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RAD Arrow/Javelin


glennP
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Hi,

I'm looking into buying my first paramotor after years of flying expensive tin cans and microlights. I've already got a wing (2002 Gin Bolero) and was looking at a lightweight paramotor to get me up in the air (after training obviously) when it's not flyable on the hill with my PG (Club Pilot Hill).

I'm 75-80kg so wanted to know if the RADs were suitable for nil wind launches and air restart (after thermalling or soaring). I don't want anything complex that will require a lot of fiddling or hard to find parts so maybe a lightweight frame and a SOLO 210 might be better?

Just after something cheap n cheerful to get me airbourne. Any help appreciated.

Cheers, Glenn

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I weigh 90 Kgs and I flew my mates RAD Arrow on a medium Swing Arcus taking off with the trimmers out on a light/nill wind day and I got off!

It was quite a take off run and a slowish climb out ( hardly surprising considering my excess weight and trimmers out! ) but I got up and even found a weak thermal to play in ( I'd put the trimmers in by this stage).

My mate had just bought the kit second hand, I was giving it a test fly.

They seem to have enogh power but are a bit noisy but there are things you can do to quieten them down a bit.

Mark.

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Hi Mark,

Thanks for the info. I think this is a really great forum.

I think I'll take the RAD Arrow route due to it's weight but I'll have to accept that on warm, high nil wind days my rate of climb will be pretty poor. I know I find out the specs from a google search but I prefer to have so people real experiences to base my descision on.

Would obviously prefer something more slick and expensive but I'm on a budget and hiding it from the mrs. :lol:

Glenn

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At your weight and with the correct size wing I don't think you'll have too much trouble taking off.

As you are already CP Hill I think that you will probably get the hang of it quite easily and you will be exempt from some of the CP Power tasks.

I have flown PG for about 5 years, I had my first PPG flight on a friends PAP last autumn and got off first time. I decided I liked it so bought my own and got my power CP. Working towards my Pilot Power rating now.

Mark.

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I've got an older RAD Javelin with electric start. I weigh 95Kg in my birthday suit and although it was challenging to start with I can now do nil wind launches using my Dudek Reaction 31. It is very simple to work on and restarts in the air without problem.

Stuart

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Cheers Guys!

I'm looking at a RAD arrow for sale locally. I've also seen a Walkerjet Superhawk which is heavier but I hadn't factored in that in the future I want to do some XC vol bivuoacs so I'll need to haul a small amount of extra kit. I might have a closer look at that.

Ah descisions descisions.

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  • 3 months later...

the engine is easystarting but req foot start when restarting in the air once the engine has started to cool down, the thrust from a rad is arround 50kg like many others but lighter thats good yes? old rads are basic not stainless steel but the arrow then was only £2200.new, now it costs much more but is stainless steel and other improvements, its up to u do u want to look pritty an cool, or just get ur arse off the ground thats £1300 or £3000 its your choice.

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I'm 65kg with a Rad Arrow. When I was flying with the Arcus I found I had a reasonable climb rate, slightly less so with my current Revo 26 but it's adequate. I have to say I was expecting worse with the Revo so slightly surprised there.

I find it a real problem to hand start mine in the air though so never turn it off. This goes contrary to my initial wish to be able to turn off and thermal.

I did once manage to restart it in the air after it stalled but I had to get my right arm out of the shoulder strap and give several hard tugs to get it going again.

A foot stirrup didn't help much, I just couldn't get enough speed in the pull to get the motor going again.

One of my biggest complaints about the old Rad arrow (don't know about the new one) was the poor build quality. very seldom does a flight go by without something working loose, falling off or breaking. Exhausts are especially vunerable with weak flexi links and brackets. Be prepared to do lots of work on it. I ended up changing the supplied exhaust for an upgraded Radne one and even that's broken!

Also if you get one make sure you lockwire or threadlock all the bolts as they have no protection and often work loose.

Oh, and the props are nearly £400 each so don't go breaking any!

