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Ivan last won the day on December 3 2018

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  1. It's a good question and I do not have a straight answer to it. Firstly because I never tried to measure it precisely, secondly because with a soft fuel tank it is harder to know the exact amount of fuel consumed/left. I presume that under full speed it will be around 7,5 - 8, litres, not 8,5, just judjing on how long the fuel tank lasts (to be precise it is 17.5L) Yes, that is not the lowest but thats a price for stability. I fully understand that I can spend less with Hadron XX, but I do not want to. What is more important for me is that I can get 34mph with trimmers off which is much better in terms of consumption. Presumably 6 litres. The weather last months was not the best for a nice calm flights to take the measurements...
  2. Zorro is one of the most complex wings I have ever had a chance to fly on. I use the word “complex” not because of any particular issue with take-off or landing or in-flight handling of the wing. It is the character of the wing, which is quite unique, sometimes not really straight forward and I had to “digest” the impressions of flying it before starting writing the review. The reason, which has brought me to the point of testing and flying Zorro from Sky Paragliders is pretty simple. My Apco Lift, which I used for flying cross-country throughout last years has reached 200 hours and the time came to consider something new. My requirements towards the new wing were quite demanding – Fast, Stable and Effective wing with relatively high glide ratio for long cross-country flights sometimes under rough conditions. Top speed is important for me because the best time to fly cross-country with motor is the early morning/late evening and you want to make the most of it using your wing’s top speed. Apco Lift was quite fast, with the top speed of 37mph, delivering uncompromised stability and safety, but was demanding in terms of the thrust needed. Flying at full speed with My Moster 185, my 20 liters fuel tank was always empty in two and a half hours. To be perfectly honest, I was not expecting a lot from Zorro and therefore I was very surprised with the results of the tests. General overview. SkyParagliders wings are produced in EU and high quality in not something unexpected. Lines have relatively complex structure with sheathless lines at the top and sheathed mid and low level. Because of this complex top structure you have to check them thoroughly before taking off and to be especially cautious when taking off from the fields with long grass. Risers look pretty simple for 2018, magnets in the brakes could be found only by tiny blue embroidery and I would say the ends are miles away from the leaders of the market. Trimmers are quite thin and tends to loop over the ends in flight. This means that you have to control it (and untangle if needed) before opening the trimmers, otherwise you will end up with one trimmer fully open and one only partially open because of the trimmer stuck. On the other hand, the small brakes are pure perfection. They are wide, have the best possible rigidness, big enough to use three fingers with it. What it means is that you will be very comfortable when steering for a long time. For me it is paramount as most of the time I fly with trimmers off, a lot with the speedbar pressed out and I have to use small brakes all the way round. Big brakes are designed in a very smart way as well. In the upper part of the main brake you find the small cross bar. You can’t even see it when holding the brakes in an ordinary way. But at landing, holding this bar at the top of the brake you can pull the brake 15 cm deeper then when you are holding the lower part of the brake. It makes a real difference because with many fast wings you need to loop the line over the hand to make the landing comfortable. Well done, what else can I say. Speedbar uses high quality pulleys and it is quite easy to operate it and keep the speedbar pressed out for a long time. Take off Take off with this wing is… easy and difficult at the same time. To be honest “difficult” is not a right word here, it is just special. To start from, Zorro is one of the easiest wings to get over your head I have ever tried. If you are not accurate at the start (for example taking off not straight into the wind or pulling one side of the wing more than another) it is very easy to compensate it. The wing has no tendency to overshoot at all which means that when you are doing the rear start it gives you some time to turn and start running as if it is waiting for you to decide on what you want to do next (to fly or not to fly – that is the question). I would say that it is definitely the school-wing level easiness to get it up over your head. And then the fun starts. The wing is fast. Really fast. It’s speed with the trimmers completely closed is 28mph (24m Zorro with my take-off weight of 130 - 140kg). Just to remind, you just cannot run with such a speed, it is not possible. What this means is that you must apply brakes intensively to get the take-off speed down to the level when you can actually take off. Otherwise you will be running to the end of the field with no chance to get yourself up in the air. To sum it all up, taking off with Zorro you have to be prepared to use brakes. As soon as you master it, take-off is easy and smooth. Landing I would say that landing is quite an easy one with Zorro. The only thing is that you have to get the time right when applying the brakes. Otherwise, you will either land with too high horizontal speed (if you apply the brakes too late) or with high vertical speed (if you applied the brakes to early). However, It is important thing to understand