- Colors Hike & Regular
The APUS RS is an all-terrain miniwing and the universal tool for guaranteed fun for practically any occasion.
Depending on the version (APUS RS or APUS RS Hike), it has a number of uses ranging from soaring in strong winds to dynamic flying at your local site, right through to Hike & Fly tours. What’s more, it will fit perfectly in your luggage thanks to its packed size and light weight.
This means the APUS RS is intended for all paraglider pilots and keen miniwing pilots, for whom the desire for adventure and a passion for flying have top priority.
The APUS RS is available in standard and hike versions. The design of the hike version has been weight-optimised even further. The APUS RS Hike uses a 27g material throughout for the top and bottom surfaces, instead of the combination of 41 and 34g paraglider fabric. Furthermore, extremely lightweight Dyneema risers with soft links are used rather than conventional risers. The 27g fabric has limited availability, so the APUS RS Hike is available only in the red/blue colour combination. Special colours can be ordered only for the standard version.
Depending on the wing loading, its flight behaviour ranges from standard to dynamically direct (refer to the Versatility chart). At the same time, the balanced handling and pleasant roll damping impart a pleasant and familiar feeling during flight with exceptional performance.
The innovative RAST concept has also proved itself in this category of glider. The delayed filling behaviour ensures that the inflation phase is easy to control and it minimises any tendency to launch the pilot unintentionally, particularly in very steep terrain or in strong winds Once in the air, RAST ensures less canopy movement in turbulent air as well as an above-average resistance to collapse, which has a positive effect on performance.
Apus RS Hike 20 and 23
Hike & fly with a touch of the miniwing’s style!
In response to strong demand, we have added to the Apus RS Hike product range with sizes 20 and 23.
These make the link from the miniwing to the thermalling wing, with projected area of 20 / 23m², a weight of only 3.4 / 3.6kg and a weight range of 95 / 110kg (EN-B).
As with the smaller sizes, you will be impressed by the simplicity of the Apus RS Hike 20 and 23 from launch to landing. Risk-conscious mountaineers will appreciate this after a strenuous ascent just as much as hike & fly novices. At the same time, the new sizes are much more than simply a descent method: they cover every eventuality to give you the perfect adventure, from extended thermal flights to dynamic soaring and right through to XC bivvy flying!
Here too the innovative RAST concept provides greater safety and performance, particularly in turbulent conditions off the beaten track.
Expedition story Serge Shakuto’s trip report – Kilimanjaro project close the Expedition story!
It's forbidden to hike Kilimanjaro without guides. For every tourist there should be at least one guide and three porters. In fact there are more. Our team was 12 people including guides, porters and even a chief. At first it looked like too much, but after it helped us to concentrate on the quite tough climb and preparation for the flight.
Twice a day we had compulsory health check, cause on high altitude you can get sudden pulmonary edema or even cerebral edema. Every year around 20 tourists and guides die on the mountain.
For the flight I also needed a permit, which can be given only in return of some charity. I paid for the school of five local kids. Together with permits from local aviation and military it costed around 3000 Euro. The idea of a flight made us change the route of climbing. Initially we supposed to use very long path around the mountain, but we had to change it to the shortest and most dangerous route called Western Breach in order to have couple of days at the summit, waiting for the launch window.
The biggest challenge of the Western Breach is the constant climb from sea level to almost 6000 without acclimatization. And the hardest part there is the final steep one-kilometer-climb to the summit over rockfalls just at the time when mountain sickness starts to show up.
All of it made our expedition really unique and interesting! Kilimanjaro is a very popular tourist destination. In a year around 35 thousand people climb to the summit. At the classic camp locations there is hardly enough space for tents. And knowing all this, we only met other people at the entrance to National park and at the summit.
The day of the summit attempt was Christmas day. A kilometer climb on the steep crumbling slope. It was necessary to leave the camp not later than 5.30 am in order to make the climb before stones will thaw and start falling down. In several years there were few mountain climbers who were killed by the stones. Here at a height slightly over 5000 meters I started feeling first sights of the mountain sickness, but quite tricky terrain helped to not think about headache.
Most of the tourists spend no more than 30 minutes at the summit and then, frozen, hurry to get down and drink hot chocolate. But we had to wait for a good weather for a flight. First two days strong wind was blowing from the wrong direction. We decided to go around the crater to find another launch area somewhere with the side wind.
But wind happened to be too strong even for my mini wing and all the attempts to launch had no success. As a result I spend so much energy that I fall down in a tent and couldn’t leave it till the next morning.
