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By ppawel
#195757
Hey folks!

Unfortunately since a couple of weeks I've been obsessed with FLPHG :crazy: and now I want to buy a powered harness. TBH, I am somewhere between beginner and novice levels in my training so it may not be the smartest decision but I just need to get one even if I end up putting it in my training school's storage until my instructor gives me permission to fly it...

I try to look at it as another incentive to get off work and continue my training :drool:

So, smart or not smart aside, I've done some research and the only two active manufacturers seem to be Swedish Aerosport and Wasp Systems and I'm trying to choose between the two. I got in contact with people from both "sides", tried to read as much as I could find about both. So it looks like this:

Wasp:

+ better (more modern?) design, attention to detail - this I got from the manufacturer but it was also somewhat confirmed by testimonials I found on the internet
+ "properly" mounted engine (cooling does not oppose the air flow) (Mosquito - ?)
+ electric starter as a standard (paid option in Mosquito)
+ propeller brake as a standard (paid option in Mosquito)
+ foldable propeller as a standard (? - not sure yet) (paid option in Mosquito)
+/- available with better (?) Vittorazi Evo engine (not sure yet if + or -, have to do more research)

Mosquito:

+ more common (my perception) - I know people who use it
+ been around longer (?), more tested design

So pretty much that's it for now, maybe I will add more soon but if you folks have an input then it would be appreciated, thanks.
User avatar
By skypilot155
#195799
Forget the powered harness, there about as usless as tits on a boar hog, unless you weigh less than 150# you won't be able to climb out for diddly. :crazy:

Buy yourself a trike, learn to fly it and go where you want when you want. My trike climbs out at 1100fpm with just me or 650fpm when I take along another 200 pounder. Powered harness you'll be lucky to get 150fpm :sleep:

Foot launch should be just just that, foot launch, hook a thermal and go, until somebody actually comes up with a little more than 12 to 18 hp. powered harnesses are a complete waste of money :wink:
User avatar
By dayhead
#195827
While I can understand Skypilots' attitude, I'd like to point out where he's wrong.

The trike is a fun airplane. But the powered harness converts a pure glider into a motorglider. Airplanes aren't intended for soaring, although of course if conditions are strong enough....

I've never flown a powered harness. I have flown a trike, a heavy and powerful one, probably very similar to Skypilots' trike. I can't even imagine taking it up in conditions strong enough to soar it.

On the other hand, A FLPHG adds minimal weight and drag to the pure glider, making it a viable motorglider. If I lived in flatland, I would very likely get one, especially if towing wasn't very convenient. It would be nice to be able to power up to thermal catching height, and once lift is found, shut her down and soar. Also, if going XC and things get tight it would be nice to be able to restart and fly home.

One thing I wouldn't like is knowing that in a "bad landing" the powered harness could easily increase the severity of my injuries.

If I ever get one I will definitely give consideration to some really large diameter wheels for the control bar.
User avatar
By gasdive
#195842
I'd agree with dayhead, from the other direction. I've never flown a trike, but have flown a mosquito. It only climbs about 300 fpm (I'm 220 pounds). So my angle of climb is probably similar to that of most trikes.

It lets me fly when it is blowing in a direction for which there are no (or no good) hills within a reasonable drive. It also lets me fly when there is no wind blowing at all and it's stable.

I have taken off in completely calm and stable conditions, climbed to 7500 ft under power, flew 35 km out and 35 km back, then glided down engine off from 7500.

=:)

Edit, at 7500 I was still getting 200 fpm up. The engine was too rich to cruise, it ran rough as guts, but full power was still climbing well. Shouldn't run an engine at full power, but at that altitude, "full power" wasn't full. It was a magic day! I only burned about 6 litres of petrol. Far less than driving all over the place looking for a hill. And, there are no sled rides in Australia that high, 7500 is higher than our highest mainland mountain.
Last edited by gasdive on Mon Jul 12, 2010 4:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By enormydude
#195843
Dude, there's plenty of people here who are getting great value out of their power harness investment. It really shines in areas where hills, helpers etc are in short supply. I've doubled my flying hours since I got mine and the flying has so far been great fun.