that it is not the wing for beginner. With min speed (with trimmers completely closed and no brakes applied) you have a speed of 28mph. You must know how to land properly. If you are still occasionaly landing on the frame with your entry range wing and the wing is forgiving you this mistake... at this speed it will end up badly. You have to know what you are doing. In flight experience. Before I start describing what particularly you feel when you fly Zorro, I have to tell you a bit about the differences between the reflex wings. You will not find this classification anywhere, but there are two types of reflex wings. I call these two types “sausages” and “planks”. The difference between these two types is how they behave under (heavy) turbulence. “Sausages” would bend, trying to get to U-type shape (to certain extent of course). The good thing about this class is that they absorb turbulence making it more comfortable to the pilot to fly through it. Moreover, flying through the moderate turbulence you even do not need to compensate. Apco Lift of the first and second generation is a typical representative of this class. However, they have less cells and are less effective in terms of glide ratio. Second type, the “planks” keep it’s shape under turbulence which results in non absorbing the turbulence at all. It means that you have to compensate even light turbulence but the wing will be more effective in terms of both glide ration and steering response. I would not argue that some wings bare the traits of both classes but what does matter is that Zorro belongs one hundred percent to the second class. If you are used to fly “hands free” under moderate turbulence conditions with your hands busy with camera then do not expect that you can do the same with Zorro. You will HAVE to compensate. Steering and Agility Gentlemen, it is superb, especially with using small brakes. The wing dives into wingovers and spirals as easy as you want it to. However, there is a significant difference between Zorro and few other wings I’ve tested – Zorro is doing exactly what you want, not “overdoing” the command in any way. The space to develop your piloting skills flying Zorro is tremendous. Not even to mention that the wing turns to the side of the engine thrust and against the trust with the same ease. The speed. The wing I tested was 24meters and with the load of 130 – 140 kg it is doing 28 mph with the trimmers completely closed, 34 mph with trimmers fully open and having top speed of 41mph with the speedbar pressed out. This gives you the freedom of flying cross-country against quite a strong head wind. And now, coming to the most interesting fact about the wing, it’s behavior under really strong turbulence. Some time ago, when planning the cross country flight in Wales flight I omit the important part of it, I did not check the fronts coming. The weather forecast was showing quite moderate wind but when the occluded front started passing over my head the wind blasts reached 35 miles per hour speed. At the photo below you can see my speed of 122kmh (76 miles per hour) when flying downwind with the speed bar pressed out. Heavy clouds appeared out of nowhere, I was able to see the rain coming and the turbulence became very strong. Being over the mountains I had no chance to land there because of the strong rotor zones developing under such a strong wind. I had about 4000ft of altitude and instead of closing the trimmers and using main brakes to control the wing I decided to press out the speedbar and to try to make it to the place I took-off from. During 10 minutes which it took to get to the landing site the turbulence was absolutely horrendous, the wing was yanking me in the harness extremely hard but the wing stayed rock solid as if it was made of metal, with no collapses or even ears flapping. As a conclusion, I can say that the wing is really safe and shows very solid and stable behavior under strong turbulence. You can also use the speedbar under turbulent conditions. The price for this stability is the comfort of the pilot. In comparison to many other wings, it transfers all the turbulence to the harness. In paragliding, as in all the other areas of your life, everything has a price. Picking up one option you have to sacrifice another one. Picking up very fast wing which is able to fly safe under strong turbulence you are loosing the comfort. Fair enough, that works for me. As for gliding quality, it is pretty effective. With my 24 meters wing loaded at 140kg and flying at top speed of 41mph, my Moster need to deliver 7900 RPM for horizontal flight, which is not bad at all. Surely, the glide ratio is below the best competition wings but the balance of the speed and stability is worth spending extra 0.5l of petrol per hour. To sum it all up. I reckon that this wing fits both cross-country and everyday flight purposes. Moreover, following the test I have bought this wing, because I value it’s capability of flying fast under relatively rough weather conditions. Not to say that Zorro is very agile wing and you will be never bored with it unless you decide to specialize in Acro. I definitely would not recommend it as a first wing, or for the pilots who do not fly regularly. Not because of the complexity of controlling it, but just because you have to understand what you are doing with the wing, how it will respond to your inputs. You have to be confident in your take-off and landings and have an experience of active piloting/flying under turbulent conditions. If you match this profile, this wing will give you an opportunity to progress further, to develop your piloting skills and to enjoy our beautiful sport. PS Following the test I made the dicision to buy the test wing and started using it as a main wing for cross country flights.
  3. Ivan

