German manufacturer Swing successfully meets its promises of stable flying behaviour, offering as well good qualities for cruising and a nice handling. We tried it in different conditions and with different paramotors.
After more than 20 hours of flight with the Scorpio we can highlight that it is a round glider, aimed at confirmed pilots but not difficult to fly thanks to an uncomplicated takeoff and firmness in flight that conveys confidence.
With aspect ratio of 5.96, it is glider that seems more intended for navigating at first glance, however, it has precise handling and a surprising agility in turns in addition to outstanding speed-consumption-sink rate ratio.
We tested sizes 26 and 28, foot launched and on paratrike, with at least 3 different engines (Polini Thor 200, Vittorazi Moster 185 and Minari 180).
The Italian manufacturer, maker of popular and successful engines such as the fireproof Fly100Evo or the powerful Moster 185, just introduced a manual trigger throttle, designed as a complement for their engines. We received one of the first units, and here are our impressions after a few flights.
This new throttle is made of strong nylon, with components resistant to shock, pressure, acids, oils and even salt from the beach, according to the manufacturer, and with a coated steel cable of PTFE core available in 115 and 130cm.
The case is compact; the touch is good with a grippy feel, and it also has a strap to attach it to the hand that can be easily changed to the other side for left-handed pilots. The stop button is well thought out so that it is very difficult to press it by mistake.
Installing the V-Throttle is easy; it just took us a few minutes. We only had to connect a cable for the "stop", as earthing is made when we screw it to the carburetor.
What we liked the most is the touch of it, you can manage the thrust of your engine with total precision, the travel is very soft and can be operated with one finger; the grip is also good. All finishes are round so it has no tendency to get caught with anything, even when we are dealing with the risers in a front or reverse inflation.
The only weak point is that it lacks cruise control for level flight, so you're forced to always keep the throttle in your hand. Nevertheless, we must say in its favor that it handles so well and softly that during my flights I could hold the camera with my hand and keep control of the throttle with one finger at the same time. I suppose that someone with small hands may find it more difficult.
In conclusion, the V- is the throttle with the best touch I've tried; perfect for Slalom-type sport piloting but comfortable also for recreational flying and taking pictures. If it had cruise control we would have given it a 10; for that reason we’ll leave it in a 9. A great complement for your Moster185.
Watch here the video we did on a recent trip to do some paramotoring in sunny Huelva (south of Spain) where we thoroughly tested the Vittorazi V-Throttle:
The annual free flight exhibition and fair in Italy –held in Borso del Grappa during Easter– hosted a paramotor competition for the first time this year, with nine top pilots invited to show off their skills. The French champion, powered by a Macfly Polini Thor 200 and an Ozone Viper glider, took the 1st place, ahead of Aurelien Ganaye and Petr Matousek.
The Expo Montegrappa is the most important trade show of paramotoring, paragliding, hang gliding and miscellaneous accessories for free flying and motor flying on Italian territory. This year it also hosted the “invitation” paramotor race thanks to the sponsorship of the engines manufacturer Polini Motors.
The event was influenced by bad weather that just allowed riders to dispute some flying runs on Saturday and give up for unceasing rain on Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. During Saturday sessions, the absolute parade of Polini Monte Grappa Slalomania was won by Mateos, who was competing with the rest of the family there: Dad Jean and sister Coralie.
Mateos scored an amazing time of 31”65 on the first flying run, preceding his compatriot and teammate Aurelien Ganaye (Ozone Slalom & Macfly Polini Thor) who stopped the chronometer at 33”69 – more than 5 secs faster than the next. Third place was for the Czech Petr Matousek (Nirvana) with 39”29.
On the second run, Alex Mateos improved more, reducing his time on the race field composed by two inflatable “shafts” with the most typical ‘eight’ arrangement. He clocked 30”28, over seven seconds faster than the third placed pilot, Matousek, who scored at 37”25, while the second best time of Aurelian Ganaye, which was 32”47, was bound to get 5 seconds penalty.
The longstanding paramotor meeting in Spain defied the acute economic crisis and a forecast of strong winds on the weekend of February 2-3 for its 17th edition, with many new products presented by most of the national manufacturers, two new, and some foreigners, along with shows and also a bit of flying.
Perhaps it was not the most crowded edition of Las Candelas that we have witnessed but, in return, this year we saw plenty of energy coming from the flight professionals, determined to weather the storm with new products and competitive prices. Among the main news was the arrival of new paramotor manufacturers in the Spanish scene: Liberty2fly and Malowi.