It's really not supposed to turn your wing into an aircraft - you would best get a trike for that. It's just like dayhead said. Treat it as a portable hill for soaring flights, or a minimalist setup for just cruising around. It's still hang gliding so, sure, not every day is going get you up. Also, being foot launch, it gets harder to launch in nil wind and especially if you add heat, launch height and humidity to that.

I can highly recommend the Mosquito or the Explorer LD. The Explorer is Australian made and produced by Airtime Products. I have one and it's bloody beautiful!!
By ppawel
#195844
Powered harness provides exactly the experience that I am after - possibility of getting AGL pretty much where and when I want with minimal amount of "cheating". Getting airborne, shutting off the engine and soaring using various sources of lift is what appeals to me most.

If it takes 30 minutes to get to 1000 meters - it's fine by me, after all it's airtime which beats groundtime no matter what :-)

I saw a trike "in person" and saw how it flies - it's definitely cool but a bit too complex for me at this point, maybe I will take interest in it in the future, who knows.

Anyway, I overlooked a tiny little detail in my comparison...

Wasp:
- at least 4000 GBP (depends on the engine - Radne or Vittorazi and perhaps on the options chosen)

Mosquito:
- around 4000-4500 EUR (with some options)

So Wasp seems to be a bit more expensive, at least for my money (which is PLN).
User avatar
By Bobfly
#195873
I've given serious thought to getting one since I live in the flatlands and it's 5-6 hours to get anywhere launchable for me. It would definitely increase my flight time by a factor of 10.
User avatar
By Flyingseb
#195915
Bobfly wrote:I've given serious thought to getting one since I live in the flatlands and it's 5-6 hours to get anywhere launchable for me. It would definitely increase my flight time by a factor of 10.
Go for it, Bobfly!

You will lost less time on the road, and spend more time in the air!

Seb
User avatar
By Alex
#195957
ppawel wrote:Powered harness provides exactly the experience that I am after - possibility of getting AGL pretty much where and when I want with minimal amount of "cheating". Getting airborne, shutting off the engine and soaring using various sources of lift is what appeals to me most.

If it takes 30 minutes to get to 1000 meters - it's fine by me, after all it's airtime which beats groundtime no matter what :-)

I saw a trike "in person" and saw how it flies - it's definitely cool but a bit too complex for me at this point, maybe I will take interest in it in the future, who knows.

Anyway, I overlooked a tiny little detail in my comparison...

Wasp:
- at least 4000 GBP (depends on the engine - Radne or Vittorazi and perhaps on the options chosen)

Mosquito:
- around 4000-4500 EUR (with some options)

So Wasp seems to be a bit more expensive, at least for my money (which is PLN).
If you got money to burn go for it but keep in mind you're paying a lot of money for a very simple engine (2 stroke), an inexpensive propeller, and relatively cheap fabric.
User avatar
By gasdive
#195970
Alex wrote: If you got money to burn go for it but keep in mind you're paying a lot of money for a very simple engine (2 stroke), an inexpensive propeller, and relatively cheap fabric.
I don't personally think you should make the decision based on how much the parts cost. I think you should make the decision based on how valuable to you the harness is as a complete unit.

I value a day of my life at about 200 dollars and a weekend day (that I can spend with family and friends) at about twice that, 400.

Every day that I spend trying to fly and failing on the weekend costs me 400 dollars worth of my time. In addition I generally drive somewhere around 200 km in an attempt to fly. Given that my cars last about 200 000 km, cost 35 000 dollars, will need servicing 25 times at an average of about 300 each (7500) and will go through 4 sets of tyres worth about 4000 dollars, that's another 46 dollars in wear and tear on the car. Plus fuel at 31. That means that to me, it costs about 475 dollars in value to fail to fly locally. If I go and fly inland, then I travel 4 times further and burn up 4 times as many days (plus meals and accomodation away from home). I've completely failed to fly at all on inland trips or just ended up with sleddies.

