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Having exhausted Dell's patience with me (he kicked me off his FB group) has anyone got one of these wings? I would so like to see for myself just how well it really works. I would just love to have total evidence to the contrary so I could call him a bullshitter with complete confidence and evidence.

Nige

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  • 5 years later...

My apologies in advance if I am reviving an old thread, but someone might find this useful.

 I've been in the sport officially for 6 months, after about 2 years of thorough research to decide if I wanted to commit. I trained at a reputable and high quality school in Indiana. (Midwest PPG, can't say enough about how valuable that was, and how great they are).  I wanted to get a lot of ground handling in before school, and picked up a used Large (28 or 29 meter) 3 year-old Dominator for $1500 US.   I spent over 25 hours kiting it before my school started.  I spent my time at the school on an Ozone Mojo XL and a BGD Magic, both docile  beginner-class wings. I bought an Ozone Roadstet 3 and Parajet Maverick after the leaving training, but Ozone had a lengthy wait time due to COVID-19 (9 weeks so far), leaving me with a cool motor, and my "practice" wing.

 Needless to say, a few days after getting my motor and frame, I was clipping into the dominator to fly.    I am only 35 flights in, so consider that when reading this -  but it feels every bit as stable and forgiving as the beginner wings I flew during training.   Steep banks or turns require considerable break pull, and it returns overhead after coming out of a turn without needing any input from me.   Getting it into an oscillation requires intentional effort.  Essentially, it flies like a slightly larger Mojo.

 One considerable change for me, coming off the other 2 wings, is that I need to launch it with trims 75% out.  If the trims are in, the sides of the wing come up promptly, as the center stays down, and I blow every launch.   Trims mostly out fixes that.  Dell  Says in one of his videos to launch with trims full out, but I haven't found that necessary and it seems excessive. As soon as I'm off the ground, I pull trims in immediately, otherwise my climb rate suffers drastically, and I've already had a few near misses with [trees, telephone poles, a fence] on my first few launches.   If I pull enough break to climb without the trims in, I feel like I'm flirting with a stall 5 meters off the ground.  3/4 out seems perfect for me.   It seems to land just fine trims in or out.

 My impression at this point is that it is not sporty, or fast, but I have full confidence that it is safe.   I can only guess that performance and speed records must be set by thoroughly loading a small wing,  because with 150 kg on a 28 m wing, I'm not breaking any speed records.   But when the air gets punchy and I'm 200 m up, I put my hands up, throttle down and don't have any worries.  

 I would buy this wing again as a beginner wing.  But probably not for $4k.

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This is my view on the Dominator/K2 wing. The wing was originally designed for hike and fly. Because it was designed for that in mind it has a high lift coefficient(more lift for the same size of wing so that you can pack a smaller wing up the mountain) So when you are flying a large 28m dominator like sharf3007 it won't feel sporty at all, but when you fly a XXS 19m or smaller Dominator with nearly 135kg weight at over 5000' elevation like Dell, it can be a pretty darn sporty wing. 

These are my current thoughts on the wing. There are safer wings on the market, and there are faster and better performing wings on the market, but I think that the Dominator/K2 has one of the best performance to safety ratios of any wing on the market.

If you truly can not stand Dell you could also look into Cima power. It is the exact same wing and it has been designed by the exact same person. The only difference is that it has been optimized for paramotor use and it has some modern technologies implemented.

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Is the Dominator still an over 10 year old design that does not use reflex and has not been updated like other wings? If you do not know what reflex is for I suggest you have a read about it. There is a key reason that ppg wings tend to use reflex whereas pg wings don't.

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I know more than most people do about reflex, I wrote a long article about reflex where I go into depth on exactly how it works and the pros and cons of it. It is on the Facebook group called "paramotor master chat" if you want to look it up. It's actually Dells Facebook group and I sort of said a lot of things contradictory to what he has previously said about reflex, so I hope it is still there...

Yes the Dominator is a 10 year old wing without reflex. There have been some "updates" such as light weight fabric on all the wings and racing lines on to the XXS and smaller wings which does greatly improve performance, but it has been questioned as to how it impacts the longevity.

If you want to see some unbias reviews, Mark Honeycutt does a decent first impression review on it. You can also go look up a bunch of other people who have tried it and the majority of them have good things to say about it.