    Hadron xx vs speedster 2

    Hadron XX is a demanding wing which is not going to alow you to make any mistakes, I fly cross country, using quite fast SkyParagliders Zorro 24 with top speed of 41mph. Have 300+ hours and I have 82 hours this year so far (Jan - Nov), sometimes under rough conditions. And I am NOT ready as a pilot to go for Hadron XX PS (!) Important (!) Hadron XX is a completely different wing from Hadron, please do not confuse these two wings. They have nothing in common but the name. PPS In my oppinion you have to have 100+ hours a year to go for Hadron XX otherwise it will end up badly sooner or later.
  4. SOLD Price down to £1500 Bargain indeed with only two hours on it, £2500 new. SOLD
  5. No probs at all. Aircraft creates two types of the drag. 1. Induced, a by product of the lift, going down with a speed increase 2. Parasitic. It is a friction drug which varies with the square of the speed (when you fly twice faster it quadruples your parasitic drug. "Propeller - like inserts" generate Form drug, which is a one of the Parasitic types of the drug. It is caused by every part of the aircraft, sitting in the airstream and not producing the Lift. These prop-like inserts generates anti-torque moment but at the same time they generate the Form type of Parasitic drug. This is a disadvantage of these types of solutions. Basically, manufacturers nowadays use only two ways to compansate the torque of the engine. One is the prop - like inserts (Nirvana, Scout, some others as well). The other way is to move the thrust point of the engine from the geometrical center of tthe paramotor. That what many of the manufactureres are doing. SkyMax is one of them but cross bar makes it possible to do the fine tuning of it according to the wing and pilot weight. Thats the gist.
  6. Yes, I would agree about the final adjustment. Repeating myself, different wings requires different settings. I will measure it shortly (the cross bar size).
  7. Exactly. if the rotation is in the opposite direction, the horns set will be the opposite shape as well (left one with shift). However, the sentral part with cross-barr will be exactly the same. Sorry, not fully sure what do you mean by arm to arm dimension, if it is the distance between the hang points (the part of the horns where you connect the carabines to) it is approx. 44cm. Is it what you are after?
  8. Hi guys, We have the newes 2018 Apco Lift EZ-R wing for sale, S size (25.8m, up to 140kg inflight load) https://www.apcoaviation.com/lift-ez-r/ Our team just finished writing the review on it, so the wing has only two hours on it. New condition of course. "Summer colour". Comes with the rucksack and wingbag. Price is £2000 which is £500 cheaper then retail price. Grab a bargain. The gist of what has changed within the third generation: Glide ratio (effectivity of the wing) is better. It requires less power, especially with the speedbar pressed out. This means less fuel needed or longer flight time. They improved the responce to main brake steering as well. Agility is better then the previous gen. Risers are a big step forward for Apco. New type of magnets they atarted using are brilliant. All the less is pretty much the same. Still one of the safest Reflex wings at the market, with very low take off and landing speed but with pretty good top speed when the trimmers are off and speedbar pressed out (we measured 36mph). Please contact me through 078 2696 3248. You can WhatsUp me as well. Regards Ivan
  9. Mine always lays in the boot as there are not too many options to get it into BMW 520 ^))) Just thinking about what is the most important for me personaly with Star... 1st place with no doubt - no smell. 2nd place - presize torque compensation adjustment. I am flying with speedbar pressed out a lot and this is the very thirst time I had a chance to adjust the cross bar and now even with the speedbar pressed out and trimmers off (40mph with my wing) I do not need to hold the small brake all the time. As Simon said, it alows you to tune the frame for each wing. And this is true indeed because my Apco Lift requires different settings from Zorro from SkyParagliders, my second wing. 3rd - 18 litres fuel tank option for a long cross country flights. 4th - assembly/disassembly time. At some point I was fed up spending 30 - 40 min to assemble the motor (no fingerpointing) :))) At large, all four of these things ara paramount for me. All the rest (rigidity, weight) is secondary for me.
  10. Exactly. Comprehensive answer on Torque Compensation System As for the Soft fuel tank.... it sounds crazy but it is life changing for me. Because of no smell in the car, now it just lives in my boot now. 4 months so far. Therefore I am much more flexible with flying, do not need to come home to pick up the motor when coming back from the office. Straight to the field )) 60 hours so far this year in the air.
  11. Ivan

