Paraglider Review: 2010 Power Pluto II 18
Reviews, Updated 02-11-2007 | Ratings: 1 is bad, 10 is good |
| About the Testing
This is a new glider size by Axis that
isn't even really out yet, but I tried it in Florida and absolutely
loved it. I liked it as much as the Katana but have a lot of experience
on small Pluto's larger sibling, the Pluto XS (20 m� flat, 16.8 m�
projected), which is what I used to compete at the 2009 world air games.
It treated me extremely well, never once tip-collapsing even flying at
fast trim, on full speedbar, through countless cloverleafs.
Please see also
Flying Small Wings.
Handling (8): It's a smaller, sportier
version of the Pluto whose handling I already liked. Not as crisp as a
similar-sized Spice would be but it certainly does what you want and is
likely more forgiving than the Spice. The Katana my dive just a bit more
but it's also smaller and, for my flying, I can certainly get it as steep
as I want as quickly as I want.
Trimmers slow or fast really doesn't matter
much, the handling is awesome.
Inflation (9): Small wings shine
here, coming up brilliantly easily. And there's almost no tendency to
hang back so even if you get a bit slow it's pretty forgiving. The
tradeofff is that I suspect it's slightly more susceptible to front
tucks, much like how the MacPara's come up easily but must be dampened
slightly more than others.
Risers: The 4 riser system is
identical to the Pluto as best I can tell with magnetic clips. These are
the kind that beach flyers in CA don't like because they clog with
iron-rich sand. But they're fine for grass and regular sand. Nothing
Efficiency: Same good efficiency as
the Pluto, maybe a bit better although it's hard to say since the one I
flew was brand new and the one I normally fly (Tim Kaiser's) is a bit
Speed: You're way overloaded so she
moves right along. I'll get some speed measurements next time in FL. I
just ordered a Garmin Foretrex 401 for the purpose and will add speed and
sink rate numbers once I get the chance. Not surprisingly I zipped right
on by pilots flying more normal sized wings.
The design is not particularly fast nor is
the trimmer range long. The speedbar's effect is average but I'll await
speed tests to really tell.
Construction: Looks good. The risers
are the same as the larger wings. Speedbar and a short trimmer range are
One interesting option on the glider is a
Mylar top surface. This is basically a thinner version of the material
used in leading edge reinforcement. It's impervious to water (and I
presume air) which should be good on dewy mornings. It does add weight
but doesn't absorb water so it might be a good tradeoff. I haven't flown
the Mylar enough to comment but it makes sense.
Certification & Safety: It's a good
start the larger size is certified EN B, but only at weights that are
nearly impossibly light. The Max weight listed for the larger sized XS, a
20.1 m� glider, is 70 kg (154 pounds). A hundred pound pilot with a nearly
empty Miniplane would barely be under the maximum. So basically, like all
these small wings, you're pretty much on your own.
Overall: It's an absolute rush to fly
something this dynamic. The Katana, Bobcat (which I haven't flown with a
motor) and Speed Flying wings are probably a bit more sporty but for a
highly experienced PPG3 level pilot stepping up to a small wing, this is a
great way to do it.
For more information on the Pluto II, that
I flew visit