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Paul Mahoney, Larange and the Speedster


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I have recently been across to Larange with Paul Mahoney primarily to get an official flying ticket having being flying on and off since 1979. Paragliders 1993. Paramotors since 2009.

Anyway thanks to Paul's excellent training and a great deal of patience(plus a new miniplane prop;-( ) I am now officially Pilot rated for power and hill. Thanks Paul you have the patience of a saint.

More of interest to pmc I also had the opportunity to test fly the new ozone speedster 26. Coming from my own 29 Dudek synthesis the differences were enormous.

For the record I am 80kg in the buff and fly a Bulldog spririt.

The speedster is a whole kilogram lighter which certainly felt different to carry. It kited very easily and came up reliably central for a forward launch. At first I felt a bit delicate and it probably was a little more "bumpy" in the air but that might have been that I was noticing everything on the new wing or just the change in size...

It was certainly very much more dynamic and turned very easily on the brakes with slow trim. On fast trim I did have a bit of trouble reaching the tip steering from a high hang point on the miniplane (I am only 5' 4") but apparently the new risers have two positions to cope with this. But when I reached them the response was dramatic. I had the original TST system on the synth and I liked this for changing direction in fast flight on a xc. But it could hardly be called dynamic. The tip steering on the 26 speedster was very progressive with a very long pull and when you wanted to you could turn on a sixpence. In fact I said to Paul that I bet you could do wingovers with the tip steering alone.(not that I tried)

The other obvious difference is the glide. In fact on my first few approaches I regularly over shot as it just didn't want to come down. Paul suggested that I always should land on full slow and at this setting I could glide for ages and ages. Plenty of time to chose where to land in an emergency situation, and loads of time to correct my approach on a normal landing. The flare on the wing at the settings I used was just great. My landings quickly became very reasonable and predictable. My take offs remained a little fraught but not because of anything to do with the wing and everything to do with bad habits I had developed over the years. (repeat after me, I must not jump into the seat, I must not jump into the seat....... Sorry Paul. )

When my bad habits were corrected the wing became a joy to take off with. Seemingly waiting patiently above my head for me to decide if it was ok to go and squeeze the throttle.

All in all you may have guessed that I bought one. In fact I had it with me at the Nats on Saturday and it did get a brief airing in the lull between the rain. It was the blue and grey one for the more eagle eyed among you.

Anyway having only flown three wings in a Paramotor ever, ozone electron to start, synthesis next and now the speedster I don't feel qualified to give you any technical details but here are my personal opinions.

It is not a beginners wing nor should it be. It comes up very easily and climbs and glides very efficiently. Even with my minimal use since coming home it is definitely less thirsty than the synth. It is great fun to fly and I felt very safe with my usual method of take off, gain height and then push the trimmers full out. Poodle around, have fun. The tip steering is wonderful, it'll be even better when I can reach it comfortably.

The most important lesson from this is try the wing before you buy it. Preferably try several. One thing I didn't do was try a nucleon before trying the speedster and part of me says it would have been an interesting comparison. The other part of me said this is a great wing, take it home.

Just my 2p

:wingover::wingover::wingover:

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One thing I didn't do was try a nucleon before trying the speedster and part of me says it would have been an interesting comparison.

Great review. I would also love to compare the Nucleon with the Speedster, but my all up weight is slightly over the speedsters range so the extra loading would give it an unfair advantage ...... :?

As much as I love my Nucleon, Ozone are making some fantastic wings at the moment so I'm sure you will be happy with your choice even if the differences between them are only small.

PS - you parked next to where we were sitting on Saturday at the Nats, while you assembled your Bulldog. Did you fly around mid day with the Speedster ? That was probably the roughest air I've flown the Nucleon in, and although it handled it without drama on full reflex, there were a couple of strong thermals where it dived on exit that almost had me grabbing for the brakes !! :shock: It was all smooth for the late evening session though.

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Yes that was me. The wind on the ground was fairly consistent but up in the air it was a little bumpy, I think I got off lightly because i got down just before the rain set in so I think the air wasn't quite so rough when I was up there.

