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The History of Parajet



Find out how a Japanese karaoke machine manufacturer, an old dairy barn and the Clarks shoe company, combined with the vision and hard graft of one man, led to the world’s leading paramotor manufacturer - Parajet.

Parajet-logo-grey-300x158.png.da3f5b13207b606735b66f95f16b23bd.pngWhat comes to mind when you think of Parajet?
Smart designs? - Yes
Gorgeous looks? - Certainly
Superb build quality? - Without a doubt
Reliability? - Absolutely
Great flying dynamics? - The best
Comfort? - Of course

A long list - with one big overlying quality - customer service.

I have to confess that I learned to fly on an old Pap, but the day I saw the original Volution1 I was immediately smitten with its stunning looks; there really was nothing comparable - and it had electric start! I just had to own it, so bought one immediately.

After I ploughed it into the side of a hill following some very poor judgement, I discovered that overlying and most important aspect of owning any paramotor - customer service!

Someone at Parajet was immediately available on the end of the phone and parts were sent out by next day delivery. When that wasn’t enough to fix my bent machine, there was an immediate offer of same-day service, meaning I could take the machine to the factory and have them drop everything to help me out. Plus not forgetting the message from the MD on a Sunday morning at 9.00 am, asking how he could help. You don’t get this level of service with any other company in any sector that I’ve experienced - but you do with Parajet. And that is why I have been a loyal customer for so many years - and will continue to be so.

And I’m not alone. I have met many others who have similar experiences to tell - you only have to take a peek online to discover the immensity of the reputation Parajet has for looking after its customers.

I imagine that most of us have only a little knowledge of the history of Parajet as a company, and those behind it. I decided I wanted to know more and to hear it from the horse’s mouth - which is why I met up with Gilo Cardozo, someone who is responsible for creating a point in time from which much of today’s fabulous advances in paramotor design have emanated.

Whenever I've met Gilo in the past, he always struck me as the perfect person for moving paramotoring into the future - he constantly overflows with energy and passion for the sport and openly considers himself very lucky to have found something that he loves so much.

As a schoolboy, Gilo was inventing and building little vertical take-off aircraft, and as soon as he discovered paramotors he realised that this was his perfect stepping-stone into the world of aviation and his dreams.

It was a swelteringly hot day in mid-June when we met up, and it was a relief to sit down with Gilo in an air conditioned office and have the gaps in my knowledge, along with a lot of new stories, relayed from the company founder - who I’d humbly suggest also has a career as a raconteur awaiting, should he ever fancy a change.


I asked Gilo how it all came about at the very beginning.

Laddermax_2_2.jpg.ee4572ba93cac1feaed7efb981ccb584.jpg“I started Parajet when I was about 19 years old,” he began.  “I left school and got into making portable cocktail bars for a company in London whilst simultaneously developing a product called Laddermax. Laddermax was a DiY product which you put onto ladders and which separated you from the wall.  If you use ladders a lot it’s a really useful tool, and I sold thousands of them.

“A friend of mine came up with the idea - I was still at school at the time and he was about 40 - he knew I was good at making stuff but he didn’t know how to make anything himself. He had been up a ladder one day, painting a window frame, and he’d thought to himself, ‘This is rubbish, I need a gadget!’

“So he came to me, an old friend of the family, and I told him that I’d knock it up in my workshop. So, during my A-levels I was making prototypes for this gadget, and I ended up leaving school early to crack-on and spend my time building this thing. I was aged between 17 and 18, then started getting contracts in for portable cocktail bars, an idea another friend of mine had come up with. He wanted to start making these for a company in London.”

Cocktail_bar_2_IMG_6445.jpg.d82ce42d4eab84458793e367872f1f5c.jpgSo Gilo also began making very smart portable cocktail bars out of aerospace grade aluminium.

Gilo continued, “They were really very high-end looking pieces of equipment, with inlaid marketry all over them in aluminium and brass. They folded into a flat-pack arrangement and basically were sent off flat-packed to parties in cities all over the world. Once they had arrived, they folded out into stunning cocktail bars.”