So for me, if I get a fly when I wouldn't otherwise on three inland trips, or twenty local flights, it's completely paid for itself as far as I'm concerned. After owning one for six months I'm at least half way to having it paid for itself.

On the other hand, if you just want to total up the cost of the parts (AUD), the engine is worth about 1000 from the maker, an equivalent normal harness is about 2000, the prop is about 800 from the maker, figure out shipping yourself. Then you can build the frame, source the pulleys, belt, springs, bolts, tube, cables, switches, plugs, wires, strings, cleats bearings, build a jig, cut it all out, weld it all up. I'm sure that if your time is worth nothing at all you could build one yourself for 5000 dollars if you buy and then sell the machine tools second hand and manage to sell them for what you paid. Now Swedish Aerosports has been refining their design and subtly changing it for 20 years. It took 4 mechanical engineers two years to get the first one to a saleable point. I'm sure that your first attempt will be a ripper, way better than what they've come up with. And just think of all the skills you will aquire along the way!

I just bought a new one for 8700. Or you can buy a second hand one for about 4000.

cheers Jason =:)
User avatar
By Alex
#195971
gasdive wrote:
Alex wrote: If you got money to burn go for it but keep in mind you're paying a lot of money for a very simple engine (2 stroke), an inexpensive propeller, and relatively cheap fabric.
I don't personally think you should make the decision based on how much the parts cost. I think you should make the decision based on how valuable to you the harness is as a complete unit.

I value a day of my life at about 200 dollars and a weekend day (that I can spend with family and friends) at about twice that, 400.

Every day that I spend trying to fly and failing on the weekend costs me 400 dollars worth of my time. In addition I generally drive somewhere around 200 km in an attempt to fly. Given that my cars last about 200 000 km, cost 35 000 dollars, will need servicing 25 times at an average of about 300 each (7500) and will go through 4 sets of tyres worth about 4000 dollars, that's another 46 dollars in wear and tear on the car. Plus fuel at 31. That means that to me, it costs about 475 dollars in value to fail to fly locally. If I go and fly inland, then I travel 4 times further and burn up 4 times as many days (plus meals and accomodation away from home). I've completely failed to fly at all on inland trips or just ended up with sleddies.

So for me, if I get a fly when I wouldn't otherwise on three inland trips, or twenty local flights, it's completely paid for itself as far as I'm concerned. After owning one for six months I'm at least half way to having it paid for itself.

On the other hand, if you just want to total up the cost of the parts (AUD), the engine is worth about 1000 from the maker, an equivalent normal harness is about 2000, the prop is about 800 from the maker, figure out shipping yourself. Then you can build the frame, source the pulleys, belt, springs, bolts, tube, cables, switches, plugs, wires, strings, cleats bearings, build a jig, cut it all out, weld it all up. I'm sure that if your time is worth nothing at all you could build one yourself for 5000 dollars if you buy and then sell the machine tools second hand and manage to sell them for what you paid. Now Swedish Aerosports has been refining their design and subtly changing it for 20 years. It took 4 mechanical engineers two years to get the first one to a saleable point. I'm sure that your first attempt will be a ripper, way better than what they've come up with. And just think of all the skills you will aquire along the way!

I just bought a new one for 8700. Or you can buy a second hand one for about 4000.

cheers Jason =:)
I wish I had that type of money to throw away on a toy motor, a cheap prop, and some inexpensive fabric.
User avatar
By gasdive
#195973
Alex wrote: I wish I had that type of money to throw away on a toy motor, a cheap prop, and some inexpensive fabric.
Well you've got the money to throw away on some water pipe, canvas and string.

=:)
User avatar
By Alex
#195974
gasdive wrote:
Alex wrote: I wish I had that type of money to throw away on a toy motor, a cheap prop, and some inexpensive fabric.
Well you've got the money to throw away on some water pipe, canvas and string.

=:)
I guess you think you're making some point here--in you're mind.

Someone here talking about making kites--which I don't fly FYI?
User avatar
By gasdive
#195976
Alex wrote:
I guess you think you're making some point here--in you're mind.