It was nice to be up though and the wing handled really well. As someone said on the other forum I am not sure how much of the differences I felt were due to the different wing and how much was due to the change in size.

I would have thought if I was too heavy on the wing it might struggle to get me off the ground and it certainly never struggled.

Good fun.

:wingover::wingover:

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Repeated from 'other' forum:

To be fair you would notice these differences

moving from a 29 Synth to a 26 Synth. Losing 3sqm of cloth will reduce the

weight of a wing and increase it's agility, etc.

What is of interest to me, is the glide claims. If the Speedster did get close

to it's 'sibling' Delta pg wing glide at (say) 9:1 (pg harness) then a

creditable 7:1 should be achievable with a motor on your back. I think the Synth

came out at 6.5:1 (Vol Libre). This 7:1 glide from the Speedster might be about

right given the 4 years of progress in general wing development since the Synth

came out (2007).

If you get chance, download a square pattern gps track from a still (ish) days

powered flying (engine off) and I'd be interested in what quantified average

glide you get from the Speedster.

Richard

(Delta averaged glide with my motor is 7.4:1 to 7.6:1, Gradient Aspen2 was 6.6:1

(ish))

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Richard,

Being as I very rarely switch my motor off (too much panic about whether it will start again) it may take me a while to get these for you, however it is of interest to me too and so I just might....

Christian,

The minplane is 5 kg lighter and this is very noticeable. I was a little concerned whether it would not have enough power to get me off the floor (80kg naked) but in fact it did so very well indeed. Putting paid to the myth that you "need more power captain..."

On my back and in flight I think the climb rate was not as good as subsequently on the bulldog. The minplane certainly started easily in mid flight(switched it off by accident when way too low but managed to get it back on very promptly...) The bulldog too starts very easily on my back but since getting home I haven't had the balls to switch it off mid flight yet???

As far as construction goes I think putting the miniplane together is a little more fiddly than the bulldog. Clive has thought a great deal about the structural integrity and the assembly process to make it very easy indeed.

I believe Clive suggests that the bulldog frame is sturdy enough for a power launch although there was some talk at the nats about some lines getting touched at one stage. I don't know the details of that incident and I don't know how to do a power launch so the point is moot to me. Having tried to flex both outer rings I would suggest that the Bulldog is slightly stronger and thus hopefully propstrikes are less likely. Note I don't say impossible as if you are brutal enough with any frame you will touch a prop.( apart from the fabled flat top???)

One thing worthy of note, my Bulldog was technically only 2kg lighter than my airfer but it feels a whole lot lighter on my back. i am not sure why, you'll have to ask Clive, but it certainly makes more palpable difference between the bulldog and the airfer, than between the bulldog and the miniplane.

Yes I know the numbers don't indicate that. All I can say is put a bulldog on your back before you make your mind up.

Just my 2p

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I think the flyingDoc has posted a fair reply with regards to the Bulldog. The Bulldog Spirit was never intended to compete with the miniplane on weight or any other machine for that matter. Our design brief was born from experience and intended use. We planned from day one that these machines would be used in the flying school environment so weight distribution and ergonomics coupled with strength where key. The ergonomics allows for someone to train longer with it on their back or the occasional pilot who struggles with weight full stop.

On the note of lines no lines where damaged, it was the propeller that lightly kissed one of the out rigger spars which only left a slight mark on the spar no damage to the propeller or the lines as they where a further 75mm away. I mentioned in another post that my powered forward was far to aggressive with 70+kg of thrust of the new Moster engine and proto type engine mounts and mounting frame. The launch could have been a bitter managed but the pressure of not wanting to fail and the task ahead changes your perspective which no doubt a few of you will experience when you do these type of events.

I would be interested to know how many machines can handle a full-powered launch?

If anyone is interested in trying Bulldog or just having a real close inspection, then take look on our website and phone one of the dealers listed there as they all have a Bulldog Spirit Polini to try, not just a middleman who says he can get you one and adds no value to the process!

Clive

07736553834

www.bulldogparamotors.co.uk

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