    I want a good Paramotor helmet

    I fly in the second (completely closed) type. Definitely do not recomment to anyone. I had to completely rebuild it in order of both the noise cancellation and electronics. It is a goog shell but a piece of crap in terms of the noise cancellation and radio...
  12. This spring time, our cross country team got two new SkyMax Star paramotors. By now, we have done 40 hours with each paramotor. I can say that we love these machines, very impressed with the difference to other paramotors we have flown before and would love to share our experience with you. Just to give you a bit of background. SkyMax is a Russian manufacturer, known for building light and solid machines using high quality titanium and aluminium materials. However, we had a special reason behind getting these paramotors. SkyMax introduced quite a few innovative features when designing the Star paramotor and we were really keen to try them. These features are: Soft Fuel Tank, Torque Compensation System and Cross Bar Weight Shift System. Worth saying that Cross Bar Weigh Shift System has been introduced in the paramotoring for the very first time and it is designed to compensate the tendency of the wing to turn left or right during the flight. We trust that it is revolutionary thing and you will find it on every paramotor in a few years time. In terms of the engines, from the variety of options available we decided to go for Moster 185 Plus because of its power to weight ratio and availability of spares to service it. The frame The “heart” of the frame is built from the aviation grade aluminium in a shape of the star, giving the name to the model. By the way you can see the starter bracket at the left side of the photo. It is quite unusual that this bracket is foldable just to keep the size of the frame down when you transport it. The frame is incredibly rigid and holds four folding and one screwed in connectors with titanium rods. In contrary to many other paramotors, it takes literally just a few seconds to get the rods up into working position. This rod has foldable connector. You just pull it up to the working position. This (upper) rod has screw in connector so you make a few turns ond its done. Takes just about 5 - 10 seconds. The cage is built from titanium oval shaped tubes which are much stronger compared with the same weight tubes of round shape. The net is manufactured from Dyneema and when it's being assembled, it is tightened up using a small pully block, halving the effort you need to apply to tighten the net. What was really important for me is the time required for assembling and disassembling the paramotor. It is just because I am travelling with the paramotor in my boot and need to spend as little time as possible for assembly. So, on average it takes me (without the prop): - 4 minutes to assemble the paramotor - 1 m 30 seconds to disassemble That’s one of the best (if not the very best) time in our sport. Fuel tanks The lower part of the frame usually contains 15l soft fuel tank but our version is bigger for long cross-country flights and has 18litres capacity. To be perfectly honest, when we first heard about the soft fuel tanks we were quite skeptical but the fact that soft tanks are widely used with small airplanes convinced us and we decided to try it. What can I say – when we tried, we loved it. The most important thing about it for me is that there is no smell at all from the tank even if you constantly keep the fuel in it. In contrary to hard fuel tanks, it shrinks during the flight but then it has a space to expand afterwards when the pressure and temperature changes. It means that if you need to have the motor in your cars boot for weeks there will be no smell and this is the very first paramotor, which I can keep at home with no smell of petrol from it. There is no air tap and you will never forget to open or close it. When the fuel is sucked from the tank, it simply shrinks inside the soft case and aluminium cage. That’s why you can use all the fuel from the tank up to the very last drop. Fuel tank is very well protected by aluminium cage from all the sides and there is no chance to damage it even if you landing is not perfect. The only thing to be aware of with the soft fuel tank is that if you are using the mirror, it is not so easy to see the fuel level. Therefore, it would be a good idea to calculate the quantity of the fuel you will need in advance, which you are probably doing anyway. KNOW HOW by SkyMax Now we are coming to the most exciting part of the review – some Know Hows by SkyMax. Torque Compensation System S-type titanium horns of the paramotor have quite a complex shape. Left and right ones are different as well. This was introduced to compensate the twisting moment generated by the engine. This solution