While all this was happening, Gilo had discovered paramotoring.

“I got into paramotoring because when I was 15 I saw a tiny picture in a physics magazine of a guy with a fan strapped to his back, although it didn’t really make sense to me at the time as there was clearly no wing.

“So I started looking into it. This was before the internet properly existed, but eventually I discovered that this paramotor thing needed a paraglider to fly. So, while these cocktail bars and the DiY ladder devices were going on, I was also getting very excited about paramotoring. But I couldn’t afford one as I was putting money into these other projects and couldn’t just go out and buy a paramotor.”

Around this time, Gilo came across a guy who was teaching people to fly, called David O’Donnell, and he was in need of long range fuel tanks for a very popular Japanese paramotor called the DK Whisper. David asked Gilo whether he could make them.

Gilo confirmed that he could.

Gilo_Fuel_Tank_IMG_6442.thumb.jpg.d6eaf796e258ad9be97aa9e7314956bf.jpg“So I went ahead and made vacuum forming tools to make a special polypropylene 12 litre fuel tank for a machine which normally had a 6 litre fuel tank. And I started selling quite a lot of them to David - they were about £150 each because they were all hand-made on my vacuum forming machine, which I was borrowing from my brother at the time. He was making vacuum formed garden products, so I would take his stuff off in the evening and put my stuff on and vacuum form my fuel tanks during the night, then get it all set up so he could carry on with making his products by the time morning arrived.

“So I was selling quite a lot of these tanks, but as manufacturing was so labour-intensive I decided I should look into making them rotationally moulded instead. I found a company in the south-west called Wydale Plastics and they could see what I wanted to do - but it was going to be expensive, at about £15,000, to make a special tool which could bang them out for about £15 each. I thought this was what I needed because I was making so many of them and sending them out all over the world."

At this time, DK Whisper were selling thousands of paramotors and were regarded as the best, with their electric start, specially developed engines for paramotors, etc. Gilo realised that as there were were so many DK Whispers in the world, if he could make these tanks on a large scale then he could make a good profit.

Gilo remembers thinking, “As long as the Laddermax thing was going along okay and the cocktail bars were ticking over, although they weren’t making much money yet and were really labour-intensive, then I could do this.”

But financing the expensive tool for the fuel tanks needed to be addressed. Gilo visited Wydale Plastics in Devon and showed them one of his existing fuel tanks. They confirmed they could make a rotationally moulded version.

Recalling that visit, Gilo said, “I explained that I couldn’t really afford the tool but suggested that if I came in and worked in their workshop with one of their guys, he could just prompt me in the right direction and I could make the tool.

“So I managed to do it for £500 instead of £15,000 because I put my own time into it. I made this really cool steel tool, it was fully functional, split apart and was perfect for what I needed. Because I was young and only looked about fifteen, they were very helpful.

“Nowadays, if I saw a really young guy coming into my workshop extremely keen to do something, I’d want to help him. I didn’t realise it at the time but looking back now I can see they were equally happy to help me - I merely thought I’d been very lucky.”

PoweredParagliderMagazineDK.thumb.jpg.7d154be0929cbc5c44ceb444477b64bd.jpgSo Gilo started making the rotationally moulded tanks and it worked very well, selling hundreds more of them. These sales now ensured that he could save enough money to buy himself a paramotor, but his first one turned out to be not very good.

“I got one from Scobyjet in Poole, who were the first paramotor manufacturer in the UK. It had a twin-cylinder boxer engine which was a bit old fashioned and unreliable and I only got to fly it once - so I saved up a bit more and got a practically new DK Whisper from David O’Donnell - and that’s when I got crazy about paramotoring. I was 19 and thought that this was just brilliant and that everyone should be doing it - it was such incredibly good fun.”

This was about 2001.

The Laddermax and cocktail bars were both separate companies which Gilo shared with other people. But making the fuel tanks was his first solo venture, as Gilo Industries.

Gilo recalled, “Gilo Industries, my first company, made the fuel tanks and they had the name Gilo Industries written on them, which I thought was quite a fun name especially because it was a bit ridiculous; there were no industries at all, there was just me in my shed, basically.

