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Test and article by Ojovolador.com. Reproduction strictly forbidden without permission. © Ojovolador.com 2009 . All rights reserved.

The new "pure intermediate" powerwing from Paramania comes as a perfect promoter of the ‘Reflex’ flight philosophy; since besides the super-stability at open trimmers typical of the gliders by Mike Campbell-Jones, it offers a different feeling from what we were used to with the Action GT, the Revolution or even the old Action.

The new Fusion has a totally new design of reflex profile, which makes the glider less rough in its reactions in accelerated flight. The leading edge has been noticeably lightened and, in addition, the geometry of the wing –the arch, the planform or the angle of attack- has been designed in such a way that the Fusion exudes a personality of its own, totally different from the gliders previously mentioned.
The Fusion offers light brake pressure and quick response new in the Paramania gliders, being a really maneuverable paraglider, very enjoyable to pilot.

Construction and details
After opening the glider we confirm at first sight that the Fusion is a “deluxe” glider, with high-end details and special finishes. After checking the leading edge we get an idea of the manufacture: well elaborated, it has big holes in the ribs to lighten the wing but at the same time it is reinforced with bearing tapes. The Fusion inherited from the GT a system of central lines that improve the transference of weight without deforming the wing. This characteristic also helps improve reinflation of the wing after a collapse.
But, as always, where we appreciate the best of this type of gliders is in their long trimmers. The Fusion’s ones have two areas clearly differentiated by colors: red for the non-reflex zone where we must not step on the speedbar, and green from the neutral point, from where the reflex starts to work and safe zone for using the speed system.

The risers come with a double set of pulleys to use according to the type of hangpoint used in the paramotor, high or low. For the same reason the wingtip steering system is not mounted as serial and the pilot has to install it by himself after selecting the hangpoint. The soft brake handles, already seen before in the Paramania gliders, have magnetic clips.

In flight.
Since the canopy is lighter there is less inertia and for that reason the wing is easy to understand and to handle, without any need to anticipate to it or retain it. The new intermediate wing from Paramania is especially undemanding to fly because the effort on the brakes is moderate and the answer is immediate.

Steering.
We found the most remarkable characteristic of the Fusion when we tested its maneuverability. The Fusion –which is by far the most agile glider of the Paramania range that I have tried– is able to perform very close turns and in a very dynamic way. In ground tasks it can be as hectic as the pilot wants it to be. One detail I should emphasize is that in aggressive turns we always need to compensate the opposite side a bit, since the Fusion tends to point "downwards" when turning and it sinks - something that an expert pilot can take advantage of but that we have to keep in mind when we start piloting this glider. The best thing is that when we leave a steep turn this glider does not surge wildly; on the opposite, it just climbs a bit and lets you control the inertias very precisely and take the Fusion where you want. All the accumulated energy is released by projecting you forward, which is perfect for performing slalom tasks like the Clover leaf or the Japanese Slalom.

Speeds.
I usually do the tests a bit above the recommended maximum weight in the technical sheet of the manufacturer, and for that reason my readings are almost always superior to the manufacturer’s. In this case I flew my paratrike with a load of 165Kg against the 160Kg of maximum recommended by Paramania for the size 29. My minimum trim speed (trimmers closed, hands up) was not lower than 38Km/h; if I pull the brakes to the edge of the stall point I get 26/29 Km/h; with the trimmers on neutral position my speed goes up to around 46-47 Km/h. If I totally release the trimmers I reach 53 Km/h and if, in addition, I push the speedbar to the top then I get an interesting 64 Km/h of top speed (see video).

Improved sink rate
The Fusion drinks less fuel to navigate compared with the Revo or with the GT and this is valid all throughout the speed range, whether we go at trim speed or we release the trimmers or push all the speedbar. This makes it less demanding for the engine and will help us save fuel in the long term...