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The facts are, for the most part, Dell hasn't designed a thing in his life. Everything he does is a rehash and rebirth of something someone else designed previously that is superseded...hence why I think he calls himself "Super Dell".

 

The Flat Top was neither designed by Dell or inspired by him. It has some fundamental flaws that have never been addressed because he isnt capable of addressing them, the dominator design (like the flat top), is a stagnated old design that was safe enough in its day, but incorporates none of the more recent technologies and refinements that make wings what they are today.

The fact one of the respondents here has trouble launching it because of tips flying first isn't surprising either...paying $1500 US dollars for an old design and old wing is madness.

Having said all of the above, at least Dell flies his own brand, he hasn't died on it yet. 6ou probably wont ever see him go up against more modern technology in competitions though, i notice he is always very careful to avoid that. He also pretends to make competitive tests, however to the trained eye its easy to see how he causes newer wings to perform badly against his own gear.

His speed tests are also a complete lie...he overloads his dominators to the absolute shithouse to get them to fly as fast a much larger and therefore safer reflex gliders. Its ridiculous to see him break a so called speed records only to see him cross the threshold on landing at nearly 40km/hr on a wing so small one would have trouble soaring it free flying let alone motoring.

 

Admire his skills, but ignore the marketing hype.

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I disagree on the flat top part. Dell really liked the walkerjet paramotor and didn't like when the switched frame designs. So he worked in collaboration with one other guy to design the flat top which was heavily based off the walkerjet.

The flat top has evolved over time. For example, Dell had the comfort bars widened for better weight shifting ability. He also changed to a smaller gauge of aluminum that makes up a portion of the crumple zone. I believe it because a guy crashed and broke his back basically because a lot of things went wrong and the crumple zone wasn't soft enough.

I'm not saying that the flat top is perfect by any means, I can list off a bunch of stuff that I would like to see changed which could improve performance, comfort, safety, and ease of use.

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Weight is honestly not terrible. At 56 pounds with a vittorazi moster or Minari f1 it weighs less than the carbon scout with a moster plus.

If you want to see a really heavy paramotor, look at The fresh breeze monster. That thing weighs 71 pounds!

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No. The lightest model would be a flat top 120 with a Radne Racket engine. That one is claimed to weigh 47 pounds. The 200cc Minari f1 and the classic vittorazi moster 185 engines are supposedly within an ounce of each other so with those engines the flat top is claimed to weigh 56 pounds.

 

You can watch videos done by people like PPG grandpa who is a critic of the flat top. Anyway he weighed the frame without the engine, throttle, or fuel tank and it came out to be 24.3 pounds. (It did have a thrust plate) I have personally weighed some of the individual pieces to a flat top frame and that seems perfectly reasonable. I have also weighed an entire Radne Racket engine optimized for the flat top with the thrust plate, all hardware for mounting to frame, throttle, fuel line, fuel bulb and filter, intake baffle, and everything else. It came out to be 22 pounds. Add the weight of the engine and frame and you have 46.3 pounds. Add one pound for the prop and replace the weight of the thrust plate with a fuel tank and you have a 47.3 pound flat top 120. That is 0.3 pounds more than what Dell says it is. The only numbers there that we do not know for certain is the weight of the thrust plate and designated hardware which was weighed with the frame and the weight of the fuel tank which wasn't weighed with the frame.

Basically I know that the flat top 120 is within a minimum of 1.5 pounds of what flat top paramotors advertises and likely much closer, so I would think their other units would be pretty close to accurate.

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This guy (Mike Daniel) posted on the FB paramotor forum today. He said "I weigh 200 lbs and I’m a pretty strong guy! The flattop is a freaking beast!! So heavy!".