“However, I had this vision of a big industry, so I could see where I wanted it to be going. And making plastic fuel tanks was somewhere to start from.”

However, shortly after Gilo got into paramotoring DK Whisper went out of production. DK (Daiichi Kosho) was a multibillion dollar corporation, and were the largest manufacturer of karaoke machines in the world. They had a division called Sky Leisure which had been making the DK Whisper - they had done it properly because they had access to lots of funds. The president of the company in Japan had loved paragliding and paramotoring and this was the reason he created Sky Leisure.

Gilo: “I had learned a lot about the DK machines through flying them and through making fuel tanks for them.  As I knew the machine so well, I knew I had to go over to Japan as soon as I heard they were stopping production. The president was leaving the company and the new president who was coming in had no interest in Sky Leisure at all. The old president had driven everything through his own passion for paramotoring but the new guy was quite the opposite and thought that it was a bit of a liability, so got rid of it. He literally just cut it off.”

DK had a fully designed paramotor, along with an engine designed from scratch for it, and so Gilo went to Japan to see whether he could arrange for all those parts to be shipped over to England directly from the original suppliers. That included engine casings, cages, harnesses, and every other component possible. He didn’t succeed in getting every part of the DK Whisper but did manage to form a deal with the chief designer, who by now had left DK and was working on his own. He knew the network of suppliers from his time working with the company.

Having established a deal with the Japanese designer from DK, Gilo also needed to find a deal with a travel company to get him to Japan as he was still rather short of cash, and £1000 for a ticket to Japan wasn’t an easy thing to find. But, in his usual manner, Gilo did just that and got his deal and a trip to the Far East.

Gilo: “I got about 80 percent of the parts and, despite it being an immense undertaking and just doing it on my own, it was just such an exciting prospect. I knew I could take on a completely ready-made design with a full supply chain and I could make this paramotor again and launch the new DK Whisper from Britain as a new company.

parajet_logo.jpg.f6f33a8423f66115198c775d3d5f1241.jpg“And I called this new company Parajet.”

I asked Gilo where the name came from.

“About a year previously, I’d registered a patent (pending) for  a jet-powered paramotor. It was a twin gas turbine that I wanted to be able to pack-up into a really small bag, which would give fifteen minutes of flying time to do really radical stunts and the like. I still have all the sketches from about 2001 when this was all happening. For the patent office I’d needed a name and so called it the Parajet.

“By this time the internet had kicked off and was well underway, and I clicked on parajet.com and nothing came up. So I snapped up the domain - and that swung it for me. I decided there and then that this company would be called Parajet and it would be a part of Gilo Industries. As it happened, Parajet grew and Gilo Industries was more of a sideline, so Parajet became the main company that everyone knew.

“So I got to Japan, met the guy out there, having spent six months prior to that trying to get the parts organised from the UK ... but I had a lot of issues trying to organise everything. For example, Tohatsu were subcontracted by DK to manufacture the engine for their paramotor, with all the casings, integration for the reduction drive,  the starter motor, etc.  It was a properly developed paramotor engine and Tohatsu, who already mass produced engines for all sorts of things such as generators, outboards, etc. was a very well known brand.

“But I couldn’t get what I wanted over the phone or by email, which is why I went out there, met up with the designer from DK, and basically set up a deal whereby he would help me get all these parts. I eventually went back to the UK with lots of boxes full of bits - cylinders and all the parts I’d been trying to get hold of. And then I remade all the other parts in my old barn down in Motcombe.

Gilo had made a wooden jig for the paramotor cage and chassis and asked a friend, who was in a workshop nearby and had an aluminium welder, to weld them up during the evenings. Over time Gilo managed to get enough money together to buy his own aluminium welder but the first few hundred paramotors were all made by taking them to his friend down the road. The resulting paramotors were as good as the original thing, just having been made on wooden jigs and hand-bent on an aluminium bender.

“So, I tried to replicate the DK Whisper as accurately as I could and it actually worked really well - there was no difference between the original DK Whisper and the machine I was now making by hand in the UK.

