SkyRunner – The Flying Car That Transforms Your View Of The World in 300 feet


Looking for the ultimate all terrain vehicle? The Folks at Parajet Paramotors and SkyRunner have come up with a pretty sweet solution in what appears to be a high end dune buggy turned batmobile. At a mere $120,000 cost, this vehicle is a dream for many but it is cool to look at.   We’ll take two.

SPECIFICATIONS TECHNICAL DETAILS

Chassis

Weight :
420kg (926lbs) excluding driver
Chassis :
Thin-wall, high-strength space frame
Bodywork :
Glass/carbon fibre composite
Propeller :
Helix 1.65m 3-blade carbon fibre
Suspension :
Independent double-wishbone
Wheels :
18 x 8 3-piece, bespoke centres
Gearshift :
Pneumatic paddle-shift
Fuel Capacity :
35 litres

Engine

Type :
1.0ltr EcoBoost Direct Injection Turbo
Displacement :
999cc
Valvetrain :
4-valve, DOHC, Ti-VCT
Bore x Stroke :
71.9mm x 82mm
Compression :
10.0:1
Power :
125PS (92kW) @ 6000rpm
Torque :
200Nm (147.5lbs/ft) @ 1400-4500rpm
Transmission :
Bespoke 4-speed with power takeoff

Performance

Max. Road Speed :
185kph (115mph)
0-100kph (0-62mph) :
4.3 secs
Max. Air Speed :
88.5kph (55mph)
Takeoff Speed :
59.5kph (37mph)
Cruise Speed :
56.3kph (35mph)
Max. Altitude :
15,000ft
Restricted Altitude :
10,000ft
Range :
321.8km (200miles)
dunebuggy

Polini Thor 190 SCOUT Update – First Flight, Break In

If you don’t have a cup of coffee (or beer) in your possession, grab one before you start reading this loooong post.

Since Polini first announced the Thor190 Light back in October of 2013, I had been bugging them to get my hands on one.  On paper, it sounded like a kind of “middle of the road” big bore, at 29.9lbs and 27hp.  Maybe not worth getting too excited about.  But I have personally owned (and worn out) it’s two closest engines in class, the Thor200 and the Vittorazi Moster – I can see the potential for something in-between.

The Thor200 has some great attributes: Heaps of power, super-smooth, easy starting, and magically-low fuel consumption.  I most loved the power and the fuel consumption.  If you can burn 30% less, you can carry 30% less – that’s good.  It’s got some downsides to it too.  Several of the initial models (first 12 months production) ended up eventually running hot, overheating, and scorching or blowing holes in pistons.  Both of Team Fly Halo’s personal 200’s did it within a week of each other at about 20hrs, as well as several of our customers’ units.  Polini was good about it, but the recalls and modification kits have been an ongoing saga for which their reputation is going to be hard to earn back.  We know on a professional level they are a good manufacturer, we also like to be the ones who test everything of interest to us so that our customers don’t have to – so we gave them another shot.

The Moster, for me, has been like a partner-in-crime in my paramotoring antics.  I started flying them about four months after I learned, and I have put several hours on more than ten individual engines since they came out.  I’ve seen all of the changes, failures, updates, improvements, etc.  It’s rounded out to be a good engine in the high-power class with an acceptable failure rate.  When people ask me the downsides to it, I tell them that it’s loud, burns lots of fuel, and always leaves my 220lb self wanting a tiny bit more thrust.  I’m greedier than most in the power department though.

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When I saw the specs on the Thor190, I imagined a 200 with the gearbox ripped off.  Whether that’s true or not, there’s some glaring similarities.  Same displacement, appears to be the same head, cylinder, mount, carb, etc.  It lacks the counter-rotating gearbox and flywheel that give the 200 the smoothness, and that’s been replaced with a reduction pulley on what looks like the same exact bolt holes that were holding the gearbox onto the 200.  To be honest, the mechanism holding the reduction pulley on kinda looks like an afterthought.

At any rate, the Polini Thor 190 weighs nearly ten pounds less with one less horsepower.  That means it’s pushing a better power-to-weight ratio – and presumably, a better climb rate.  If it’s reliable, it’s gonna be the ticket for this guy.

