2012 Ozone Speedster 19 Review
Reviews, 02-21-2012 | Ratings: 1 is bad, 10 is good |
| About the Testing
Stalwart Paraglider Maker
Ozone has added
another glider to its quiver of competitors. The Speedster is a
"semi-reflex" model that I flew at Glamis, CA and the Salton Sea. Thanks
to Mathieu Roaunet for letting me give it a try. My flying was all
within 300 feet of sea level on a Blackhawk 172 with a clip-in weight of
135 (me) + 70 (motor & fuel) = 205 pounds.
Handling (- trim in, - trim out): Like
nearly all reflex wings this has standard brake toggles and tip steering.
The regular brakes are not intended to be used when flying on fast trim
and full speedbar so I didn't try them in this configuration. I have done
so and, when you slightly unload the glider then use brakes, the tips
collapse. So there's good reason to know what you're doing when fully
accelerated. If you're going fast use the tip steering which is VERY
effective. Ozone has this dialed in. Trimmed slow the brakes are effective
but somewhat heavy, even moreso trimmed fast. The tip toggles could easily
be held with one hand and any serious competitor or low-level slalom flyer
will want to get used to doing so.
Dives nice and allows a long level out so
you can do a big swoop landing if its properly timed.
Also, you can use the brakes when trimmed
fast so the speed range is quite usable. If you're on speedbar, only use
the tip steering and control height with the speedbar. Obviously that
will require some practice.
Inflation (-): Small wings rock. Since
they don't pull back very hard inflation is usually pretty brisk and
indeed she came up very quickly and required dampening even in light
winds. Once you're moving, brakes will be required to lift off as with all
smaller gliders (and most normal gliders, for that matter).
Risers: (-): 4 riser, long (and VERY
effective) trimmer range, normal speedbar travel, snaps for the brakes,
magnets for the tip steering.
Efficiency (- slow/ - fast): I
didn't get to do a sink rate test but on landings I had plenty of
energy. It felt quite efficient but this should be measured..
Speed (-): Raw: wind run=19.2, 33,
Test Run1=18.5, 27, Test Run2=19, 26, 32 (speedbar), windspeed=(33-19)=14,
14 / 2=7 MPH wind. There was an enormous speed difference between slow and
fast trim so I did the run twice to make sure I didn't misread anything.
As you can see the results suggest that the error bars should be in 5%
Slow Trim = 26 MPH
Fast Trim = 34 MPH
Fast Trim + Full Speedbar = 39 MPH
Construction (-): Well made with some
advanced construction techniques in the wing such as the flexible tube
leading edge reinforcements.
Certification & Safety (-): None. This
glider is certified in its larger sizes as an EN-C but is not certified
nor will it likely be owing to the high wing loading that its designed
for. It should only be flown by experienced pilots who are willing to run
a bit faster on launch and enjoy the energy management games that it
Overall (-): Anyone wanting to go
fast, especially without needing speedbar, is gonna love this wing.