generates no parasite drug in comparison to propeller-like inserts in the cages of some (we all know them ) paramotors. The principle is to move the thrust point of the motor in the opposite direction of the twisting force generated and to compensate it. Cross Bar Weight Shift System To reiterate, this system has been introduced into paramotoring for the very time. It is designed to compensate any tendency of the wing to deviate from a straight forward flight. It means that if the wing is turning right or left all the time, you can easily adjust the central cross-bar setting so to eliminate this effect. All that you need to do is to loosen four screws and move the cross-bar holding the horns to the left or to the right side. This system has sort of double effect. Firstly, it is an analogue of weight shift steering used by free flight pilots but it is much more effective because the combined weight of pilot and paramotor is moved. Secondly, the thrust point of the engine is being moved in relation of hang points, which also is changing the balance of the whole system. It is so sensitive that just 5 - 10mm of the shift is usually enough to compensate the tendency of the wing to turn left or right. My teammate’s wing was turning right all the time with his previous paramotor (especially with the speedbar pressed out) and he was quite used to constantly holding one brake during the flights. After adjusting the Cross Bar this problem has gone completely. That’s how it works. Harness. Most of the harnesses including the split leg ones can be used with Star Frame, but we decided to go for Sky Paragliders harness, tailored to be used with SkyMax Star frames. It is quite similar to SupAir Paramotor Evo type, having the same comfort during long cross-country flights but weights half a kilo less. Weight reduction became possible due to the removal of all the straps, not used with S-type horns and replacement of the wooden seat with a plastic one. The harness is supplied with the side reserve parachute container as standard, it has one more pocket on the other side, the back compartment is for the foam insert to reduce the vibrations and a large pocket underneath as well. IN-FLIGHT Experience First question we have asked when we were contemplating getting SkyMax Star frames – is the power start available. Cross-country flights sometimes can be quite demanding in terms of the take-off, such as limited space. The ability to do the power start is paramount. The answer is YES. When you do the power start, you can apply as much power as you are capable to handle. The frame is very solid. It can handle all the basic aerobatic elements like wingovers and deep spirals no problem at all. Torque compensation system works great at all the stages of the flight – there is no tendency towards the twist prone position of the pilot at any time, even with full throttle applied at take off with trimmers closed and brakes applied. Another important feature is the ability to use the body weight shift for steering. Having S-horns, you are able to control the direction of the flight with your weight shift easily. Our team is specialized with cross-country flights as just recently we flew from Porthmadog to Wirral (65 miles flight). Because of the strong thermic activity and to avoid the turbulence, most part of the flight we flew over the cloud base at the altitude around 9 000 feet. To keep the hands worm we just used the weight shift steering and it was really helpful to be able to do so. At this picture you can see me turning left using the weight shift. At the same time, when you fly through the turbulent zone or thermic, S-horns are delivering just the right amount of info. It is not over informative and shaky to make you uncomfortable but it is getting you just right amount of awareness that it is better to keep your hands on the brakes to be prepared for active steering. As a conclusion – we are delighted with the performance of Star Paramotors. All the new options introduced within these machines work really good and we are looking forward to getting more cross-country flights with Stars this year.
  13. Ivan

    Anybody buy paramotors from Russia?

    Looking forward to coming Thats a picture for throttle fix. We'll have a few flights and will do a proper report.
  14. Ivan


    Star Frame
  15. Ivan

    Anybody buy paramotors from Russia?

    Super! ))) We just got ours, get them assembled and I run in the engine (Moster Plus) yesterday. We have not flown ours yet as the weather in Britain was rubish... Bore Chasers was cancelled... A bit of advice for this frame - just use a piece of plastic tie to fix the throttle to the frame - it will indemnify you forever from throttle cable going into prop. Just do not overtighten it to let the cable moove freely inside.