Reviews

2016 Paramania GTS 19

2016-03-17 | Para200 Specs | About the Testing

Paramania came out with the GTS in 2015 and I test flew it at Beach Blast. But the tips fluttered during certain phases of flight, namely power off, so I didn't review it. A fix was devised and has been applied, at least to the models imported to the U.S. and probably elsewhere; check to be sure. The model I flew had been modified and indeed did not exhibit any tip flutter.

I flew it in the mildly thermally conditions of late morning in FL: 80 degrees and 7 to 10 mph wind.

Handling (- trim in, - trim out): This one had T-handles and brake toggles. I really like the T handles better than other methods I've seen on these wings for controlling the tips. It's at least as handy as the now ubiquitous 2-D steering. Like all methods, it must be set up for each pilot and his machine. Most pilots have low hook-in machines and it was set up for that. Handling is a bit heavier than others but plenty responsive when you apply the required force.

Trimmed fast you'll definitely want to avoid main brakes and use the tip steering pretty much like all reflex wings. That's easy to do, especially with the T handle. The tip steering is very effective at higher speed.

Inflation: Reverse inflation is standard in execution and ease. I didn't get to do it but, judging from the relative ease in the reverse it would be average for a modern wing which is pretty darn good.

Risers: The risers were typical for a competition type wing with PK system hook-ups, tip steering, and a long trimmer range. I didn't have a speedbar on this machine so can't comment. It's obviously not a beginner wing, partly because of this complexity. Letting out the trimmers changes the profile from a more standard paraglider airfoil to a reflex airfoil.

Efficiency (- slow/ - fast): I didn't get to do any good objective tests but, in the past, these wings have traded some efficiency for better collapse resistance. Some of that is due to their lower aspect ratio relative to others in this class. I would defer to the manufacturer listed sink rates and speeds here.

Speed: The trimmers sure are effective but I didn't do a speed test. Speed on previous models of this wing has been excellent and I have no reason to think it would be different here. The PK system, when hooked up, gives nearly the full speed range to the pilot through his feet.

Small Wings and the Effect of Weight on Speed & Power Required.

Certification & Safety: I did not look at the wing's placard but the website shows that it is DGAC certified. That essentially means that it passed load testing and basic flight under power. These wings don't work with regular testing because they're so hard to collapse using the regular methods.

One test I do with reflex wings is to put them in their most reflexed mode, kite them in a way that makes them overfly me, then watch their behavior. The wing is not loaded so it's not a perfect test but it's the most objective measure I can think of. The GTS did consistently well. Instead of the leading edge folding under, it tends to remain in form and just come down. Obviously a sufficiently strong gust will make it tuck but it feels like it will take more than some other wings in its class.

Overall: For anyone wanting to fly aggressively or at high speed this is a good choice. Mind the manual: like all wings in this class, it's for experienced flyers, especially in the smaller sizes. It will be more solid while needing a bit more power to get the same speed as other competition style wings but probably provides slightly more collapse resistance in the process.

Below: Kiting and Flying the GTS.

I didn't get photos from Palm Bay; these are from Beach Blast 2015. Thanks to Tim Kaiser and Kristianna May.

1. Yours truly standing on a trash barrel.

2. Matt Minyard and another pilot kiting the GTS.


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