I finally got to unbox my Thor190 just three days ago.  Miroslav Svec was nice enough to do the right thing and adapt the Thor to the Scout frame without the use of an adapter plate – I’m really impressed with the configuration.  But I digress.

The Thor came with prop bolts and a belt tensioning tool that looks reminiscent of a slim jim used for opening locked cars…. not that I know anything about that.  I had our proprietary Halo carbon throttle installed on it, as well as a PPG Meter.  At the time of this article, the Thor190 did not have a user manual.  I was advised by Polini to use the Thor200 manual in the interim for general servicing and break-in.  There’s a supplemental document that shows how to adjust belt tension, it can be found here: http://flyhalo.com/2014/04/polini-thor-190-scout-update/

After getting the whole unit together, I followed the procedure that I used to use to prime the Thor200 – act like you’re trying to flood it, and then make sure the plunger doesn’t stick into the carb (it will try).  After I figured out the intricacies of the newly installed master switch on my Scout, the Thor fired right up.  Out of the box it idled at about 1700rpm with a loud chirping that sounded like a loose belt.  During the initial warmup suggested in the 200 manual, the chirping subsided for the most part.  After warm-up, I tightened the belt only slightly.

The pull start is easy enough to overcome the compression.  This engine seems to have a heavier flywheel than the Moster I’m used to, which adds inertia to the start and makes it a bit easier to do one-handed.  It doesn’t seem finicky at idle, and it doesn’t need a lot of attention to keep it from loading up and dying – that’s good.  On the back, the engine vibrates quite a bit – similar to a Moster or Minari.  At cruise or mid-range it’s a bit smoother.  At full power, it picks up a high-frequency vibration that’s similar to the Simonini Mini2 series.  All in all, you feel the power; but it doesn’t rattle your teeth.  It’s loud – it’s not a little engine, and it doesn’t sound like it.  Big deal, ‘Murika.

scout paramotor thor 190

Kit / Conditions:
Pilot: 220lbs
Paramotor: Scout Carbon fiber paramotor – Thor’s Hammer edition
Glider: Gin Sprint Evo 25.5m
Field Elevation: 4100′
Temp: 15 degrees C

The unit itself was a little bit heavier than the Moster-equipped version – but not bad at all, still under 60 lbs.  Luckily, you’ll be saving some weight with all the missing cash that you shelled out for the Thor190 option.  How much heavier?  .7kg quoted – though we haven’t been able to get them side-by-side on a scale.  We’re not yet positive how much additional cost the Thor will be over the Moster, but we’re estimating about $600.00.

Launching was easy enough, but once airborne I immediately noticed that the Thor190 is a tiny bit more sluggish to spool up than the Moster or Minari.  I’m not sure if this is due to a heavier flywheel, or if this is just how the powerband is mapped out.  Just like the Thor200 Evo, there is a “sticky spot” in the midrange from about 4500-5900 rpm.  When going from cruise to full power climb, it lagged just a little bit below 6000rpm and then cut loose and sang it’s way up to 7900 really, really fast.  It actually kind of reminded me of turbo lag in that regard – nothing, nothing, nothing, then…..scary power.  Midrange throttle inputs were not as direct, so  precision low flying will demand that the pilot be slightly “ahead of the aircraft.”  Personally I’ll take it; I don’t mind thinking ahead, and I really like the instant burst of power after passing 6000rpm.  I would be hesitant to put a heavier three-bladed prop on this engine, as it would make the spool-up just a little bit slower.

This trait might be a consideration for beginners or instructors – a comfy midrange can make sloppy throttle-control a little less sloppy.  If you’re a pilot who is still trying to figure out how to stop oscillations in your glider, you might not want to compound the issue with having a delay in throttle response.  Maybe not – you could learn to get over it pretty quick.

