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Light, packable setup for someone 170lb?


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I'm 170lb and would actually like to take my setup traveling internationally with me, so light weight is a big factor as well as the ability to pack down and pack back up easily (I won't be able to install a hitch system on a rental car - I'll need to pack down and throw the setup into the back of a wagon with folded rear seats). I also won't know if I'll be doing low or high altitude flying (probably a bit of both). I'll be shipping the motor to my destination and taking the rest via check-in luggage.

I checked out this series of very helpful videos:

I really want a setup with a cage without any holes in the netting that you could accidentally jam an arm through, a skid bar with rounded edges, and a harness with a quick release system that unbuckles everything in one swipe for possible water landings.

The Air Conception Nitro 200 looks amazing at 43lb dry (cage, frame, engine, harness) and 200cc, but the harness doesn't have a quick-release system, there are gaps in the netting of the cage for an arm to go through, and the skid bar is very sharp and angular and would dig into the ground like a knife.

The BackBone Stronger 125 is 48lb with 123lb thrust (independently tested) but has big holes in the cage netting, no quick release, and the ROS Light 125 engine is unreliable. Plus everything is in French...

The Flat Top Ninja that the aforementioned video author has makes a ton of sense everywhere but it's a bit heavy (57lb) and bulky for traveling, no?

Could you recommend something that has all the common-sense features of the Flat Top Ninja but is light and packable for travel?

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If you buy a motor that you can start easily whilst on your back the strength of the netting isn't quite as big an issue. I'll grant you the FT is strong in that department. But the center frames break at about 100 hours and can't be repaired.

If you learn to land on your feet gracefully and with pride you don't need the sledge bit. If you don't fly over water you probably won't need the quick release harness. I did like the concept but on the flat top with the wide bars for more weightshift, I have to say it was a bit like sitting in the middle of a park bench (with no mates) and you could slide to one side and get pulled up sideways in the thermals, accidentally weight shifting, often to the wrong side, and trying to keep the other side of the wing inflated using brake pressure. "Too much Fun huh?"Nicer to be strapped in snugly.

If I had a flying school, I have to admit I'd use a Flat Top to teach the first flights and get the learner mistakes done without too much carnage. Once out of school treat yourself to a Bulldog, Bailey, Parajet or other machine of your choice and don't get sucked in by too much hype. Go try a few !

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