"Fly and glide"
product review

The ONE by Pilots Right Stuff a "Fly and glide" product review by Rainer Lodes (from Fly and glide 12/2000) 

Fast descend with spiral dive: this manoeuvre is totally uncomplicated with the One. Initiating and releasing a spiral dive is a piece of cake“Pilots Right Stuff” this is a new brand name, which has been created by Aerosport International to introduce an own product line. PRS translates into “ the right things for pilots”.  This sounds promising. The first PRS paraglider with DHV certification is the “One”, a thoroughbred category 1 glider. Fly and glide test pilot Rainer Lodes flew one of the first Ones, that have been produced. The serial number was 007.

Aerosport International first of all is known as a distributor of brands like Paratech, Ozone or Sup’Air. With the new product line PRS Aerosport International’s boss Hans Bausenwein intends to expand the range of products Aerosport is offering even further. Next to paragliders also accessories will be offered – “the right stuff for pilots” – as the brand name says. Hans Bausenwein explains, that “Pilots” does not intend to develop and market a complete range of paragliders. Instead “Pilots” will create certain gliders and set accents, which are meant to hit or set the actual trend. So the decision was made for the first product to become a true category 1 glider, the One, which will be presented here. PRS did not plan to fully employ a whole research and development team for these specific projects and therefore the development work on the One has been done with support from outside. The R & D team is constituted by international specialists and flight enthusiasts, Hans Bausenwein says: “ We want to focus on the quality of our products and not on the names of well known test pilots and designers.” 

Back to the roots: the canopy can be fixed to the ground with anchor ribbons important for alpine flyingDesign

Already the description of all the different design details of the One, which hardly can be found in such a number on any other entry level glider, did wake big expectations in me. Inside the sail the ONE has diagonal tapes instead of complete diagonal ribs. These tapes form triangles together with reinforcement tapes on the bottom surface of the glider. The result is a very clean looking sail with few line attachment points.

At the rear third, inside the canopy a so called spanwise “trailing edge tape” goes across the whole span of the glider. This tape is meant to reduce oscillations of the canopy and consequently to stiffen the whole glider. Moreover small intermediate ribs along the trailing edge reinforce the stability. These ribs are about 30 – 40 cm long. These ribs not only increase the stability, but also help to make the surface of the canopy cleaner.

Wealth of details for an entry level glider: trailing edge tape and intermediate ribs on the trailing edge of the One provide a clean looking sailLarge line diameters in the centre of the wing combined with line attachment tapes, that that go all the way to the top surface as well as reinforced cross ports are there to prevent the “domino effect” of serial line ruptures. PRS calls this design detail the “safety cell”. The One has passed the DHV load test even with “big ears” pulled in! The “safety cell” should also prevent profiles to tear in case the inflated paraglider is crashed on the leading edge – this is especially important for gliders, which are used on the training hill. “Ram air pockets” counteract any vibrations or flutter of the leading edge of the bottom surface especially in accelerated flight. 
Pulling big ears: easy and effective. The size of the big ears can be varied excellently thanks to the split A-risers.The desired effect of this design detail, which so far was known only from Pro Design paragliders, is achieved by folding the bottom surface back to the inside of the wing where it is sewn on. In flight a small airfoil is being formed by the air pressure that keeps the glider inflated.  There are four small loops at the top surface of the wing not far behind the leading edge. Anchor ribbons, approximately 35 cm long, can be fixed there. These are helpful to anchor the glider on a steep slope or in snow.
A practical detail: small velcro tapes at the trailing edge serve to keep the risers in place In my reviews I always like to criticise the “inflexible” design of brake handles. Many pilots prefer a larger size loop - like on a ski pole – others instead prefer to feel the defined pressure of a stiff reinforcement bar. But there is always only one version being offered. The One has a removable reinforcement bar and satisfies both groups of pilots. The One is equipped with two velcros at the centre of the trailing edge to fix the risers when the glider is folded. Another detail, that completes the many other design details of this paraglider.

Take off preparation and take off

It is speaking for the One, that I can describe the take off in just a few words: simple and without any problems, no matter how the canopy is laid out. The only thing this glider dislikes is to accelerate too slowly especially with the A-lines taught. With normal tension or – as I recommend it – with a slight impulse the whole inflation and take off procedure cannot be criticised at all. A  special remark deserves the fact, that the three phases of a take off, inflation, control and acceleration can easily be separated from each other.

The line layout is clear and the easy take off preparation is supported by lines with different colours on A, B, C and D. Not only beginners highly estimate such a feature when sorting the lines before take off.

