OK guys... I put the Rifle ($110) next to the Sokol ($185) so you can see how close they are in size and shape. A few things I noticed while handling both planes for the pictures:
1. The Sokol has a much stiffer wing. The Rifle wing can be flexed from the tips quite a bit more than the Sokol.
2. The Rifle wing has what I would call a slight "orange peel" finish which feels softer or perhaps thinner. The Sokol wing has a mirror finish and feels very hard in comparison... perhaps more resin was used.
3. The Sokol wing is flat with just the tips turned up whereas the Rifle wing has slight dihedral with flat tips.
4. The Rifle wing appears to be a foam core, whereas the Sokol is glass over wood ribs. This probably explains the difference in stiffness.
5. The Rifle definitely has more room in the fuse and, as you can see, a 3s 2200 flightmax will fit easily with room to spare.
Weight: Rifle Sokol
wing 94g 69g
fuse 87g 48g
elev. 15g 8g
total: 196g 125g
I'm very curious to see how this plane handles compared to the Sokol, which was extremely precise and quick... almost too much so.
The Sokol was my first pylon and it took some getting used to but once I got the feel for it I was able to do some really fun, and fast, aerobatics with it.
I noticed the addendum page that comes with the Rifle describes how to lock down the elevator guide tube to the fuse. THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT in order to have positive elevator control. If the tube moves inside the fuse you will have a mushy, inconsistent elevator response... ask me how I know!
PS. The Sokol wing is damaged near the center section... anybody out there really good with fiberglass repair?