Review 2012 Paracruiser.com
Hybrid Cruiser Trike w/ MZ 313
Flown Feb 4, 2012, Reviewed Apr-3, 2012, Photos by Leon Wacker
and Jeff Goin
Leon Wacker of Paracruiser has
been building machines for others for years along with offering a
variety of packages through his own company. He is a tinkerer, too, and
enjoys coming up with clever solutions to common problems. In this case,
the problem of an easily transported paratrike. The Hybrid Cruiser I
flew was configured as a solo unit but doubled as a wheeled tandem (see
legality here). These ARE flown tandem in Mexico without problem
although they're not strictly legal there, either. But it's a wonderful
solo machine, too.
Portability is what sets this machine apart--it could rightfully be
called a "transformer" since it more folds up than it does come apart.
Very handy. It's probably slightly heavier than others because of this
feature but small size makes that extra weight seem far more manageable.
It also has quick release prop hardware, something that I've only seen
from Leon. The whole unit fits in a stout bag, you don't even need a
truck to haul it.
My flight was at Mo's 1000 foot elevation "Motown" on a 70 degree with
3-level bumps. I weighed 130 pounds and flew it on my 18 meter Pluto
which sucked up a lot of power being so small.
Weight: Did not weigh but it was probably a bit heavier than
similar carts due to somewhat beefier build and the various folding
Harness & Suspension: Uses a fixed seat that is very low to the
ground with just a lap belt. The risers go through guides like on
Starting (-): Leon pull started it after several pulls and it
idled nicely. The handle seemed conveniently located and it was easy to
avoid being put in a vulnerable position with respect to the prop.
Ground Handling & Kiting (-): It was quite tip-resistant for a
trike due to the wide wheel base and low CG. I didn't push it but I did do
some ground steering with the wing overhead just for grins.
Launch (-): I followed Leon's instruction on launch
technique which was a little different. Lines go in line holders as
usual and I used its A-assists to see how well they work. The motor is level with the craft so
it does blow the wing. But with Leon's technique that had no effect. He
started it up, let the wing billow some, which reduced the motor's push. I got in,
belted up, and throttled up. Mr. Pluto dutifully came above the
prop wash and the cart started moving. Everything was standard from
there. There is a mirror to see the wing although I only used it in
flight. It's also good for seeing how cool you look flying the thing.
Climbout (-): I only went to full power very briefly because
it was a new engine but the climbout was around 300 fpm when I did so.
That's respectable given my small wing.
Flight (-): It's like a go-cart racing seat, how can you go wrong?
There's the usual amount of wobbling around in turbulence that carts are
known for. Throttle response was good and I didn't notice anything
Weight Shift (-) It's a cart. You may get an inch or two
of travel but the contortions won't be worth the effort.
This was well managed -- I didn't notice anything more than usual.
Thrust (-): Probably about 160 pounds of thrust. Although I'm a
pretty scrawny payload, I was flying a smallish wing (18) and it handled
it quite nicely. I went to full power once and had probably 300 fpm
You'll need to empty your bladder before needing to fill this tank. The
313 is pretty thirsty but with wheels there's no penalty for taking up
to 5 gallons.
Vibration (-): Average.
Sound (-): Average.
Safety (-): It could use a four point harness but that's easily
added. The reason being that, in case of a flip, it would be good to
have the pilot restrained against the seat. That would put it's nice
cage to better use. There is good pilot protection above and to the side -- if you
start to flip and manage to keep your hands and feet inside (feet on the
axle) you should come away unscathed. On a trike there is much less
concern about the prop. Nothing stood out that made me think it would
have any undue safety concerns.
It seemed very well built with good welds and quality components. The
folding mechanism seemed solid enough although you'll want to do it as
described in the directions without forcing anything that doesn't want
to go easily.
Reparability (-): Everything is very accessible and parts are
Transport (-): This is where it really shines. You can easily
fold it up to fit in the back of a pickup truck. Very clever here.
Overall: If you want wheels without a trailer, this is a great
Reparability (-): Good. It's basically all tubes.
Transport (-): Again, this is a strong point. It fits into
basically a carrying bag. Take it out, unfold it and go.
Cost: Leon has some of the most fair pricing you'll find but
check out www.Paracruiser.com.
For someone who has to regularly transport their wheels via van or
truck, this is an awesome solution.