By Will Lidie
When Aviator and Fly Products partnered in 2018, one of our most exciting missions was designing a paramotor that stood out from the pack for a specific reason- it had to be truly lightweight while remaining comfortable and rugged.This has been an issue that many industry giants have thrown their resources into solving as the market evolves and modern materials become available. For years the industry standard for a lightweight unit has been a base dry weight of under fifty pounds. We wanted the new unit to push the envelope and be under forty. To combine that kind of featherlight unit with practicality in design and rigidity in structure was no easy endeavour.
The Fly Products Eclipse is the end result of that endeavour. The Vittorazi Atom 80-equipped version comes in at a base dry weight of thirty-eight pounds. And the features and functionality packed into that thirty-eight pounds are tremendous.
To start, the Eclipse needed to not sacrifice it’s structural integrity to achieve it’s light weight. In fact, the design has greatly improved strength over other offerings on the market. The three-piece, mid-hangpoint, gooseneck-style weightshift arms ride atop massive lugs attached to the frame. Longtime Fly Products team pilot and Paradigm Aerobatic Team member Manu Tejeiro Lopez was insistent that the frame be capable of handling his rigorous acro moves- including the awe-inspiring Infinite Tumble, a maneuver that can induce stresses of up to 9g.
A tough frame doesn’t have to be unattractive, though: the Eclipse shatters that misconception with gusto. The burnished orange cage hoop coupled with the carbon fiber spars and black main frame create an effect that truly resembles its namesake- a bright, shining corona around a sleek, dark center. That smooth, coppery-orange surface provides a frictionless, effortless forward inflation as glider lines ride against it.
Equally beautiful is Vittorazi’s Atom 80 powerplant, a marvel of engineering in its own league. The tiny powerhouse produces a whopping one-hundred and twenty pounds of smooth, reliable thrust- an incredible number for it’s tiny displacement. The Atom handles pilots of up to two hundred pounds with ease. And it’ll do so with a smoothness that is simply unheard of in the world of paramotors. Such care and accuracy was put into the precision of the internal component’s balance that the motor can scarcely be felt running at idle. When you throttle up, the power comes on in a steady curve- no hard powerbands here. The smooth clutch and oil-immersed, reverse-turning gearbox ensure minimal parasitic power loss while also providing a massive practical advantage in the propeller not spinning at idle. And of course, there are no slipping belts to adjust with this one. Optionally, for heavier pilots, a tried-and-true Moster 185 Powerplant can be fitted, for a slight increase in weight, that offers simply tremendous power and performance unmatched in it’s weight class- twenty-five horsepower at 7800rpm, and an astonishing 170lbs of thrust.
Comfort, too, was not sacrificed- though incredibly lightweight, the Eclipse’s harness is superbly rugged and still comfortable- plenty of padding. The stout liftweb connects securely to the weightshift arms to ensure it’ll stand up to any maneuver you can throw at it. A system of quick-change hangpoints offers on-the-fly compensation for the unit’s center of gravity, to adjust for different pilot weights and payloads and ensure the ideal thrust line and launch characteristics. The two-screw attachment system is strong and convenient, making the Eclipse great for schools who transition from pilot to pilot on the same unit. The harness also offers compatibility for a reserve parachute container in either left or right side-mounted configurations. The minimalist throttle also fits very nicely in the hand and offers a great deal of precision in control. The killswitch is nicely accessible and pilots will not need to hunt for it, especially in the fast-moving environment of a blown launch. A stout velcro strap means it won’t slip off your hands and stays right where you put it, while leaving ample room to comfortably hold brake toggles and A-risers.
The stunning, thirty-eight pound Atom 80 equipped Fly Products Eclipse starts at $7,499. The more powerful Moster 185 variant starts at $7,999, with the upgraded dual start version capping off the lineup at $8,500. Any of them will yield a paramotor that is “lightweight” dialed to eleven- a unit that offers all the benefits of a minimalist paramotor, while still retaining flagship-unit functionality and a refinement that’s unmistakable. An excellent choice, no matter what breed of pilot you are.
For those interested in partnering with us and furthering our goal of making flight accessible to all, Aviator PPG is now considering dealer candidates for the Fly Products line. If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-833-727-2359.