You are right to raise concern if you intend getting into vol bivs. You will have to get on top of the Arrow reliability and potential thrust issue if you are carting loads of stuff up with you, but you will find the autonomy will be an issue for those long XC's. I can get just over 1 1/2 hours on a full 7 1/2 ltr tank but that may just be me.

As said they do look very basic but as long as you can get on top of the reliability it does the job.

They are cheap but you have to make sure they are not false economy? If you are around the Oxford neck of the woods you are very welcome to take a look.

Cheers

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Hiya Guys,

Flew my MXL a couple of times this weekend after my inadvertant incident when retracting the undercarriage to soon a few weeks back. Replaced the prop (all 3) , fuel tank, air inlet (needed doing anyway) and cage netting with 19mm bird control net. Got one of the cheapo plastic prop balancers of ebay and checked the prop and all seemed well. Didn't notice any more vibes than first time I flew the MXL although I was more ficussed on holding on as I couldn't get in the seat. I got the seat adjusted with the help of a couple of guys down at a field near Catterick. Cheers.

The MXL got me off the ground fairly easily with a 6mph headwind and climb rate wasn't up to King Air standards but perfectly acceptable for a warm day and a RAD. The prop blades have been left uncut at 495mm across the leading adge root-tip but frame clearance is compromised for a slight bit of extra thrust. The power risers for the Bolero are great. I had to dab only a slight amount of right brake to flight straight. Didn't try the trimmers though.

The major thing I like about the RAD is A) very simple B) cheap replacement parts (not from RAD) C) super light.

I HATE the harness at the moment. It's hard to get into and uncomfortable in flight although my adjustments before my second flight seemed to have made the thrust line off at an angle and the harness less comfy. I need to test hang again and I'm sure I can get it where it's OK for an hour or more in the air.

Vol bivouac is still way off for now. There is a decent pocket under the seat for a few tools/spares and oil plus I could take a bivi bag and a small sleeping sac if I was heading to the wilds but I think I would need a helper on the ground. I met the guys who recently did the Robin Hoods Bay to St Bees crossing and would love to have a crack at something similar.

All in all a good weekends flying up here in the NE.

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Anyone got a link to Michel Carnets Air Start Bungee mod? Would be very insterested in this. I managed to ground start the MXL with the engine hot by using both hands over the shoulder which would be something I'm not keen to do in flight. Anything that makes it easier would be good.

Cheers,

Glenn

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It's good to hear that you are doing well with your RAD. Just a note of caution; be very very meticulous in your daily inspection. One of the chaps who trained with me used to fly a very old RAD. I hope quality has improved since because he had problems with welded joints cracking both on the chassis and exhaust. He managed quite well because his wife is a welder for Rolls Royce (her work is the best I've ever seen; more like a die cast than a weld!). Just out of curiosity; did you consider the Miniplane when shortlisting or were you put off by the fibreglass cage? It ticks the same boxes but is arguably more developed.

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Hi Nirmal,

Yeah I 've been told about the "penny washers" breaking. Not the strudiest of mounts I've ever seen. At the moment everything is toally original except for the cage netting, inlet and prop blades (everyone does it :oops: ). It looked like new when I got it :roll: . I'd say it's flown very few hours.

I've heard about them vibrating themselves to bits and the exhausts/inlet silencer falling off, engine mounts cracking etc etc. I always do a quick walk round before getting the wing out (usually last to take off) and most nuts/bolts etc are marked with black marker to show if they've moved. I carry a wire lock kit and tools with me for anything I'm suspiciaous of. Despite all this I think I need to be more meticulous and organised before and after each flight.

The RAD is getting me up there at the minute which is the main thing. In the future I'll be upgrading to something else but the RAD suits for the time being due to it's light weight and simplicity. Plus the cheapish parts are a bonus.

Cheers,

Glenn

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Hi Nirmal,

Fogot to answer about the Miniplane. :oops:

I saw one on ebay a while back and placed a few bids on it but it went for a lot more than I was prepared to pay. Funilly enough I see most paramotor gear on ebay re-advertised after it had initially gone for a daft price.

The Miniplane seems like a good paramotor and as you say a bit more developed than the RAD. It might be a future purchase .

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