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Torque on the engine was not bad on this configuration, it almost seemed to be about the same as the Moster, but that might be the Scout paramotor doing it’s job.  I would like to fly both engines on a different setup to see for sure.  #salespitch

I did four full-power climbs with varying degrees of static brake input, including flying with my hands in my lap.  The torque effect definitely started slight oscillations, but it didn’t turn more than 5-10 degrees under torque steer while getting established at that climb angle.  Remember that I’m 220lbs – YMMV.  I was able to do weight shift wingovers under full power getting equally as high on the wing on either side, so I don’t think the torque steer is excessive.  There was a fleeting torque-twist sensation during each of the climbs, which was probably responsible for the oscillation at the beginning.

Climb rate – This was likely the best climb rate I’ve ever experienced at my elevation.  I used to fly a Thor200 at this very spot, and I was just never really impressed and didn’t feel like the thrust increase was worth the extra weight over the Moster.  This engine seems to be a good mix of light weight and high power.

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Data – I’ve never used gauges in flight, but when I saw that Polini was slightly behind schedule on releasing this engine; something told me I should have the PPG Meter installed to monitor temps.  During my flight I noted running temps between 145-175C during my normal flying (aggressive), and a peak of 193C during a sustained full power climb.  Unfortunately no one has posted any test data or manual on this engine, so I have no baseline for comparison.

During my flight, I noticed that the belt did loosen up and begin slipping a little bit.  This was expected, as the “belt stretching” .pdf file suggested it may happen.  Belt tightening is easy, you just need an 11mm socket, the slim jim that came with it, and 5kg of something. (internet sarcasm)

One issue I did have, is that the plastic dust cap that blocks off the hole for the electric starter (not installed) fell off while running in the engine and went through the prop, damaging it.  I hope that they will give this cap a little more engineering before sending this product out to the masses.

On post flight, I also noticed how clean the engine runs.  Very little sputter from the exhaust, no leaking fuel from the carburetor, not a lot of residue on the prop.  I made it a point to note how much fuel I had before and after, and was pleasantly surprised to see that in 37 minutes of flying I had burned less than 2 liters of fuel.   That’s what I missed most about my old Polini.

Pros (so far):

Light(ish) weight
Excellent power to weight ratio (possibly the best climb rate I’ve observed of any engine)
Easy starting
Low fuel consumption
Looks cool

Cons (so far):

Throttle response sluggish with a sticky midrange
Belt adjustment mechanism – different, not confidence-inspiring
Dust cap on e-starter “hole” – really?
Loud
No manual or test data published

polini thor 190 plug

I’m going to proceed carefully and continue to be skeptical of this engine.  Coming out of the gate with these positive traits, I’m excited about what this engine can do for guys my size and for little guys who want to fly really small gliders.  I wish I had been testing this engine all along and could confidently recommend it to folks at this point, but for now we want to put some hours on it and see what shakes out in the upcoming months.

I hope to compete with it next month at the Endless Foot drag, so if anyone wants to see it up close, be sure to make it to that event and come say hi.  I have high hopes for this engine’s cross-country capability given it’s high power and low fuel burn, so I hope to be making some longer flights next month once the weather warms up a bit.

I will continue to update my findings, so be sure to tune into the next article!

-Shane

Polini Thor 190 SCOUT Update – How To Adjust Belt Tension

If you currently own a Thor 190 and you’re anything like us, you’ve probably been wondering how the heck you adjust the belt tension!  We searched high and low and couldn’t figure it out.  It’s not the most user friendly system we’ve encountered.

After going back and forth with Polini, we were able to get a .PDF document showing a step by step solution for adjusting the belt tension on the Polini Thor 190.

(click image for .PDF download link)

polinithor belt tension

Thor190belt

 

 

Stay tuned for more updates on the new Thor 190 powered SCOUT as we put her to the test.

SCOUT Paramotor Customer Review – Trevor Meeks

When we call the SCOUT paramotor a game changer, we mean it.  We do not use empty marketing hype to promote the SCOUT.  It truly is a revolution to this sport and we are quite proud to put our name behind it.
The following is a review from the latest SCOUT customer, Trevor Meeks.

