2011 Parajet Volution 2 Macro
Flown 02/01/2011, written 03/04/2011, Photos courtesy
Parajet has released another round of innovation with their newest
models. Macro describes the middle cage size and Volution 2 describes their
smaller, non-radial engine. Several improvements are big, namely removing nearly 14 pounds from the motor's weight.
A throttle improvement is also surprisingly appreciated given that their
previous version was comfortable. For safety's sake, they've added a
tight mesh net feels like it would pass the hand test. Nice
I flew my 150 pounds of suited self on a 70°F day at an elevation of
about 1000' using on my 18 meter Pluto 2. This was at Mo Sheldon's
Flying Circus. This model had a 3-blade carbon-fiber prop.
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Weight: It felt as I would expect and was well-balanced. I didn't
get a chance to weigh it which is too bad, I had big intentions of
weighing machines but, between filming, talking, trying stuff out and
being sick, it just didn't happen. Hopefully the manufacturers are being
honest about weights and I encourage pilots who buy machines to weigh
them without fuel but otherwise ready to fly and report your results.
The new lightweight engine is called the XT172.
Harness & Suspension: Comfy and sufficiently adjustable. We
changed the hook-in point to be farther aft for my lighter weight.
Starting (-): My next machine will have electric start if it's
available. And I LOVE the new throttle--more on that later. The stop
button and start button are reachable with one hand. That seems like a
small deal but, when you're doing a touch and go, it's nice. They've
made the start button just hard enough to reach that it would not likely
be hit accidentally, but still off the master switch when done flying.
Ground Handling & Kiting (-): Nothing noted—it's a low hook-in
style so having the risers down low is a mixed blessing but, as long as
you're used to it, you'll feel right at home.
Launch (-): Pretty typical. I hope I'm not getting
insensitive to the minor differences between machines but it seems like
behavior is getting pretty predictable as long as everything is adjusted
properly. If you're being scooped off your feet early, check the harness
Got into the seat easily enough with one hand pushing on the aft
seatboard to get it fully under center.
Power forwards would be easy given the smooth cage rim.
Climbout (-): Good. Typical for the motor size.
Flight (-): There is some fore/aft tilt in response to thrust as
you would expect from this style of low hook-in. It's much less once
you're situated in the seat, enough that you would not likely notice it
after a couple hours of flying.
I loved the throttle! It's among the most comfortable that I've used with
great ergonomics and well placed buttons. One button, I can't remember
which, could be angled a bit more to be easier to reach but it's still
Weight Shift (-) Excellent. At least 6 inches.
Well managed, especially for the thrust, but still noticeable. Being more erect helped, I'm sure.
Thrust (-): Very good—probably commensurate with the engine size.
Without climb rate tests it wouldn't be fair to say any more. The belt
slipped at first but, once it warmed up, that seemed to stop. I didn't
check to see what's involved with belt tightening but it's usually
The tank is huge. If you're willing to heft it, expect to have great
From idle to just below cruise RPM there was more vibration (slightly
blurred vision is the tell-tale sign of this) that settled down at
cruise power and above.
Sound (-): Average.
Safety (-): This cage, a departure from previous models, has
very solid netting that I suspect would pass the hand test. Both options
are available—the tube-only cage and this one with netting; I'd get this
one. It still looks good but provides significantly improved protection.
Excellent fit and finish. It's all nicely done but special mention goes
to the throttle which is milled out of solid aluminum. That's
classy, to be sure, but tends to be heavier so they milled out unneeded
aluminum in their bid to shave every possible ounce. It paid off given
their significantly lower weight.
Reparability (-): You'll need a good aluminum welder if you
bend something but, fortunately, the cage is more robust owing to its
Transport (-): The cage pieces come apart using pins and should
be normal in the ability to transport.
Cost: Not reported.
Overall: Very nice machine
that has benefited from an effective weight loss program by the
designers. Other improvements make this a nice buy for those looking for
a low hook-in weight-shift machine.