However, after a while it became clear that the product supply chain was just too limited; when importing engines to the UK from Japan the exchange rate was very poor and it was not a good time to be buying products from that country - so Gilo decided he needed to make a new engine.

Gilo grinned, “And then I hit gold!

“I found a small company in Salisbury called Lamb Engineering,  run by a brilliant engineer called Larry who was about 40 years old. He owned this company making components for lots of other companies and he had a range of milling machines, lathes and all sorts of equipment which I didn’t have at that time, including CNC machines.

“So I visited his workshop one day and showed him my paramotor after he’d just finished a stunning custom motorbike. That motorbike pet project was literally just completed and he was ready for another one - and he was the kind of guy who just loved projects.

“Larry had never seen a paramotor before and he was incredibly excited by it. I was telling him that I wanted to do this and I wanted to do that ... and before I knew it we’d started working on new crankcases and crankshafts and before long had created a new engine from scratch.

“It was a single cylinder engine - we had managed to get a cylinder head from a 180cc Malossi, a component which was intended as an expansion kit to increase a 125cc engine to 180cc, and was available off the shelf for about £180. Added to our own crankshaft, crankcase and other components, all made with Larry's CNC milling machines, we were well underway to making our own engine.

But, as usual for small any new business, money and cashflow was a stumbling block, so Gilo came up with a bold proposal.

I made a deal with him - I said, 'I will pay you for these parts two months later than you supply them to me. So you make as many as you can, and I will buy as many as I can, just give me the sixty days credit'. This ensured that I didn’t have to fork out loads of money upfront.

“So this was a way for me to obtain engines, by far the most expensive of all paramotor components. I could make the chassis, the cages and other parts, but buying an engine from another company was always going to be at least £1000 for each one, so it wouldn’t have worked out when trying to build a decent volume of paramotors whilst having to fork out thousands, that I didn’t have, for engines.”

So now it made financial sense and for the next three years Parajet built lots of these machines, which replaced the SkyDoo (the machine with the Japanese engine in it), and which became the Parajet GTX, the paramotor with their own engine.

DK_Whisper_IMG_6456.jpg.6a2abd7ba230a6971071de71b2ba69dc.jpgGilo: “It actually took us about two years to get that GTX engine good, and probably nearer three years to get it seriously good - and then it was super-reliable and a nice piece of kit. And that engine eventually became the XT - although the XT actually wasn’t as good as the GTX!

“The XT engine was an evolution of the GTX but it was lighter, therefore some of the reliability and smoothness had been taken out of it. It was a re-engineered version, which I’d handed to one of our engineers to evolve it to the next generation. But a lot of mistakes were made in the process. At that time I was busy setting up Rotron and other projects, so I wasn’t completely hands-on with it as much I would have liked, and some of the things I’d learned the first time around with the GTX, about what not to do, my engineers actually did - But all with good intentions. Things like reducing the weight of the crankshaft, putting smaller bearings in, and reducing the weight of the flywheel - all this actually ended up with a bit of a vibrating motor, whereas the GTX motor had been a very smooth engine, one which started reliably and had become very good. But the XT engine started breaking exhausts and such because of the vibration, although it was still a successful engine which did its job and expanded the Parajet brand.

Gilo had explained where the XT engine came from, but I wanted to know how the radical frame came about, the frame which instantly stood Parajet out from the crowd.

Gilo: “Going back to the GTX engine, it went into the frame I was making in my workshop, which was based on the original DK Whisper - so it looked just like the DK Whisper with a different engine in it. Our engine.

“But then I decided that I didn’t like the DK Whisper frame either - everyone had started talking about low hang points and stuff like that, so I thought we had better explore this new low hang point concept, and while we're doing that let’s look into designing a whole new chassis and cage.

Volution_production_IMG_6453.jpg.88a5cbdc10fbbbf6f033e2f18936163a.jpg“I’d always thought, ‘Why aren’t we using aerofoil sections?’ So I found a company called Seldom Masts who made aerofoil cross-pieces for the masts on sailing boats, and they had two different sizes of extrusion. So I began making the Volution frame from these.

