Fresh Breeze continues to innovation, in this case through updates to their Sportix line. This model has the Pollini Thor 100 engine with an integrated clutch and gearbox. This unit has been reviewed before but they have tweaked the design.
My flight was at Beach Blast which means near sea level density altitude and an onshore wind of 8 mph. Perfect.
Weight: The motor was about 65 pounds as flown (with fuel) and I was around 135 pounds. It was nicely balanced on my back. Walking around was easy with no impediments. There was a 7 pound reserve mounted on it.
Harness & Suspension: The Fresh Breeze harness is a low attachment system with pivoting arms goose-neck arms similar in geometry to the Miniplane.
Starting (-): It comes with Pollini’s “EasyStart” system with the handle located in the usual place above your shoulder. This really does make it easy to start when you’re seated. The craft was reasonably stable on the ground and fired right up. The cord was long enough to get to full travel of the spring.
Ground Handling & Kiting (-): Very comfortable on the ground with no pushing out at the seat bottom. I was not being pulled back as long as I leaned forward enough.
Launch (-): Typical for a low hook-in system but with VERY good torque compensation.
Climbout (-): Good. Probably around 250 fpm.
Flight (-): Flying the machine felt very good, the seat was more comfortable than many and the low hook-in put my brake toggles in an easy-to-reach location. The risers were wide enough that I did have to bring my arm inboard of the risers to work with the camera.
Weight Shift (-) Very easy weight shift of around 6 inches.
Torque (-): Well managed, better than average.
Thrust (-): Probably around 115 pounds, easily enough to fly me on an 18 Meter Viper.
Endurance (-): Longer than the average bladder given the large tank.
Vibration (-): Among the smoothest 10% of all motors I’ve flown. The harness is well padded which may have contributed.
Sound (-): Fresh Breeze goes out of its way to make their stuff quiet and this is no exception.
Safety (-): The cage would benefit from the slightly smaller netting holes — I’m not sure if it would pass the hand test.
Unlike most Fresh Breeze units, this has a gas tank down low. I did not see if the prop clearance was at least 6″ but that would be desirable.
Construction (-): No quality defects noted.
Reparability (-): If it breaks you’ll need proprietary pieces but Fresh Breeze seems to keep a good stock of parts on hand. The Pollini has an combined clutch/redrive so, if there’s a problem with either unit, you may have to do more work on getting at some parts.
Transport (-): Transports easily in minivan or SUV by taking off the top cage piece.
Cost: About $6500.
Overall: Smooth, powerful, quiet, very comfortable, a bit heavy for the thrust but well balanced enough not to be objectionable. I liked it a lot.