Disabled Pilots Getting to the Slope – Luggie Scooter Review

I bought a Luggie Scooter a few weeks ago to enable me to get to the hills without breaking the back of the friend who pushed me up there (I have MS & really struggle with the walking / staying upright thing).

I think I’ve used it enough to share my findings to those wanting to go flying / slope soaring independently.

I fly radio controlled epp combat slope soarers (the Wildthing is my weapon of choice!) around the Hastings / Eastbourne area, at Fairlight (nice and flat maintained footpath) and Butts Lane (not maintained, grazed land, plenty of mud / poo).

I’ll review it following the ‘flying day’.

Night before, stick glider and tx on charge, put the scooter on charge too.   Charging takes up to 8 hours, the charger is noisy (cooling fan?) and annoyingly you have to charge the battery via the scooter so this has to come in from the car. There is an option to buy an adapter, I’m surprised they didn’t upsell this to me when I bought it.

FullSizeRenderThe scooter folds up really small, they so it fits in luggage – Luggie, get it? I keep it by the door, ready for the next adventure.

I often keep it in the ‘skateboard’ position, which is the position before the last fold that gets it into the position shown (left), I left the shoe in the photo for scale, honest.

You can see the steering column (the tiller, they call it). It’s telescopic & doubles in length.  It can be extended when folded in this position which gives you a handle to pull it with, which is nifty.

The rollers for this can be seen at the bottom, they get in the way of my feet but they look like they could be rotated out of the way a bit with an allen key.

IMG_2879Here’s the flying position (right), the tiller goes down out of the way- very useful when you fly with my lot and often need to get out of the way quickly…

The tiller seems a bit weak, but the Luggie comes with a 2 year warranty so I’m not too worried.

The Luggie is a comfy ride (particularly the ‘Elite’ which comes with a wider, more padded seat), although the backrest is rather short, this is not for seating around in all day, just for missions.

The Luggie makes it up most slopes, but does need a bit more grip. I often need a gentle push up the slippery bits, but my friends don’t complain as it’s just a gentle push! I contemplate cutting grip into the back wheels, but this will invalidate the warranty I’m sure) – maybe fit it with snow chains??

Here’s a flying video at Fairlight Firehills with a “comical launch” featuring the Luggie at the beginning.

I’m building a bit (out of cardboard as an experiment) to slip over the backrest to carry my glider. I think you can buy a Luggie bag that fits under the seat, that might be useful too.

The Elite (the one I bought ) comes with arm rests (I don’t use them as they need to be removed to fit in the boot of my car) and a bigger battery. It’s also designed to take a bit more weight, which my son loves as I often scoot him around too, testing the power on the slopes – I’m impressed at the steepness of inclines it can handle!

Here’s a video of my son & I playing on my scooter with his Quadcopter, very cool.

I’m thinking of using the battery in the scooter to charge my aircraft, I figure I need a 3 pin plug and something to convert 24v down to 12v then plug in my fast charger. Don’t know if it’s that simple, will consult my know-it-all friend at Soar Ahead Sailplanes before I do anything.

The Luggie does pick up a bit of mud / grass on the front wheels due to lack of clearance. I’d love to say I clear this out before putting it in the car but I’m usually too tired.  Eventually, once the mud has dried, I do this – it’s quite satisfying pulling the bits out!

Here’s me taking it off road, the low centre of gravity make’s handle nicely on uneven ground. This is also why I leave the armrests off, allowing my to shift my weight easily – some parts of the hill have large amounts of camber, I think the arm rests would do more harm than good.

luggie-in-the-bootLifting it into the boot is a bit hard for me, the scooter weighs 25kg including the battery. I find it’s easier to leave the scooter in the ‘skateboard’ position (left), lift the front onto the bumper of the car (put a sheet on the bumper to protect it – if you look closely you might see the scratches on my bumper…!), then swing the back up and plonk it in the boot!

The website says it will do about 13 miles, I’ve always used it on hilly journeys so haven’t had that sort of range out of it, I’m not sure it’s comfy enough to to that in one ‘sitting’!

Improvements

I wish it was easier to read the battery level. The green LED lights are duller than the rest making it tricky to read in bright light. It would be great if the tiller / steering column wasn’t so wobbly, but I guess they know what they are doing!

Recommended?

Overall I’d say it’s a fantastic scooter, but so it should be for the price, I recommend it – start saving now!

 
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