Disclaimer I hate bashing people or making anyone feel bad but I felt like this needed to be said
I’ve done super training! While I knew there was a lot of hate towards Dell “and for good reason “ there’s no denying he’s a badass Paramotor pilot ! I watched a bunch of videos on YouTube of him showing his “brand new students “kiting up trailers, ridge soaring sand dunes, flying tandems, and doing sats on a 14 square meter dominator ! That type of stuff may not appeal to many but I’m all about flying like that . The training cost 4500 which for me it was 4000 because i had booked my own condo .. so it was 2000 for training and 2000 towards his gear ... I was ok with that because I was planning on buying equipment from him anyways... well here we go .. I’m a former skydiver ,a private pilot and used to own an ultralight airplane.. I’ve been into aviation for 15 years , that being said I knew each discipline had its own animal to over come. so 5 months before I went to training I bought a wing and practiced kiting every Chance I got !! Learning techniques off of dells YouTube channel! there’s a video where a “super student” flies on day 2 and by day 10 he’s flying tandems with Dells wife ! So I’m thinking in my head money well spent! screw all the haters . that’s going to be me !! Well I was Wrong!!! I showed up to the beach and could forward kite with my eyes closed and reverse kite with no problem at all on day one . Dell said don’t turn around yet until we tell you to . I’m like ok so I do what he said. honestly kiting wise , I didn’t learn shit from Dell I learned more from their mechanic about kiting then him.. I asked Dell “when can I fly ? “ he says “when you can do 10 run and jumps in a row without taking a collapse.. “
I said easy done!! So by day 4 I’ve been doing run and jumps non stop no collapses for days ,I could do 20 run and jumps in a row if I had to . I ask Trevor like dude what’s the deal here ?why am I not flying? Trevor said if it was up to him I’d be flying which I do honestly believe that . So by day 6 just about a week trying to get Dell to let me fly he finally gives Trevor the green light ! Then Trevor asked the student next to me if he’s ready to fly too ? The student was like huh ? He could barely do a run and jump ! That pissed me off because now I know it wasn’t because I wasn’t good enough it was because Dells class was too big !! He couldn’t handle me flying while he had to try to Catch the rest of the class up “who most of them had 0 experience “ That would be to much work For Dell I guess 🤷‍♂️ That gave me 4 days to fly .. we got weathered out on 2 of those days so really I had 2 days of flying! which was a huge disappointment but at this point it is what it is . The irony is Dell was bragging at the beginning of the course how much god loves him and how his class never gets weathered out . Dell was completely against me kiting up the trailer, completely against me ridge soaring the dunes, completely against doing any kind of maneuvers, it was literally every reason I ignored everyone’s hate for him . Dreams smashed ! Money gone ! If you ask me Dells a straight scam artist! False advertising!! And how can you charge your students 2000 for gear just to train with you ? While in my opinion the flattop design was the best to fit my needs because I plan on flying the thing like a dirt bike and I like the crumple zone which everyone laughs at but I’m sorry if I’m coming down on a reserve that would probably break my fall . Not to mention the quick release system that’s a huge thing for me .. but not everyone thinks like me .. I weigh 200 lbs and I’m a pretty strong guy! The flattop is a freaking beast!! So heavy!! I could sacrifice a little discomfort on the ground for the other qualities. But what if I was a 120lbs girl? Or even a smaller guy that wasn’t to strong at all ? You just basically steal 2000 from them? In my opinion there is no perfect Paramotor. each pilot has there specific needs.. for a person who is on the smaller side or just wants to fly around normal you’d probably want to get a lighter frame 🤷‍♂️ but you just charge them 2000 anyways ? Shame on you Dell ! It’s hard to feel sorry for someone who literally does this to themselves! Now that I’m actually in the sport and have more knowledge Dell is not the best paramotor pilot in the world not even close ! Dell would be lucky if he was in the top 10 in the USA ! And even if you were Dell ..Even if you could do stuff no other pilot could do , you don’t go around bragging you’re the best ! Dude that’s common knowledge 🤷‍♂️ any asshole knows that . So after “super training “ was over I really didn’t want to give this scam artist anymore of my money so i basically looked at that 2000 I gave him towards gear as a loss and I started looking at other frames ! Side note I guess Dell ran his mouth to a someone from vittorazi and they stopped giving him motors so now you can’t even get a vittorazi on a flattop. Then I found out about Andy Fuller and the Skytap angel! The motor was amazing looking to me !! It had all the features I was looking for except it’s like an upgraded flattop!!! So I call Andy to get the ball rolling . he had it powder coated black for me ! And offered me a 2 day one on one siv course which was amazing! I felt like Andy was trying to help me instead of trying to pinch every penny he could out of me . Still the Skytap isn’t perfect for everyone, it’s lighter than the flattop but still on the heavy side, but it’s exactly what I wanted and now I don’t have to deal with the bad stigma from the flattop ..Andy what you have done with the Angel seriously needed to be done and I thank you! Now with all that said Dells kids are super cool surprisingly! They are nothing like Dell while Trevor kind of resembles him on YouTube a little in real life he’s a cool ass dude and I would fly with him anytime! Honestly I feel for Trevor because he can’t help how his uncle acts and it would be kind tough for Trevor to stab his uncle in the back and go off on his own after all Dell has done for him .. I could imagine if Dell was your uncle and wasn’t trying to rip you off he would or could be a pretty cool uncle .. unfortunately he acts like he’s this huge religious person. And I’m not going to debate people on their faith believe anything you want but what turns me off about it is people like Dell .. how can you claim to be so religious when all you do is lie to people, not care about them but just lining your pockets, bash gay people, or bash anyone with different views from you , make claims like no one could be better than you because god gave you these skills , and not to mention he spent a lot of his time scouting hot girls to go on tandem rides then take pictures of them in bikinis to promote the flattop.. don’t get me wrong I love hot girls in bikinis too. But dude I paid you 4000 for training and your class was already too big for you to handle obviously.. in my opinion you could have left the hot chicks alone and focused more on making your training like you make it out to be on YouTube
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I have met all of Dells 4 kids but his oldest daughter. I have also met Trevor. I don't know Dell and his wife have done it, but he has raised some of the most down to earth and incredible kids I have ever met.