Someone here talking about making kites--which I don't fly FYI?
If you don't fly, then you're a wuffo. Which makes sense given that you're making wuffo statements.
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By Alex
#195979
gasdive wrote:
Alex wrote:
I guess you think you're making some point here--in you're mind.

Someone here talking about making kites--which I don't fly FYI?
If you don't fly, then you're a wuffo. Which makes sense given that you're making wuffo statements.
You seem to be a little touchy....

Having a bad day or are you always this ignorant?
User avatar
By gasdive
#195980
Alex wrote:
gasdive wrote:
Alex wrote:
I guess you think you're making some point here--in you're mind.

Someone here talking about making kites--which I don't fly FYI?
If you don't fly, then you're a wuffo. Which makes sense given that you're making wuffo statements.
You seem to be a little touchy....

Having a bad day or are you always this ignorant?
I think it's a completely irrelevant thing to say that these harnesses use a "toy motor" "inexpensive fabric" or "cheap prop".

Of course every one of those statements is self evidently wrong, but that's neither here nor there. What you're buying is the time and effort that has gone into designing, testing and improving the harness, plus the raw materials and the time taken to put them together and ship it to you. Your statements are as irrelevant as working out the worth of a car by saying it's just some dirt that's been baked. Well actually, that statement is true... so it's even more irrelevant than that... Like saying a car is nothing more than some cheap dirt that's been baked.

I'm not angry with you, I'm amused. You sound *exactly* like the wuffos who go "how much you pay for that kite". When I tell them 6000 they go "man, it's just some pipe and canvas, you can make it yourself for 50 bucks, Man you so stupid to get ripped off like that"

=:)
User avatar
By Bobfly
#196009
These powered harnesses are expensive. A new hang glider is expensive. My life is worth every penny. :wink: I just made a 700 mile trip to hang glide and watched the wind blow over the back of the launch for 5 days straight. I finally got 2 aerotows on the last evening I was there. That's 2 roughly 12 minute flights for 24 hours of driving including 3 hours in stop and go traffic jams, 5 tanks of gas, meals, 1 vacation day from work, etc, etc, etc. I can pick up a FLPHG harness used for 3k so I figure my trip would have paid 1/3 of that. I can launch from a farm field 6 houses down the street from home and land there too. Hmmm... What to do, what to do....
User avatar
By skypilot155
#196019
gasdive wrote
It only climbs about 300 fpm (I'm 220 pounds). So my angle of climb is probably similar to that of most trikes.
Maybe you weren't paying attention, I said I climb out at 1100fpm by myself and 650fpm with another fatty on board like myself. In 2 minutes I can be 2200ft agl where as you'd be louping around at maybe 450 to 500ft agl in the same amount of time (and these would be numbers for the harness that everything is working perfect). I cruze at 60mph and can pull in and do 70mph. These are typical numbers for trikes. I know I hang with other trike pilots, as well as HG pilots who a few have powered harnesses.

I love my WW Sport2, but if I gotta listen to an engine I'd rather do it at 70mph with 1100fpm climbout and be able to go some where.

I still stand on powered harnesses are a waste of money, unless you're somewhere that there is no towing(aero or other) or no mountain. For $6000 to $10k you can get a nice used trike and have some fast fun :thumbsup:
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By gasdive
#196032
skypilot155 wrote: I still stand on powered harnesses are a waste of money, unless you're somewhere that there is no towing(aero or other) or no mountain. :
To each their own. I don't have hangar space, can't be bothered trailering, don't have anywhere to keep a trailer, don't need speed as I'm not "going" anywhere other than just up in the air, don't know anyone who would fly with me so dont need a second seat, don't feel safe towing (either end of the rope). I don't care how high I am as long as I'm an easy glide to a landing spot, but if I did, power HG are allowed to fly to 10 000 here in Oz, while trikes are limited to 5000. HG are allowed to fly low, trikes have to stay above 500.

Power harness suits me, Trike suits you. Viva la difference.

There's some way cool trike pilots around who give up their time to tow up HG's. Hats off to them, but it's just not for me. I expect that there are others who would be in the same boat as me.

=:)

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