2014 PAP 1250 with Moster 185
Flown 11/08/2014, Reviewed 11-16-2014
PAP has been a stalwart of paramotor manufacturers, building machines
popular in Europe for many years. They strive to, among other things,
make the experience more like free flight with lower hook-in points that more closely resemble free flight harnesses.
I flew Bobby Benn's Moster powered 1250, a new offering for 2014
featuring a belt-drive clutch and flash starter. In May this year I flew
Matt Minyard's larger version and figured it would be fun to try the
smaller prop version.
Weight: It was probably around 70 pounds the way I flew it with
no reserve and half fuel.
Harness & Suspension: It's one of the original low hook-in
systems with pivoting bars but it's significantly improved in that there
is a solid vertical piece coming up from the swing arm -- more on that
later. I wish I had a picture.
It was very comfortable both on the ground and in flight. There was
no antitorque strap because it would defeat the weight shift. Their
actual effect is small anyway.
Starting: The flash starter handle is on the seated pilot's left
just below elbow height. It should be pretty accessible in flight and,
with the flash starter using proper technique, should be startable in
It took me a few tries to get the right knack, an experience I've had
on other flash starters. Either my scrawny pull needs to be quicker or
the motor was being finicky. I'm going with finicky because I saw
another pilot have the same issue but, once you have the technique, it's
really sweet. It may not have been completely dialed in
because I had to hold a little bit of power lest it die off from a low
idle. This is usually an easy thing to fix with a few minutes of
A nice thing about the flash starter is that you're not yanking it
against compression. After reaching a certain length the spring
lets loose and cranks the motor. It was well positioned and the cord was
Ground Handling & Kiting: The wind had died down so I didn't
get to do any kiting with the motor on my back but it was comfortable while
walking around. I hiked it up pretty high on my shoulders which always
helps. Sometimes you may have to then loosen the straps in flight but I
didn't need to.
They've improved comfort or this was the right size for me because I
found it easy to walk around with -- not feeling like it was pulling me
back at all. Being lighter weight probably helps but they've also
probably moved the engine forward which makes it feel so much better.
Launch, Climbout & Torque: The cage is smooth so a
forward was easy. Low hookin makes this slightly more important because
lines have a bit more cage to slide up. The cage seems like it would
handle a power forward with even a largish wing. Torque was average -- I
only used about half power as a precaution but, when I did throttle up,
it probably only twisted me 20-30 degrees. Getting into the seat was easy
but I can't remember if I used one hand or not.
Climb at full power was good considering that this was a smaller
prop. The Moster is a powerhouse for it's paltry pounds.
Less Fore-Aft Tilt
One thing I was pleasantly surprised about was the lack of fore-aft
tilt during power changes. After landing I looked the machine over more
closely to figure out why. They have added a rigid piece that raises the
carabiner pivot point by a couple inches. The arms still pivot pretty
low but the changed carabiner point really helps. It makes the geometry
more similar to the S-arm machines.
All that fore-aft tilt was, in the past, this machine's Achilles heel
to me. Of course pilots got used to it but I didn't like all that fore
aft tilt. Now it's not a problem. There is still some fore-aft tilt but
not much more than the Miniplane. A direct comparison would be
interesting, where we have a tripod mounted camera, and do some full
power tests in a simulator. Another time.
But with this change it is much better.
Flight & Weight Shift: What a nice flying ride. It has good weight
shift, probably 6 to 8 inches and comes into it naturally. There is no
anti-torque strap to undo.
This motor was absolutely dialed in with a smooth power from idle to max
blast and the machine was comfy, especially since it was a bit too
Normal for the thrust. I probably got a fairly typical 20-30 degrees
of heading difference from the wing at full power. A lot of that might
be a lightweight pilot's affect on torque.
Thrust: I'd guess around 140 pounds which is great considering it
had the smaller prop.
I didn't get to test this in any useful way.
Vibration (-): Vibration is slightly higher than average but
not much and not enough to blur my vision.
Sound: Slightly louder than average at the highest power
Safety: The cage would not likely protect a stray hand if it
surprised a pilot during start by going to high power. I didn't notice
the gas tank's prop clearance.
Seems quite well made using steel so that welding should be pretty easy
by just about any shop if repairs are needed. Access is completely open.
Transport: It has one of the easiest system to snap apart
cage pieces I've seen. Very little velcro rather it has plastic holders
that swing into place at strategic points. They seem stout enough to not
be a problem. I didn't see it disassembled but suspect that it will
break down faster than netting type cages (like the Miniplane).
Overall & More Info: Very nice ride for anyone wanting low
hookins and decent power. Thrust is surprisingly good, in fact, even
with the smaller prop size. It should work for pilots up to probably 230
pounds or so but obviously go with the manufacturer's, and a competent