Reviews

Paramotor Review: 2010 Parajet Cyclone 160

Flown 05/27/2010, Reviewed Nov 30, 2010, Photos by Jeff Goin

Sorry this review took so long, hopefully I'll get another flight on the machine to update my impressions. I voice recorded some notes after the flight but they're very limited.

Parajet continues to innovate with their newest rotary engine machine, the Cyclone 160. The unit I flew at Beach blast had literally just arrived from England and, sadly, was damaged in shipping. But British competition pilot Dean Eldridge worked enough magic to mend it. Good thing, too, since I was thrilled to take it for a spin.

Parajet's sizes and names can be a bit confusing. There are three cage sizes, Micro (small), Compact (medium) and Macro (large). There are two engines, the single-cylinder 22 hp, 172 cc Volution, which is descended from the DK, and the Rotron which comes as a 160 cc 25 hp or 294 cc 40 hp rotary. John Ericson of ParajetUSA, the machine's US importer, gave me the details.

My flights were on an 80F day with 12 mph worth of wind, making ground handling and launch a breeze. I was on my 22 meter Spice wing.

Weight: It's about like a Black Devil machine. I didn't have a scale but it was quite manageable for my 145 pound self.

Harness & Suspension: The harness was comfy and had sufficient adjustments. It's a low hook-in style with riser offsets on both sides to help reduce torque. It's quite tilted back in its normal configuration but, by moving the hook-ins aft, you can reduce the lean back from its 20 to 25 degrees to maybe 15.

Starting (-): Electric start. Gotta love the push of a button.

Ground Handling & Kiting (-): Similar to other low hook-in machines. Tends to pull you back a bit as the wing lifts which is common on ANY machine that is tilted back in flight (even high hook-in machines). Not uncomfortable if done for short periods as you would expect for motor launching.

Launch (-): Standard. Nothing noted.

Climbout (-): No problem getting into the seat.

Flight (-): Quite comfy.

Weight Shift (-) Very good as you would expect from a machine with articulating arms but does have some fore/aft tilt with power changes. Might be better, I suspect, if the frame hinge point was higher and the arms more of a goose neck shape.

Torque (-): For the power it's well managed. They use two riser offsets to less then affect of offset thrust. Climbout at full power was not a problem.

Thrust (-): Very good, probably equivalent to a strong Black Devil 172 with large diameter prop and a bit stronger than the normal black devil. We'll have to weight for thrust tests.

Endurance (-): I didn't get to test fuel burn.

Vibration (9): VERY SMOOTH. This was among the top 2 smoothest machines I've flown to date, essentially tied with a Pollini that I flew earlier. You'll LOVE this.

Sound (-): Average.

Safety (-): The cage is quite rigid but there are large openings where it might be possible to get an errant hand or brake toggle through. This would be more likely for a pilot getting into his seat or if the machine was adjusted to be hanging more vertical.

Frame and cage strength is high, above average due to the welded cage, and so there should be somewhat less likelihood of having the prop hit the cage in a fall.

Construction (-): It's extremely well-built with a welded aluminum frame and cage. Nice fit and finish--this is among the best looking machines out there. There is no netting, instead, rigid tubes serve as the cage.

Reparability/Maintenance (-): You'll need an aluminum welder for repairs but it should be straightforward. It is water cooled so there is always the possibility of extra maintenance items but it's also possible that the engine runs at cooler, more consistent temperatures, and has fewer heat-related issues.

Transport (-): The cage comes apart easily leaving only the center frame piece which is more compact than most. It should be pretty easy to ship that part with a good-sized box. Depending on your chosen cage size it should be easy to transport even in a minivan or car trunk.

Cost: Please visit www.ParajetUSA.com for cost information.

Overall:  Powerful, very smooth and comfortable -- good for an experienced flyer or someone who doesn't mind learning on a low hook-in articulating arm machine.

 

1. The seller earned a tip on this one.

2. John Erickson, of ParajetUSA, shows off the newly arrived unit. It got banged up in shipping but Deal Eldridge got it back in flying shape quickly and we took turns wringing it out.


© 2016 Jeff Goin & Tim Kaiser   Remember: If there's air there, it should be flown in!