I must say that sky tap looks pretty slick in all black! If that is your sky tap in the picture, how do you like the anti torque lamels? I have been interested in those, but have seen some mixed reviews on how effective they are. Also would you happen to fly the Cima power? I have been interested in that wing for a while but I have yet to actually find someone other than Andrew who flies them that I could talk to. 

Like every paramotor on the market, I do struggle with a few key points in the sky taps design, but I do believe that you have one of the best paramotors on the market.

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1 hour ago, Steve said:

Can't help myself but reading that sets off all the usual alarm bells. Maybe it's just me ...

Bob is sounding more and more like a super plant. We also have micro Tony on the FB forum who posts videos of him trying to break a students ankles!

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1 hour ago, AndyB said:

Bob is sounding more and more like a super plant. We also have micro Tony on the FB forum who posts videos of him trying to break a students ankles!

Shame he's starting to pollute the UK in the same way Dell has done in the US for years. :-(  

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I'm confused. You guys bash me for saying the dominator is a decent wing and I get bashed for proving that the flat top 120 is close to it's advertised weight, but none of that comes close to how much I get bashed for saying that the sky tap is one of the best paramotors on the market. I thought that people were buying sky taps to avoid getting bashed...

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Hey Bob, 

Not getting bashed, just viewed with skepticism because Dell has a long history of this kind of thing.  He does plant fake profiles, after all.  Phrases like, "Best paramotor on the market," tend to get sidelong glances in quieter places like this forum.  "A fine paramotor,"  or, "A good piece of engineering that trades a little weight for general robustness,"  would have gone over better.   None of us want this to become another Facebook. 

I think you'll find in general that the responses on this forum are generally measured and fair.  It's why I come here, at least.

That said, I do like the ideas in Andrew Fuller's SkyTap Angel.   I would be willing to haul a little extra weight to have that tennis-racket style protection between me and the prop instead of flimsy nylon. 

Edited by Ace Duffy
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Yup, I'm sure Dell would sign up on paramotor club just to say the the sky tap is "one of the best on the market." Lol. 

But seriously. I think if Dell could put any paramotor manufacturer out of business it would be sky tap because it is taking a ton of his costumers from him and it is a clear copy of his design.

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Firstly...ive got a headache, hardly slept, have had a child vomiting most of the night which still isnt over yet (its now 5am here), and probably i am rambling as a result...anyway, here goes.

 

Anyone who is deeply religious and a genuine Christian already knows that anyone who claims to be such, whilst at the same time lying as much as he does, taking no responsibility for his mistakes that cause harm to others (ie the guy who died under his instruction), is mostly a fake. I am not sure i understand how anyone who carries on the way he does could actually really be one. Having said that, i believe strongly in Christianity and have a strong faith but im the worst example of a Christian on the planet. I skip church regularly to "go fliing" (as Dell says), i swear when i get angry (i really dissappoint myself in this area), i dont pray regularly (but i talk to myself out aloud all the time...what that means i havent a clue)...anyway, im a crap example to be honest. So who am I to judge!