Cruising
The Fusion is very comfortable on long journeys although it has a peculiar way to move when absorbing the turbulence: when the air is rough this glider counteracts it with smooth oscillations instead of the dry whacks of the GT, something a little disturbing at first but that you learn to appreciate after some flights since the final effect is smoother. Nevertheless, you need to be ready to keep the direction with the wingtip controls as we can suffer significant changes of course when crossing turbulent areas...

I have to say in favor of the Fusion, and to make my above statement well understood, that with a normal glider the turbulent zone I refer to would very possibly be on the edge of the tolerable and most pilots would choose to go down and land. With the Action GT we would keep the course more easily but we would notice losses of pressure in the wing-pilot set –not of pressure of the glider– and sudden blows as the reflex does its work.

Security
With the trimmers closed (no reflex mode) the Fusion gets certification "EN C", that is to say, apt as an intermediate wing. As there is no specific certification for reflex wings, I can comment that with full reflex (100%) the glider is extremely solid and would seem impossible to collapse…

At Paramania say that Alan Zoller, head of Air Turquoise –the company in charge of the certification tests-, commented after testing the Fusion that it was the safest reflex glider they had tested. One anecdote: in one of the flights they had the trimmers open by mistake and it was impossible to induce a frontal collapse - which does not really surprise me.

Fusion - Technical Data
Talla de la vela (m2)
23
26
29
PPG Weight Range
60 - 120
70 - 140
80 - 160
PG Weight Range
60 - 85
70 - 95
80 - 105
Cells
56
56
56
Trim Slow speed (km/h)
30
30
30
Trim Fast speed (km/h)
49
49
49
Max speed (km/h)*
60
60
60
L/D
8,5
8,5
8,5
Sink
Min=1 / Trim suelto=1,2 / Vmax= 2,6
EN Certified
tbc
C
C
DMSV
tbc
tbc
tbc
G-Rating
8+
8+
8+


Inflation and takeoff.
The first thing we notice with the Fusion is that it inflates with less effort to the risers and in a lighter way; this is because the "hollow" leading edge is lighter now and has structural reinforcement tapes, which translates in very short takeoffs and lower physical effort for the pilot.

Conclusion
The Fusion has a very distinctive personality and the sensations with it have little to do with other Paramania gliders, Revo or GT; however, it is perfectly located in between to make the slogan “Pure intermediate " quite accurate. It stands out for its dynamic handling, the improved inflation characteristics and its "cushioned" way to absorb the turbulence when we fly in reflex mode. We also found that the sink rate is good. Now, taking off with a reflex glider is possible for any pilot and we can even get the most of the Fusion with the not-so powerful paramotors. Finally, the Fusion is also suitable for free flight.

In summary, the Fusion is a fun to fly glider and combines a series of qualities that make it attractive: Dynamic turn, fast, stable, good glide ratio and improved sink rate. Do you want more?


For whom.
Moving to the Fusion is quite natural a leap for anyone who has flown one or two seasons with a Revolution or other beginners reflex wing. The Fusion has a very easy takeoff and a high level of stability that will make this transition stress-free. On the other hand, there are GT pilots looking to renew their gear and who will feel happy to sacrifice some top speed in favor of the maneuverability and ease of use of the Fusion. The Fusion can also be very interesting for experienced free flight pilots who fly paramotor but are not yet convinced about the feeling of the reflex wings. This glider can be comfortable to handle for them and less abrupt in its reactions, making easier to adapt to flying a glider with this type of technology.



The +: Agile and dynamic handling.

The -: It absorbs the turbulence with swings; needs getting used to


Colors

Paramania announced that since April 2009 the only serial color scheme for their powergliders will be: Nightshade.
Other color combinations will be available as option with a longer time of delivery.
+info: read the news article

 

 

+ Info: flyparamania.com

 

Test and review done by Daniel Crespo flying the Paratrikes Airfer C1 and Airfer proto, both equipped with VR200 engine.
I also flew the Fusion foot-launched with a FlyProducts Paramotor.
Measures: Brauniguer Compeo+
+info: elpana.net

Published: June 29th, 2009

*Test and article done by Ojovolador.com

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