Reviews

2013 Paratour ED4 Paramotor Review

Flown 04/14/2013, Reviewed 04/18/2012

 

The ED4 is Paratour's less expensive entry into the wily world of paramotors. Eric Dufour, who helped develop the machine, is among the sport's most prolific flyers and instructors, having started in the early 90's.

I flew it at sea level under an 18 m Ozone Viper wing in light winds and 80 degree temperature. My weight was about 138 pounds.

Each of its 4 cage parts are identical to keep parts counts down.

Weight: Eric says 52 pounds ready to fly except gas. It only comes in a hand start version.

Harness & Suspension: The Apco harness was very well padded and comfortable both on the ground and in flight. I did some kiting while wearing the motor and it was as comfortable as any.

Starting (-): Hand start. I was able to start it on my back once it was warm although, if you have to use the decompressor, you won't be able to reach it due to being on the aft cylinder head. I was able to pull against the compression and I'm no hulk.

The recoil starter was conveniently located and should be easy to work on.

Ground Handling & Kiting (-): Easy and comfortable. Very well padded harness, easy to adjust it high on your back for easier ground handling.

Launch (-): Standard. Forwards should be easy since lines will slide up around the double-ring cage. Getting into the seat was easy. Idle was high so either adjust that down or, in light winds, you'll want to stand pointed sideways until ready to turn and launch.

Climbout (-): About 250 fpm estimated on an 18 meter wing.

Flight (-): Very comfy in flight.

Throttle response was good, taking about 1.5 seconds to go from idle to full power. The engine "cleaned up" quickly when throttling up and gave smooth operation from about quarter power to full. Foot dragging in level 3 turbulence was no problem and it would easily handle competition flying.

Throttle handle was different -- shorter grip, based off of a hose-end water sprayer. It fit my hand better than many bicycle type throttles. Good especially for smaller hands.

Weight Shift (-) As a harness-attach high hook in system it's not made for weight shift but allows about 3" of riser travel which is typical for this type of harness.

Torque (-): Compensated well enough, a bit better than average for the thrust. I was able to weight shift it into level flight without brake input.  Being gear driven means the motor tends to yaw right which pushes right and into a left bank.

Thrust (-): Estimate about 110 pounds of thrust on  the stock 48" prop.

Endurance (-): Didn't measure fuel flow but suspect it would last around 1:45 on my small wing.

Vibration (-): At first I was worried because, just standing there running it up, it had more vibration than I expected. But after takeoff the vibration fell dramatically and was slightly better than average.

Sound (-): Average for the power.

Safety (-): The netting was a bit stronger than average and it would give decent protection although, without a safety hoop, wound not likely protect a human hand against the netting at full rated power.

The gas tank is close enough to the prop tip for concern however there is metal structure that the prop stip would hit first so that may confer decent protection. Starting angle was good on the pull starter.

Being an fixed underarm system means there is some protection in a vertical impact crash. It would be equivalent to the amount of bend allowed in the underarm bars since all of your weight would be transferred through the seat to those arms.

Having a clutch is nice because just letting off the throttle means the prop is less likely to chew lines. Remember, a clutched unit is just as likely to bite inattentive hands as a belt unit.

Construction (-): Nice fit and finish.

Cooling is average.

Reparability (-): This is a strong point. Cage pieces are in four identical parts so you only need two spares and it's easier for the manufacturer to stock them. Standard aluminum means that many welders will be able to work on it. Not as many as can weld steel but more than can weld Titanium. Everything on the motor seemed easy to get to.

Transport (-): Easily taken apart with velcro straps, or you can just take off the top two quarters. Easier than the tent pole style at the expense of having slightly bigger pieces.

Overall: I was impressed, for a lower priced machine it would be a fine ride. A bit heavier than some more expensive units but bearably so.

 

Yours truly just after landing the ED4.


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