“The new engine, the GTX, went into the new chassis made from aerofoil sections and that is what became the Volution paramotor, and which was made in three versions - The Macro (with a 126cm prop), the Compact (with a 95cm prop) and the Micro (with an 80cm prop).

“It was great as I didn’t have to extrude anything myself, I just found the company and they did it for me, because they had the tools. So that saved me quite a lot of money upfront.

“So the Volution had arrived, which was the same year as I got married, 2007. I was designing it well into 2006 and it was launched officially in 2007. Which was also at the same time as I was doing the Everest project.”

Whilst listening to Gilo, I was intrigued by the immensity that the change in paramotor chassis design must have had, being so radical and potentially leaving other paramotor designs looking like something of an anachronism.

Gilo: “I looked at the DK Whisper style frame with the GTX engine and decided it all looked a bit clunky and old fashioned and decided I needed to make this thing look super-cool. Which is why I so wanted to try and use aerofoil sections and good design.

“I made full steel jigs for this new machine, rather than wooden ones, and everything about it I was trying to design for slicker manufacturing. Things like getting rid of the netting, which some people didn’t like; I personally loved it because it made it so much quicker to manufacture them - stringing up nets and cages took hours, plus I thought it looked cool. It certainly looked very different. And it was safe enough, there were no accidents that I came across because of it. That was the real drive behind creating the Volution, and I started selling loads of them.

“Around that time I met up with Bear Grylls and taught him how to fly on a Volution. We kicked off this plan to do the Everest project, which was great publicity for both of us. At that time I really wanted to get someone with a big name with whom to associate the brand. Bear was building his name back then and you could see that he was really going to go places, we got on really well and he became a great friend. He loves mucking about on paramotors - we even gave him his own brand eventually.

“As time passed, at Parajet we decided that we needed to make different sized paramotors in the range; big ones and smaller ones, but interestingly the Micro was a bit of a flop. I thought everyone would want a tiny paramotor because it was so small and compact and you could break it down into a small car. It was a super little thing, in fact I still have one. The way it has gone in paramotoring is that everyone wants bigger and bigger machines, more powerful and fuel efficient, but the Micro wasn’t punchy enough for a lot of pilots, for quick take-offs and such."

mission-everest.jpg.3edf8696cd90fed1e62dcfe91f7d4fef.jpgFor the Everest project, Gilo developed a huge version of the Volution which had a new rotary engine for paramotors which would, incredibly,  produce nearly 100 horsepower, was supercharged, with fuel injection and which was incredibly heavy - and this taught him a lot about rotary engines during the process. Gilo then realised that he should be using rotary engines in his paramotors.

“So I found a company in Germany making small 294cc rotary engines for go karts and did a deal with them to convert them into paramotor engines. I bought the casings, the rotors, the shafts, all from this company in Germany - I thought this is great, they’re making all the hard bits now but I need to learn about this properly. Unfortunately, they started letting me down more and more, with poor quality stuff coming in. Things were breaking, which ended up with paramotors which had been shipped all over the world now coming back with seized engines and needing a new replacement engine each time.

“I was trying to work out why they were seizing. It turned out they were getting too hot inside because the actual design wasn’t right.

“So we decided that we needed to set up a new company to make these engines ourselves - the German company wasn’t supplying us with the quality we needed, so Rotron officially kicked-off making our own rotary engines.

“We began with a whole new design to make them much better, and came up with a lot of other applications for these engines, but primarily it was for paramotoring - because I just love paramotoring. But also looking beyond that; UAVs, vertical take-off aircraft, motorbikes and all sorts of other things as well.”

And that’s where Rotron has ultimately gone, making engines for a multitude of applications. And, during this process, paramotoring went down the list some way, because the money from bigger applications allowed the company to grow.   

This created the need for each company to be developing independently - Gilo Industries is the holding company, and within it there are the subsidiary companies Rotron and Parajet. And they are both companies in their own right with their own identities.