It is a strange feeling when you are in such an interesting place, with desert, volcanic crater, huge glazers, that stay like blue buildings on a sand and in your head there is not even a thought to move. You just lay in your sleeping bag wearing all your clothes, try to get warm and think only about how to get out of there as soon as possible. The sleep is out of the question. Last three nights I was just lying in the tent, listening to an audio book and staring at the ceiling. I was ready to go down, my self-esteem would not be harmed too much as I knew that from many attempts to fly down Kilimanjaro only few lucky ones made it. But sudden phone signal brought good news of the weather forecast for the next morning and it helped me to put all the energy left and try again. Third morning on the summit was really cold, but almost windless. The sun rose from the horizon and started to warm the slopes. I got up, had a cup of hot tea and went to the takeoff zone, where there were some blasts of a side wind. I got ready and finally launched with a happy cheers of our team and some jealous looks from those who just reached the summit and had to climb down. If I would have a tandem at that moment I could easily make a lot of money.
The flight was going smooth, according to the plan. I had to fly away from the slope, turn at 180 degrees and fly with the wind to the south in the direction of Moshi town, enjoying the beauty of the glacier and clouds under my feet. The distance was about 30 kilometers and I made it within half an hour, which usually takes two days of hiking.
It was my first flight on the new Swing Apus RS. Before expedition I didn’t have time to test it. But it turned to be very easy in use, even at the altitude of 6000 meters. Easy start, good speed and great glide ratio.
Another successful project is finished! I got amazing experience of high mountain climbing and also realized that willpower is like a toothpaste. It seems like there is nothing left, but you can always squeeze a little bit more to reach your goal.
Apus RS 18 Review by Dougie Swanson-Low ...close the Review!
fly adventures. Its dramatic and rugged landscape provide a complex and beautiful environment for
paragliding and always feels much bigger than it really is. The hills are generally not much more than
3000-3500ft and are surrounded by the sea on two sides. This strong maritime influence generally
provides us with strong winds, frequent rain, low cloudbases and the notorious sea breeze. Paragliding
days are few and far between and the addiction demands more airtime!
Recently my local distributor of Swing and Gradient gliders, Brad Nicholas of Snowdon Gliders,
mentioned he had a new hike and fly miniwing, the Swing 18m Apus RS Hike, and said it was special.
I thought nothing of it because I couldn’t imagine what I’d use it for. The seed was sown however….
Maybe it would be fun to go for a run up Snowdon and fly back to the house. Maybe it would be fun
to go scrambling without suffering the knee pain of getting back down. Maybe it would be nice to soar
something playful and agile on the coast.
Brad has seen quite a few wings in his time and when he is impressed I tend to listen, so I decided to
try it out. I didn’t want to like it because I had decided a mini wing was a luxury I didn’t need and would end up just being a very expensive fad.
So, let’s give it a test that it’ll probably fail.
It was a very strong, unstable and windy day with the mountains cloaked in big low clouds, totally
unflyable with my normal paraglider. So, me and my housemate, Tom, decided to go and solo
Amphitheatre Buttress, an easy classic mountaineering rock route in a remote part of the mountains.
I took the Apus with me to see what rock climbing with it would be like, expecting to find it frustrating
and cumbersome. We hiked for over an hour and quickly climbed the 300m route with no problem,
and I forgot I even had it. Damn, I need a harder challenge for it! I then tell Tom that he can head
home in his car without me; I’ll try and make it back home on my own. A total distance of 20km, not
too much, but with my bad knee it would be impossible if I couldn’t fly across valleys and down the
After another hour of hiking in cloud I set-up for my first flight to get across Ogwen valley. The
unfamiliar wing, the lack of any reserve/protection and the clearly demanding conditions were making
me nervous. Thankfully it was effortless to launch in the strong wind - smooth, slow and steady -
leaving me feeling in control. The RAST doing what it promised. I immediately stomped on the speed
bar to get myself to the middle of the valley and away from the big sucking clouds. The bar is effortless
to use and gave a dramatic increase of speed, even into the strong wind. It felt really solid. When the
pulleys were hard together I did notice the wing pumping span-wise, not ideal, but easing off it a small
amount stopped that.
The glide was quite remarkable and I reached the other side with no loss of height, so decided to play
a bit. It quickly gives big, fun and solid wingovers. Spirals felt like they could develop aggressively, so I
kept them gentle. I was surprised to have so much fun in the worrying conditions and landed easily on
the path with a big grin.
After another big hike back up and along the summits with the clouds whipping past I had to sit for a
while, waiting for the wind to ease. Again, I was reminded of the importance of an easy launch
behaviour in difficult conditions. When you have no back protection the extra margin the Apus gave
in rocky terrain was reassuring. About 300ft above Llanberis I sense a thermal, so hook into it and keep the turns tight. I was blown away to find myself rapidly climbing back to the clouds – this is supposed to be a descent wing!! More wing-overs and spirals to get down. Thermal back up again. Repeat two more times.