“I am extremely excited to get up in the air on my new Scout. After flying a demo unit a few weeks ago thanks to Shane and Byron with Team Fly Halo, it’s all I have dreamed about.TrevorMeeksSCOUT

If you aren’t familiar with the Scout, it’s a fairly new design that is constructed almost entirely out of Carbon Fiber. The frame itself is aluminum, with the spars, prop and outer hoop formed from Carbon Fiber. The swing-arms are CNC’d anodized aluminum, and the harness is extremely comfortable. The whole thing just screams quality. It’s powered by a Vittorazi Moster 185, and they have a few new engine options in the smaller cc range coming out soon I think.

Where this unit really shines though, is the anti-torque system. I’ve flown a few different motors and each has their own way of dealing with engine torque — either by hooking the glider in with slightly different height hook-ins, or using adjustable straps to pull a bit of weight-shift into the harness to counteract the torque. The Scout uses the aerodynamic spars (the parts holding the outer hoop to the frame) to counteract torque using the air being pulled over them by the propeller. This system works EXTREMELY well. I was skeptical when I heard the initial “hype” when the design was introduced, but wow… it really works.

Hopefully without sounding like a sales pitch, I just want to say that I am extremely happy with this paramotor so far, and I’m looking forward to expanding my flying horizons for many years to come with the Scout! It truly is a magnificent piece of engineering.

A shout-out to the guys at Team Fly Halo for the excellent service and for just being friendly, great dudes in general.

I’ll keep you guys posted as I get a bit more experience with this machine. So far I’ve just completed breaking the engine in, in preparation for a paramotor fly-in this weekend here in California.

Happy flying!”

– Trevor Meeks        Click here for the full review by Trevor.

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Dual SCOUTs. Photo by Christopher Pine.

Taking One For The Team – Thor 190 SCOUT Paramotor

With the release of the new Thor 190 Lite,  we’ve been working with SCOUT Paramotors to get a unit ready for market.   Due to the past issues with Polini’s reliability on the Thor 200 unit; we will not be selling this unit until we can gather quite a bit of air time on the engine.

The SCOUT frame has been redesigned to accommodate the new Thor engine and we are excited to begin testing.  BOOM!   No really, we hope it doesn’t do that.   We’ll be posting updates on the testing of the Thor 190 as our team pilot Shane Denherder puts the engine through its paces.

Morro Bay Paramotor Training: May 30th – June 8

UPDATE: Our class is almost sold out.

Flying season is upon us! Now’s the time to get your wings if you haven’t already. Team Fly Halo is conducting another class at our favorite paramotor training location, Morro Bay, CA.

We are limiting this class to 6 students on a first come first serve basis. Please contact us for details on the class and any questions you may have.

Morro Bay, CA has officially become our training headquarters this year and we will now predominately have classes at this location.     In the past we have spread out our events through out the year in California, Oregon and Texas.  After teaching in these locations for 2 years, Morro Bay has stood out to us as being the top location for putting out the best pilots.     The weather is better and the location is an ideal training environment.  We’re all about our students success and we now feel that it’s best reached at our Morro Bay location.

Come join us in Morro Bay from May 30th – June 8th and we’ll take you on one unforgettable flying adventure. Flying in?  We can pick you up from San Jose International Airport.

What does it cost and what do you get?

Our course runs @ $2500.00 for a lifetime of training. What this means is after your initial training, you are welcome to attend any of our courses free of charge.

During your first trip out to us we cover the following:

Lodging
Transportation
Gear Rental
One unforgettable experience

We limit each class to 6 total students, 3 per instructor to give as much one on one time as possible.

The only thing we ask of you to bring to training is a great attitude and be ready to have tons of fun. If you would like to talk with any of our past students about our gear or our operation, please let us know or check out our training testimonials page.

At this time, Team Fly Halo can administer USPPA ratings PPG1 – PPG3, and USHPA ratings P1 – P4.  Team Fly Halo Members will have what they need to be successful toward earning ratings.  A USPPA PPG2 rating (the standard) is very attainable within this time frame.  However this will vary depending upon individual ability, and weather conditions.  Naturally, we travel far and wide to seek the best training destinations to maximize your success, but there are some circumstances that can be out of our control. Students always have to option to come back to scheduled events to earn additional ratings if they desire.

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