Gilo: “You need people with completely different energies to manage these companies. Rotron has its own set of staff who work with their high-end clients, such as Boeing, to produce amazing products for various sectors and are completely focussed on making rotary engines. Parajet has very different clients and staff, it’s equally faced-paced but there’s a lot of fun and a different energy there. And they are completely focussed on making paramotors. I love both and am really proud of all our staff who make the companies what they are.”


I first discovered Parajet when they were in their old workshop in Mere. But prior to that they were in Motcombe in a small old dairy barn, which was about 40 feet x 20 feet and which Gilo had converted into a workshop - it had an old lathe and a milling machine which he’d managed to pick up over the years.

XT_Engines_IMG_6457.jpg.a5338275b2225c7e1df6863e9e3a58dc.jpgGilo was working mostly alone - he would work all day and then take all the bits he’d made, and his wooden jig, down to his friend Ian (who worked all day for another company) in Gilo’s little van. Ian would do an extra two hours every evening welding up paramotor frames and cages in a big workshop which belonged to someone else and which was used to make vacuum forming machines.

Gilo: “So I’d prepare it all for Ian and bring it down fully populated in the jig, then he’d weld it and I’d take it home again. I paid about £80 for each cage to be welded. It was a pretty labour intensive way of doing things but it was the only way I could really afford it at the time, I couldn’t afford to sub-contract another company to do it all for me.

“But it was the best way to get started. Eventually after eight months I managed to buy a welder and then he would come to me each evening and work in my tiny workshop after I’d prepared all of the parts for each machine during the day.

“So I had what I needed but all the really complicated stuff like crankcases, etc. were being made by Lamb Engineering in Salisbury. So I’d assemble the engines and put them into the frames we were making and then ship them out from there. And I built probably 900 paramotors myself during this time, before anyone else was involved. I had a girl called Jenny who came to work making wiring harnesses and she did some assembly of netting on the cages. My girlfriend of the time also used to net up the cages, which was handy!

"And I do look back on that as the good old days, where it was all done by hand for five years from an old barn down in Motcombe."

Gilo then moved into the bigger workshop in Mere in 2005. And this is where the story of Parajet’s history takes an unexpected and fabulous turn.

When he started making the Volution fuel tank, which was very curvy in several places and very complicated to manufacture, Gilo carved it out of foam and approached a company he’d heard did electroplating of plastics.

Gilo: “I’d heard of them through the Wydale Plastics company who, when they saw my foam model, had said they couldn’t make a tool like that - it was far too complicated. But they knew a company who could do electroplating and they thought might be able to help.

“So I contacted a company called Maple Precision Tooling, who were an offshoot of the Clarks shoe company.

“Clarks Shoes had an amazing workshop for making all of their tooling, in the town of Street in Somerset. When Clarks took their manufacturing out of the UK to the Far East, they kept their machine shop and basically gave it to their employees, telling them to do what they wanted with the machinery. They got to keep their jobs and were encouraged to use their skills to find and supply other companies around the country.

“So they had this enormous building filled to the ceiling with all sorts of great equipment, and I met them through asking them to do the electroplating of my foam fuel tank model - I’d prepared it so that it could have an electroconductive cover put over it. They dipped it in a tank in the same way they did for shoe moulds and electroplated the entire thing with about 6mm of nickel in three sections - which all came apart so you could polish the inside of it. So we created the shape in a high temperature metal (nickel) of the complex foam shape which I’d hand carved. And it worked really well.”

This all happened in 2005, but soon news arrived from Maple Engineering that they were beginning to struggle and that Clarks were going to take down the factory. They were going to build a new housing estate in place of their workshop. The Maple Precision staff were going to be kicked out of their premises.

Mere_Workshop_IMG_6452.jpg.badf33f6658d99b88bbc758b3fa31cd1.jpgGilo: “When I heard about this, I told them that I had just found this large workshop in Mere, and that I didn’t need all of the space, and suggested that they move all of their equipment into there. I also suggested that they could make all of my paramotor parts for me in-house with their CNC machine shop. So that’s what they did; they literally shifted hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of kit to my workshop in Mere after I’d cleaned it up, painted the floor and made it as nice as I could.