Well, that didn’t go to plan – the wing was absolutely brilliant, confidence inspiring and had
performance that massively exceeded my expectations.
I then became poorer.
Within a couple of weeks of owning the APUS I have run up Snowdon to test its glide home.
Surprisingly I made it back with loads of height to spare, so I got nerdy and found that over a 5km
section, where I went straight at trim, (shallow ridge with a light headwind) it was gliding at 9.5:1?!
How?! I have taken it to soar on the coast - it is agile, playful and very responsive. I have climbed
several grade 3 scrambles in the mountains and flown it back down to the car. I had reservations about
how the RAST affects light wind launches but it launched as easily as ever. I have been out in wave
conditions (very stupidly) with incredibly messy air and found myself being thrown about in a way that
would ball-up a regular wing. It did collapse asymmetrically and I looked up to see the leading edge
fold under until it reached the RAST valve, stop, and immediately pop back out with no drama. Exactly
as it was designed to. Big ears and bar were very effective and stable and got me out of there quickly.
One observation on launch is to not mess around with it too much because when the trailing edge fills
with air the RAST makes the back half like a balloon that when resting back on the floor falls over
annoyingly. It is very minor and easy to avoid. I have also melted a small ring of holes caused by a
brake line cinching around the fabric on take-off – what can you expect from lightweight fabric?
For rock climbing I’d prefer it to be lighter and more compact, but I have realised from actually using
it that the subtleties that can’t be quantified, like RAST, which does remarkable things to stability at
launch and during flight, can count for a lot when put in tough situations - especially when the wing is
more likely flown with no reserve or back protection. Not only that but the glide performance seems
exceptional for a mini wing. I’m sure I could find something with a few grams shaved off but now I
don’t want to compromise on what makes it special.
The APUS 18 feels sporty at my loading of 86kg and isn’t really a beginner wing. The in-flight behaviour is fast, solid and the wing surfs rough air efficiently without any excessive pitching. It can be a little twitchy at times, but it doesn’t feel wild or uncontrolled at all, and generally I like that such a small wing can still transfer useful information. Of course, its nature only really shines in stronger conditions.
It can be slowed down and turned reasonably flatish for finding lift but after a certain point you can
quickly notch up the excitement and the turns quickly become very dynamic and fun. Take it much
further and I felt the energy develop quite aggressively (I haven’t been brave/high enough to get into
a proper spiral). For me the controls are just right - direct and predictable all the way through the full
range of travel. They don’t feel vague or too firm at any point and don't allow you to do inappropriate
things without telling you first.
It is a strange niche that this wing seems to fit into and based on the written specs it doesn’t really
stand out. For me though, it has hit a really sweet compromise that makes it incredibly versatile. I
struggle to think of another wing that manages this whilst being so fun? I don’t imagine I’ll be doing
big XC flights with it, but it has opened a realm of new adventures/conditions for me, and my mind is
always wondering back to it - thinking of what I’ll use it for next. I am lucky to live in a place that allows me to push the potential of the APUS RS Hike and in return it just keeps delivering exactly what I want from it, with no disappointment.
Trimmer risers for the Apus RS
…and the Apus RS ‘swift’ goes even further!
The trimmer risers are available now, and increase the already high trim speed of the Apus RS still further by about 6km/h.
...read more! zclose!
This is particularly useful on launch when coastal soaring so you can get away from the compression at the soaring ridge in strong wind.
The RAST system keeps the Apus RS very stable and easy to control even with open trimmers. The trimmers can be quickly and safely grasped and closed if necessary using the stitched T-handle.
The uncertified trimmer riser can be purchased only as an optional accessory for a cost of Euro 189 gross (Euro 119 in combination with Apus RS order) incl. quick links and must be ordered separately. Since the Apus RS has no certification with trimmer risers, it can thus be converted back to the version with certification, if resold.
Glider weight (kg)APUS RS / Hike
|3,14 / 2,60||3,50 / 2,85||3,74 / 2,99||-/3,40||-/3,55|
|Take off weight (kg) min./max. inkl. Equipment||55-90||55-100||55-70 (EN B)
70-110 (EN C)
|65-80 (EN A)
80-105 (EN C)
|70-90 (EN A)
90-110 (EN B)
Wing area (m²)
Wing area projected (m²)
Wing span (m)
Projected wing span (m)
Projected aspect ratio
Apus RS Hike - Flugschule Salzburg
„We have been flying the Apus RS in Bali and Lombok. Please tell the design team I and all my customers are very, very happy! The Apus 16 is the best glider I have ever owned. It's the most universal glider. Pg is such a wide range of conditions. Ppg is amazing. Little power and dynamic. Impressed!“