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Hiway Scorpion / Super Scorpion
Hiway decided to return to simplicity for a new range of gliders, with no wing wires. Hiway designed the airframe to fles in a particular way under flight loads, and then sew the sail to fit the shape exactly. The first of the range were 1) Super Scorpion, a cross-country hang glider. 2) Spectrum, intermediate glider. 3) Gemini, purpose designed two-place glider. 4) Harrier, primary and training glider. The Scorpion was a 1977 hang glider from Hiway Hang Gliders.
The 1977 Scorpion had a very low sink rate and could also be flown at very high angles of attack. This facilitates circling more easily in small thermals. Cross country thermaling flights on Scorpions were a common occurrence. The low stall speed made take-offs and landing a delight, and top landing could be made in lighter winds.
1977 Scorpion
A and B Scorpions have 1 3/4 inch cross spars, C and D have 1 7/8 inch. The Scorpion has a totally folding A frame with a removeable bottom bar. The cross spar is split to facilitate storage and carriage. The usual Hiway quick release nose catch is retained and the wing posts simple push into bushed apertures in the leading edges. Knock down versions were available where the leading edges fold. Scorpions were available as either prone or seated and in four sizes, priced at £464.00 in 1977.
The Superscorpion (released the same day as the Spectrum), first appearing on the market in early 1978, is the first machine to have fully cambered sail and an absence of deflexers. The Mk 1 has a very simple airframe which is strong, reasonably light and easy to rig. The control frame uprights have a curve at the top and rigging is achieved by swinging out one upright which locates with a spring button. As the uprights are of 1 1/8 inch x 17 g they are quite easily damaged. The early Superscorpions are extremely easy to fly, being light in both pitch and roll, but with just the right amount of damping. One of the main virtues of the glider's handling is the ease with which the glider will roll, even without any pitch co-ordination. This allows moderately flat turns and 360s to be achieved easily. It will fly very slowly indeed and still retain good roll control which makes it ideal for scratching on light wind days or in light thermal. The 1978 Super Scorpion glider had lightest handling ever made, but an abysmal sink rate at speed and tail heavy balance that can feel cumbersome at take off (but often useful for landing). In stronger winds however, anything over 25 mph, the machine becomes very frustrating to fly due to its lack of penetration.
The glider was supplied in sizes 'B' pilot weight up to 10 st and 'C' for heavier pilots.
Paddy Monro was one of the many test pilots for Hiway and considered the Super Scorpion was an improvement on the Scorpion. The "C "was the best version. Best glider and best seller in its day.
The Super Scorpion C was top rated for manuverability and sink rate at its time. A very easy and safe wing, even withou lufflines. The downside was a lack of speed: over 40 km/h, it sank like a rock and a tendency to skid serious if turned with too little speed.
The Super Scorpion had a further 1980 development called the Super Scorpion II. The Mk II has a similar airframe set up to the Vulcan with a sliding centre-box system. And improved nose catch assembly makes for easier and more secure use. Visually the difference was the II had completely straight 13 g uprights. The earlier version I own has curves on each upright at the very top so that they end up parrallel to each other where connected. This glider is very sweet to fly having very pleasant handling qualities. The Mk.II is marginally faster than the Mk I, although the handling has suffered slightly due to the less flexible airframe, making roll just a little less responsive.Its only real drawback was a lack of penitration compared to some other gliders.
Super Scorpion 2
Scorpion A
Wing area: 15 m²
Wing span: 9.6 m
Aspect ratio: 6
Hang glider weight: 20 kg
Minimum pilot weight: 40 kg
Maximum pilot weight: 55 kg
Packed length: 5.86 m
Packed length short: 3.3 m
Number of battens: 10
Nose angle: 112°
Scorpion B
Wing area: 17.5 m²
Wing span: 10.2 m
Aspect ratio: 5.6
Hang glider weight: 21 kg
Minimum pilot weight: 50 kg
Maximum pilot weight: 70 kg
Packed length: 6.16 m
Packed length short: 3.6 m
Number of battens: 10
Nose angle: 112°
Scorpion C
Wing area: 20.5 m²
Wing span: 10.6 m
Aspect ratio: 6.38
Hang glider weight: 25 kg
Minimum pilot weight: 70 kg
Maximum pilot weight: 90 kg
Packed length: 6.38 m
Packed length short: 3.77 m
Number of battens: 10
Nose angle: 112°
Scorpion C
Leading edge: 20 ft 11 in
Keel: 10 ft 9 in
Sail area: 220 sq ft
Aspect ratio: 5.3
Weight: 56 lb
Pilot weight range 11-14 st
Scorpion D
Wing area: 22.5 m²
Wing span: 10.8 m
Aspect ratio: 6.6
Hang glider weight: 27 kg
Minimum pilot weight: 90 kg
Maximum pilot weight: 110 kg
Packed length: 6.6 m
Packed length short: 3.95 m
Number of battens: 10
Nose angle: 112°
Super Scorpion A
Wing area: 13.6 m²
Wing span: 8.5 m
Aspect ratio: 5.5
Hang glider weight: 18 kg
Minimum pilot weight: 50 kg
Maximum pilot weight: 70 kg
Packed length: 5.1 m
Packed length short: 3.75 m
Nose angle: 120°
Super Scorpion B
Wing area: 16 m²
Wing span: 9.35 m
Aspect ratio: 5.6
Hang glider weight: 21 kg
Minimum pilot weight: 57 kg
Maximum pilot weight: 82 kg
Packed length: 5.6 m
Packed length short: 4.05 m
Nose angle: 120°
Super Scorpion B
Leading edge: 18 ft 0 in
Keel: 12 ft 1 in
Sail area: 173 sq ft
Nose angle: 120 deg
Aspect ratio: 5.6
Weight 46 lb
Span 30 ft 7 in
Pilot weight range: 9 to 13 st.
Super Scorpion C
Wing area: 18.4 m²
Wing span: 10.2 m
Aspect ratio: 5.7
Hang glider weight: 24 kg
Minimum pilot weight: 70 kg
Maximum pilot weight: 90 kg
Packed length: 6.1 m
Packed length short: 4.35 m
Number of battens: 7
Nose angle: 120°

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