“I built a mezzanine for the upstairs, putting my Parajet assembly line on that upper floor and had the machine shop downstairs for making all the parts. And they also ended up making all of my complex pieces because Larry had got fed-up with making all these crankcases and other parts for me and was keen to get on with his next project - as he was really keen on making motorbikes. And it worked out very well.

“It was good timing because that workshop looked very impressive - it had a lot of equipment in it. It was my workshop but I didn’t have to pay for any of the machines because they all belonged to Maple, who had been given them by Clarks in the first place. I had the complete run of their workshop - it was basically my workshop, even though I didn’t know how to use the machines - but the eight guys from Maple who were working there did. So the first Parajet staff were Maple Engineering staff who had been Clarks Shoes staff, although they were more than we actually needed - we only needed three or four guys for Parajet at the time, but they had their own contracts to do too - so everyone was happy.

“Over time I started replacing their machinery with newer and better machinery, so eventually we had upgraded everything. But it had been a real leg-up.

“At that time I was just kicking-off the Everest project plans, had just created the new workshop with all the equipment for free, and it looked like I’d done seriously well to the guys from GKN who came down with their big business hats on and saw this operation with all these guys wearing white Parajet coats building Parajet parts - they thought, 'Brilliant, this guy and his team can really make an engine that will get a paramotor over Everest', so it worked really well.”

wpid-damoncardswns_450x300.jpg.e6e8d32fea6aaeaadeac47410a65a759.jpgGilo then used the whole set-up to raise money for his next project and also Rotron engines, because it looked like what is now was, a very professional company.

Gilo: “So that was a key turning point, getting the Everest project underway and getting the guys from Clarks Shoes involved.

“I look at big companies now and think back to what I struggled with when I was younger. One was credibility because I was very young and I didn’t have any money so I couldn’t really pay for anything, so I couldn’t really raise money very easily from other people - they didn’t want to give to a young guy with a whacky idea for a flying machine, it just didn’t look like it financially stacked-up. And I couldn’t talk the business lingo very well with them, do all the accounts and stuff - I was terrible at all that so I really just had to do it my own way. “

So Gilo just grafted his way through it all. But he loved it, and confesses to it not feeling like anything but mostly fun. He remembers it feeling like 80% of the time as really good fun, 20% of the time as really, really hard work.


When I asked whether Gilo still has any of the original paramotors, I discovered that he does, and Parajet are actually putting a museum together at the moment. This will be installed into their new building, covering the entire history of Parajet, from the original DK Whisper copy, through the GTX version in the DK Whisper frame, then the new frame with the GTX engine, and then onto the Volution with the XT engine and onwards - right through to the latest machines including the v3, Zenith, Maverick and Falco trike. There will be a full story board with pictures and information so visitors will be able to see how it all evolved, with everything on display including the different sizes of machines with different propellers.


The future of paramotoring is very exciting - and, as you can probably imagine, Gilo has a vision which is way beyond where most of us are seeing right now. With new technologies, new composite materials, new manufacturing techniques, and perhaps best of all, designing and manufacturing everything in-house, the future Parajet machines are certainly going to be something incredible - If you think that Parajet is top of their game now, imagine where they will be in two years, five years or even ten years. The company's vision, motivation and energy will ensure that Parajet continues to produces paramotors to suit every current and future pilot - which means that from our perspective, as paramotor pilots, all we have to do is wait. And not for too long, I suspect.

- Steve Thomas


Gilo Cardozo




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These article do take a lot of work but I hope they are interesting enough for everyone to justify the work. And thanks for noticing Stu! :-) Hope it didn't get too soggy in the tub. 

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Really enjoyed that Steve, thanks. 
Great to see you at Parafest and will give you a shout when I'm up your way again. :-) 

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Thanks Jamie, was good to see you too mate. Would be good to do some Beacons skimming together some time. :-) 

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Brilliant as always :-) I have known Gilo for many many years (at the birth of Parajet) and I learned stuff from the article!! lolol He is a dark horse when it comes to talking about his successes! lol 



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Such an incredible founder and company! Having owned a Parajet paramotor for a number of years, I could not recommend one enough and there is a true culture that comes with the their products. 

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