MacFly ariose when World champ Alex Mateos helped design a paramotor. It’s what he would want to fly so it reflects his values: good thrust, smoothly tapped, with reliable launching and presumably able to handle high G’s. It’s not the lightest machine out there but, for the power, it’s about right.
This was an impromptu, quick flight opportunity so I was utterly unprepared and didn’t get any pictures. Thanks to Noe Chaparro for letting me fly his first-in-the-country unit.
I flew it on an 18 meter Viper in 80 degree air, near sea level, with enough wind for a reverse. I’m about 147 pounds (had been enjoying too much of the good life).
Weight: It felt like about 65 pounds which included probably a gallon of gas (7 pounds). It’s on the heavy side overall but, for the power, it would be about right to slightly lighter-than-average. The Pollini 200 is smooth and powerful but somewhat heavy.
Harness & Suspension: It has a comfortable, low hook-in harness with plenty of padding and makes good use of pivoting S-arms (or “goose necks” for weight shift.
Starting: Noe started it for me while it was on my back so I didn’t get to experiment. I seem to remember it having a flash start which I have mixed experience with. But it does have a clutch which I really like. It adds a bit of weight but means that simply letting off the throttle will take torque from the prop and possibly save lines that otherwise could get chopped in a simple error.
Ground Handling & Kiting: Comfortable on the ground when hiked up as high as I could but with some pull-back. No doubt that was because it was heavier than what I was accustomed to. Kiting was normal with the risers about where you would expect them for a low hook-in machine.
Thrust: Sweet! This was only a bit below the most powerful motor I’ve flown (a Parajet Rotron 294). Thrust was smooth and proportional throughout the range and, even feeding it in slowly, I got nervous about the steep climb angle. Call me a wuss but there’s got to be some point of climb steepness where aerodynamics weird out and I don’t want to be the guy to test it.
Launch: It was a typical reverse inflation and launch. The cage was smooth and looked like wing lines would slide up it nicely during forwards. It has two hoops so you could reasonably expect to do higher power forwards.
Climbout & Torque: Wow. Climbout was very good and torque handling maybe slightly better than average given its power and my relatively light weight (147 pounds). Torque is managed by differential arm placement and maybe some other off-centering techniques.
Flight & Weight Shift: In flight it felt natural, comfortable, and allowed good weight shift, taking about average effort to achieve full riser movement. Loved the throttle response–foot drags and flying in turbulence, even at low level, would be a joy.
There was some minor fore/aft tilt with thrust changes and it could have been somewhat masked by its extremely smooth throttle response.
Vibration: Vibration on this motor is really low although I felt a bit more than I’ve experienced on other Pollini machines. The owner said that he had just damaged his 3-blade carbon prop and that the loaner 2-blade on it now wasn’t as smooth. Still, it was at least as good as the average amount of vibration.
Sound: I didn’t notice so it’s probable about average.
Safety: Having two hoops is a positive feature that improves hand protection and, in this case, means the prop doesn’t stick out quite as far as some. Prop clearance from the gas tank seems to be good especially since carbon fiber props hitting titanium may increase fire risk slightly. The tank is close to the prop but only up high closer to the hub. It’s the tips that tend to flex forward and it seems like this machine has more than enough tip clearance.
Construction & Repairability: I’m told the frame is Titanium so, if you know someone who can weld that you’ll do fine. The motor is easily accessible but I didn’t get to see how hard it would be to take it off. I have no experience working on Pollinis so I can’t address what that entails.
Transport: I didn’t see it disassembled but the top half comes apart easily so it would likely be easy to transport in a minivan where you only have to take off the top. It looks like the cage comes off in four pieces and, knowing how competition pilots travel with kit, it probably packs down to a good size. But check that out elsewhere.
Cost: At the time I flew that motor was the only one in the U.S. so I don’t know.
Overall & More Info: It’s a nice machine for anyone who is looking for competition type flying on a low hook-in system. The smooth throttle response combined with plentiful thrust will be welcome to anyone managing high speed over a course or anywhere, for that matter.