 

I think we just need to rate his equipment for what it is. Accept that he is a great pilot but that he also spins an awful lot of complete rot in pursuing sales, instead should always get a variety of different experiences in order to better inform ourselves for our paragliding journey and take marketing hype on its merits.

 

What i will say about the dominator (The Cima K2) is that,

very few people i fly motors with keep using standard canopy profiles with motors. In all honesty they are hopeless for xcountry flying compared with reflex ones...there is simply no way to argue this point, its a consistently demonstrated fact.

 

Actually, one of Dells own well known students, James Alreid, eventually realised the Dominator BS and moved over to flying reflex gliders. (Niviuk Kouger if memory serves me correct)

I do not doubt the inherant safety in standard canopies, but they are not safer at speed. If one compares identical wing sizes between reflex and stardard...well there isnt a comparison to be honest. To fly as fast as a reflex one using a standard free flying profile (wings like dominator, mojo, atlas) you have to dramatically reduce wing size. Smaller wing means more dynamic, faster landing speed, more chance of injury. Its that simple, there is no way to argue against this point other than to say, well dont fly fast! Thats easy to say in principle, however, in practise, when you see "the jones next door" zooming by 10km/hr faster on their reflex glider (which btw is the identical size to your dominator), you're gonna wanna break the 10th commandment "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's. ( Exodus 20:17)"! 

So when you want the slow landing speed and behaviour of my 25m dudek universal, your 25m free flying canopy is going to be painfully slow at xcountry flying unless there is almost zero wind and especially, no lift areas to fly through!

 

Btw, there is a really good way to compare the characterietics of standard canopies and reflex ones...its an absolute no brainer test...next time it blowing 17-20knots on the coast and everyone is flying 17m minwings, ask a ppger with a 22m reflex ppg glider to go free flying...he will be up their asses screaming them to fly faster. Ive flown my 25m dudek in strong conditions with lots of 17-19m miniwings and keep up no problem. I once overtook a low end hang glider into strong headwinds on my dudek (much to my amusement and the complete shock of its pilot). Obviously launching a big wing in strong conditions is very very difficult, however this is the speed test im talking about. We all know that no rational safety conscious guy/gal is regularly going to be pulling up a 22-25m bed sheet in stronger winds, however it is very doable in the hands of a skilled pilot to prove my speedtest point. 

Sorry for the rant.

Edited by adamjedgar
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I agree with you. I do believe the dominator is a good EN-A wing but there is no way it could keep up with most comparable sized reflex wings especially in long distance xc flights.

I have talked to Dell a few times and he is honestly one of the most fun person I have ever talked with. I have also learned that he truly believes every word that he says. Now with that In mind, I don't think he fully understands every concept behind how a reflex works which I think has made him more more apposed to it, but he has flown dozens of reflex wings him self.

I found this interesting interview that someone not affiliated with him did. I don't think it will make you change your mind on everything he has ever said, but it shows a slightly different side of him and  it helps show people who have never met him that he does believe what he says. It is interesting listening to around the 40ish minute mark when he talks about his own gear and other gear. It goes to show that he is not as against reflex as many of his videos demonstrate and he isn't really apposed to people flying wings other than his own dominator. 

 

On a different topic I have had this on my mind for a bit so here is my little rant on a theoretically possible paramotor wing that could possibly be better than reflex:

I once saw a wing where you could zip up or fold up the two center cells of the wing while on the ground to effectively take it from something like a large to a medium size. Its called the U-turn paramotion if anyone wants to look it up. With that in mind, I think that someone needs to take a non-reflex wing and design the center third of the cells to collapse in an accordion style while in flight. this would effectively cut the wing area in nearly half and reduce the aspect ratio from around 5:1 down to around 3.3:1. Theoretically if you could do this properly, you could keep up with any comparable size  reflex wing, out climb with ease any wing in reflex mode, maintain active piloting at all speeds, be able to use regular brakes for better control, and the wing would recover from collapses almost as fast, but far more gently preventing other problems. Also because you are not loosing the efficiency of a reflex airfoil, it would be appealing to paraglider pilots. Of course the technical challenges would make this extremally difficult, but It would be really cool.

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