Performance data

The performance data of the One don’t not have to be hided at all. The speed figures are high for a DHV 1 glider and the glide performance is good even in accelerated flight. The polar becomes steeper only at the final km/h’s near the maximum speed. The position of the best glide speed is exactly at trim speed, so it is very easy to find it: hands up and off you go!

The wide speed range in between the minimum sink speed and the minimum speed of the One is a special safety bonus. The window for these speeds is in between 31 km/h for minimum sink speed to 22 km/h for minimum flying speed.

Over all it can be said, that this first paraglider by PRS provides performance data, which puts it at the top of the actual DHV 1 gliders.

Flying characteristics

Pilots Right Stuff advertises the One with the slogan “max fun @ min risk”. I can only agree to this after my test flights. This glider, which has just entered the paragliding market, has achieved an optimum synthesis of a nice, co-ordinated handling with a high level of passive safety at the same time. The well balanced handling should satisfy even very demanding pilots: Even small movements on the controls are directly converted by the One without any delay. If you want to turn flat or tight, this glider does not leave any desires unsatisfied. The control forces are progressively rising and can be described as average high.

What I especially like on the direction the development of modern DHV 1 gliders has taken at the moment is, that the manoeuvrability and the response to control inputs has reached a level, that can easily be compared with some of the 1-2 gliders. This is the case for the One, who combines these features with maximum safety. This canopy shows a convincing safety even when the pilot makes major mistakes like the too fast release of a spiral dive or high wing overs without counter-breaking or even when doing a provoked 50 percent asymmetric deflation and holding the A-risers down without counter-breaking.

Fast descend

Spiral dives are totally uncomplicated to initiate and also to release. One cannot complain about insufficient sink-rates: Already during my first attempts my variometer recorded sink-rates of more than 16 m/sec.

The B-line stall is functioning not quite as clean. It is possible to pull the B-risers that far, that the canopy folds-in in the middle and forms a V-shape. Before one observes this the sink-rate is almost nine meters per second. Doing this manoeuvre (B-line stall) the glider is not totally smooth in the air. The canopy is moving in itself and when you release the B-risers the One takes a moment before it starts to fly again (note by PRS: the manoeuvre has been improved). The behaviour during the B-line stall is by no means critical, but an entry level glider has to be measured against especially high expectations.

Pulling “big ears”  instead is easy and effective. Probably no other paraglider can be folded-in to such a degree by using only one A-line per side. It is easily possible to control the glider by weightshift when flying with “big ears”. The glider opens by itself and only has minimum delay. The sink-rate can be significantly increased when the accelerator is used additionally, but in this case the glider reopens after releasing the “big ears” not totally by itself and the pilot must brake a little bit.

High quality and comfortable: The Pilots rucksack comes from Tatonka

What is included in the package / Internet

A real highlight is the PRS-rucksack, which has been designed in co-operation with Tatonka. Mountaineers and hikers will know this outdoor specialist brand very well. This elaborated product is not only nice to look at, but also comfortable to carry. Every time I carried this rucksack I had problems to get away from the “can I have a look at it” questions of my friends and to bring it home again. By the way: the rucksack can be bought from Aerosport also without a One in it.

The rest of the things, that come with the One are standard, worthwhile to be mentioned is the speed- bar with quick-links (brummel hooks) and a reinforced ladder (second step).

Info’s and news around Pilots Right Stuff and the One can be found in the internet at www.aerosport.de email: info@aerosport.de - or directly on the Pilots Right Stuff website www.p-rs.com email: info@p-rs.com. The website is clear, informative and regularly updated. Emails are answered fast and detailed.

 “...the 1-2 class gliders get a real opposition from the actual development in the category 1. The One can without a doubt be called a trend setter.”  Rainer Lodes

Test pilot Rainer LodesConclusion

“Only” to produce an extremely safe paraglider is not sufficient anymore for a category 1 glider. The One demonstrates this clearly with sophisticated design details. Here in my opinion already a new trend is visible: slowly but certainly the much liked 1-2 class gliders get a real opposition from the actual development in the category 1. The performance data are not far from cross country gliders anymore – combined with excellent handling characteristics and really maximum safety. The One can without a doubt be called a trend setter.

The numerous details have to be paid for, but Euro 2.690 including sales tax for a One S, M or L, respectively Euro 2.790 for the One XL is a good investment. The One should appeal to the needs of different target groups and also satisfy them. This could be students, who are in the process of learning to fly, or pilots who just fly for the fun of it, as well as experienced pilots. 

The slogan for the One “max fun @ min risk” is certainly in any case justified.

Rainer Lodes

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