Liberty2fly presented their paramotors powered by Ros engines, brand of which they are importers for Spain, in versions of 100cc and 125cc, with stainless steel frames and Supair harnesses.
Malowi put their bet on 4-stroke engines for a range of paratrikes in which the model powered by a single cylinder 600cc 4-stroke engine stands out with over 100 kg of thrust.
Other news (which we will soon detail on the Paramotor news section):
Airfer introduced their new paratrike SX with an attractive design with coloured bars, easy to disassemble and with hammock-type seat, as well as a new paramotor frame with curved arms and new geometry to better compensate torque. At their stand we also saw the new engine Polini Thor 250 (36HP) water-cooled, mounted on a lightweight paratrike Yumbo.
PAP brought their paramotors equipped with the powerful Polini Thor 200 engine in two versions, one with 130cm propeller and a smaller, exclusive of Pap, with a three-blade propeller of 115 cm. This is the paramotor now used by Nicolas Aubert, the young promise of the brand that prepares to enter the high level circuit of Slalom competition this year. The entire Pap Team was in Las Candelas showing what they can do in the air: Nico, Ramón Morillas, Karen Skinner, and the new addition: Paco Guerra.
PXP also presented their version of the Thor 200 on a 3-parts frame with curved arms, as well as a number of versions of their "star", the Minari 180, a versatile engine, with good finishes and very robust. Soon our review here on Ojovolador.com
H-E brought their engine Airmax of 200cc and moderate weight, thought for heavy pilots who take off on foot. They also have the R120 in their range, for medium-weight pilots.
The Spanish manufacturer of electric engines for paramotor, Paracell presented their paratrike SX-E (based on the Airfer chassis SX) and an electric paramotor unit, both fully operational, ready to fly, and already available in serial versions ranging from 20 to 90 minutes of autonomy.
The British manufacturer Parajet came to show their neatly built and original paramotors in aluminium frames. The very robust Volution and the lightweight Zenith were on display; the latter with a modular concept that allows you to easily replace broken parts of it. Both have state-of-the-art construction and can be powered by nearly any current engine of the major brands.
And from Italy was the representative of Vittorazi engines, Andrea Orazi, who visited Las Candelas to seal the signing of pilot Ramon Morillas - who will attempt a new altitude record in the Himalayas this summer, using a Moster 185, chosen for its balance between power, lightness and simplicity. Ramon will work with the factory in a special system to adjust carburation in flight.
As for the gliders, we tried the Apco Lift, an intermediate reflex model that offers good speed and stability; the Independence Pioneer, a beginners wing rated EN A (school class) and suitable both for free and motorized flight, easy to inflate and safe.
Sadly, we could just inflate a few times the new Paramania GTX due to the wind too strong to fly when we had it.
And we also flew the paratrike version of the tandem wing Gin Safari (42m) with acro star Raul Rodriguez at the controls, to do a live test of the free-flight harness he developed with the manufacturer Supair, the Base System, whose reserve system works by releasing the harness from the wing and deploying a BASE jump parachute – a strong sensation for a cutting-edge security system. Watch the video of the jump soon on Ojovolador.com
The weather of the weekend was sunny but swept by strong winds that left only small flying windows on Saturday evening and Sunday morning, meaning that only some pilots could enjoy the beautiful landscape around the ‘Jose Toran’ reservoir.
The pilots who flew the most were the French of the Ozone team, Alex Mateos and Aurélien Ganaye, together with Nico Aubert, who impressed the public with some freestyle and synchro manoeuvres with their Slalom gliders.
Also active in the air were Pap / Niviuk pilots, Ramón Morillas and Karen Skinner; Paco Guerra of the Paramania / Pap Team; Moncho Rodriguez of Paramania / Airfer; and, of course, the current kings of Acro paramotor: the"Malaguitas" (with their club).
Ramón Morillas with a new prototype paraglider from Niviuk for dynamic flight. .
The wide range of paramotor wings of the Polish brand has a new addition, a dedicated wing for slalom competition and pilots “who like to show off with low, dynamic figures”. The Snake is a new design with variable profile geometry, operated by speed and Power Attack systems.
This new reflex wing offers “exceptionally” tight turns, steady flight on course, high speeds and effective use of the range of speeds, good damping of excess lift created on exiting the turn, and effective steering with measured, linear characteristics, according to the manufacturer.
The Snake is fitted with 2D and Power Attack (also known as Paap Kolar’s) steering systems – the first is a division of the main brake lines into 2 for each side, with one going outside of the pulley which is used to steer the wing at high speed, and the inner one to handle the wing in low and middle speed ranges. The PA system releases the trimmers simultaneously when pressing the speedbar, and the opposite when releasing it.
