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Paradox review

 

 MAC PARA Paradox
A power glider with multiple personalities. 

Testpilot: Lauri Kadakas

The Paradox

For the past week, I have had the pleasure of testing the MAC PARA Paradox.
The glider I was testing was 22m2 and weight range was 105-145kg.
Most of testing I did with All-up weight of 120 kg, so I was right in the middle of the weight range.
Paradox has flat aspect ratio of 6.0, making it on the larger side of power gliders.
Risers on the Paradox are on the slimmer side - thou not the narrowest I have seen on a paramotor glider. They have PK system and Tip-steering toggles built in. The tip-steering system placement was a bit high for me on a high-hangpoint setup and quite OK on a low-hangpoint.  Paradox also has 2D brakes, making active piloting and dynamic maneuvering just a pleasure.

Takeoff and Landing

Paradox inflates quite easily and kiting was just a pleasure.
When trims closed, taking off requires very little running. Just eas on the brakes and add bit throttle and off-you-go. Releasing trims to almostneutral gave excellent control and feedback while launching in a stronger wind day. The takeoff run was a bit longer, but the feedback from glider was good.
Landing is very easy and the glider transforms the speed into nice long flare easily. The brakes feedback is nice and go progressively heavier, so feedback on the landing is excellent and timing the flare is easy.  
I’d prefer landing the Paradox with trims at neutral to give me even longer and more controlled flare.

The flights

While flying the Paradox has 2 personalities.
When trims Closed, the glider performs very smoothly, has very good glide ratio and sink rate. It resembles a bit a Free-flight glider in those properties - But that's what the large aspect ratio does :).
On the other hand, while using the PK system and pushing the glider, it becomes a purebred competition wing. Reaction is quick and turning is sharp. Exiting a sharp turn, the roll was easily controlled with small brake input. Feedback from glider is excellent and the glider went exactly where I wanted to be.
The speed range of the glider is good and flying trims-out gave very good penetration into head-wind.(trims out at 120kg all-up, airspeed 52-54km/h )The stability of the glider at trims-out configuration is good and no collapses occurred on thermic and gusty conditions.
Initiating Big-Ears is easy and recovery good - It requires some brake input but the tips re-inflate easily. B-stall recovery is fast and spontaneous.

Overloading the wing

For one test I overloaded the wing to 175kg All-Up weight - For that I attached 63kg of lead to my frame and harness. Total weight on My back including the engine was around 95kg.  
The takeoff was surprisingly easy. After getting the wing over my head, it lifted the weight off my shoulders fast and few steps of running and I was up in the air.
The lift of the glider is really impressive.
The glider reacted to every input fast and was very nice to fly with. The sink did not increase significantly and the glide was still superb.
Landing Flare was smooth and again, the good feedback from glider and brakes helped to perform a nice controlled flare without thinking about it too much.

Overall conclusion

Paradox is a true adventurers wing. It is not meant for beginners or intermediate pilots but for advanced pilots, who can handle it at its fast configurations, it will provide a flight full of joy.
It is a wing, that comes in sizes from 16m2 to 27m2, so anyone, who is willing to take the wing on, will find suitable size.
I believe, smaller sizes of the Paradox are agile and fast enough to be taken into competitions and perform there successfully.

Paradox - A glider worthy of its name - Easy and relaxed in slow configuration, a beast in the fast.

Lauri Kadakas