Torque (5): This is reasonably well handled, producing about 20° of twist at full
The unit twists a lot on your back but the thrust line moves only a small
amount. So it looks bad but, in practice, is not. Many motors with good
weight shift have the same behavior because the weight shift allows the
frame to twist.
Thrust (9): This was the most thrusty machine I've flown where I
could go to full power without twisting. Given my 140 pound weight at the
time of the test, that's good.
Judging from my climb rate this was probably about a 165 lb thrust
machine at sea level.
Throttle response was rough below about 30% power, The owner knew about
it and said that adjustments were necessary. I would squeeze in a little
power and it would take a second to kick in then ramp up quickly.
Endurance (7): I wasn't able to measure it directly but the
sheer size of its 4.5 gallon tank means that anyone willing to heft it
fully fueled better have a big bladder. The large prop means it's probably
pretty efficient, maybe 1.1 gph. That would mean over 4 hours of flying
time on my wing.
Vibration (6): Better than average for a machine of this thrust class.
It's about the same as smaller cc engine units.
Sound (6): Fly has done a lot to improve the sound and it shows.
It's not as quiet as the Fresh Breeze Simonini but is much improved from
previous models. Even at climb power it's noise didn't seem objectionable.
Just before flying this machine I heard the older Fly Simonini machine on
a tandem unit and it was noticeably louder.
Safety (5): The two-hoop design and netting may almost keep a
hand out of the prop but probably only to about 60% power. A large opening
in the center presents a risk that for letting a hand through in the case
of a surprise thrust increase during start. That area is probably there
for access and to prevent a helmet hitting it while looking up at the wing
but it does add risk.
There is a fair amount of structure to give way in an impact which will
help protect the pilot.
One nice feature is a low fuel warning light hat blinks as the tank
depletes (due to fuel sloshing) and goes solid when it gets below a
certain level. That may alert a pilot who loses track or if there's a fuel
hardish butt landing or fall may cause the prop to hit the tank but with
the tips well beyond the tank's edge it may not be much of a problem. For
one thing, it's less likely for the prop to flex far enough to hit it at
all and another is that, if it does, the prop may shatter without
breaching the tank.
The frame bottom front has no sharp edges to catch on while