It is a glider designed for fast flying and turning.
The Snake is available in 5 sizes between 16 and 24m2, with a recommended weigh-size ratio of 6 kg/m2.
The dedicated reflex model for slalom and freestyle made by Mike Campbell-Jones is a small 'rocket' with amazing features that make it valid beyond the world of low level turns, as it showed during the Paramotor World Championship 2012 in Marugan where it won the Pure Economy task (PL1).
With a new profile that admits to be braked even with all the reflex open, the GTR offers excitement and fun in spades if what you like is dynamic flight.
It is fast, solid, and turns very tightly, but according to the size and the load with which we fly it also offers qualities to navigate with 'style' or to climb in thermals.
The GTR has original and eye-catching construction details, like the well-designed risers, easy to understand and use; in addition to trouble-free takeoff, good lift, and impressive performance.
We tried extensively a GTR size 24 and a size 20 with different engines and wing loads.
The Italian manufacturer of the successful Thor series for paramotor flying replace their 100cc model with this new motor which, thanks to increased displacement and other details, gets a more calm performance with more power while it keeps all the characteristics and good finishes of the series.
With an increase of just 15cc, the THOR 130 offers 21.5 HP at 8,800 rpm against the 20.5 HP at 8,900 of its predecessor.
This power improvement grants greater reliability and a more comfortable use, according to the brand.
The THOR 130 comes with the manual start system "Start Flash", very easy to use.
It also has mechanical transmission, centrifugal clutch, and counterturning masses for low vibrations and torque.
The weight has been kept in 13.8 Kg, which improves the weight-power ratio.
This engine is now available and several manufacturers are incorporating it into their ranges with two options of carburetor: PWK 24 or Walbro WG8.
The Thor 130 has prearrangement for future electric starter.
The Polini paramotor range now offers the following power range: THOR 130 (21.5 HP), THOR 200 (29 HP) and THOR 250 liquid cooled (36 HP).
The Anglo-Spanish pilot set a new Guatemalan and American record, after climbing with a paramotor PAP PA125 and Niviuk Kougar 23 glider above the Sierra de los Cuchumatanes, in Huehuetenango, inner Guatemala. A very special flight, in her words.
Karen, who is traveling in North and Central America with her paramotor, took off on January 13 from Paquix, Chiantla, at a height of 3,000 meters –the highest footlaunched take off ever done in Guatemala.
According to Karen, takeoff was at 9:10 in the morning, from a flat field and carrying 12 litres of fuel. Two hours and 20 minutes later, at 11.30, she landed on the same place still with 3 liters in the tank.
"I climbed little by little, without pushing the engine, which behaved very well. I used oxygen without the regulator and spent too much, so I had to go down due to lack of oxygen after reaching 4820m. The flight was very special, at a site that I already want to come back, I went up on a mountainside with clouds forming under my feet, amazing! ", tells the record holder, who was a bit over 200 meters short to beat her own female world record of height by paramotor (5102m).
Karen gave special thanks to those who helped her achieve this great flight: Kurt Meyer, Yankell Echeverria and her partner Jason. "Without you, there are no records", she said.
The flight is now confirmed as a record of Guatemala by the national Aeroclub, and pending certification as continental record.
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Karen Skinner at 4820m on paramotor over Guatemala
USA’s Ryan Shaw has recently set 2 new records flying with one of his students in Phoenix, Arizona: time to climb to 3000m with 56 minutes, and altitude with 4512m. The records are now pending certification by the FAI.
To begin this 2013 in the best way, Ojovolador pilot Daniel Crespo along with our good friend and talented pilot Paco Diaz performed some stimulating Freestyle sessions hand by hand, ground and water skimming and doing closed turns to touch the wingtips on the water of a pond near our home, in the Tietar Valley (Avila, Spain). The result, in this video.
The long-standing paramotor gathering in Spain is ready for yet another edition, in which the vendors fair with all the major brands of flight equipment will be reinforced. There will also be a costumes contest, a photo contest and, as usual, lots of flying (weather permitting).
The new EN B wing from U-Turn not only performs well in free flight; when we flew it under power we enjoyed its smooth behavior and performance, with damp reactions even at high loads. It is an accessible glider for intermediate pilots, with remarkable good performance and sink rate that will allow you to fly it at touch of throttle with small engines. Ideal for the free flier who occasionally flies paramotor.