Plane & Pilot
Wednesday, November 30, -0001

Wings For A Wheelchair: Paradise P1

It’s strong, friendly, roomy and rigged for hands-only flight!

paradiseIn 1999, an up-and-coming drummer man named Dylan Redd had a terrible car accident that broke his back. Several major surgeries and two years of constant, sleep-depriving pain drove him to the brink of utter despair. Sheer will to live pulled him through.
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The Paradise P1 felt comfortable in flight—responsive yet stable and forgiving in pitch due to the nicely damped all-flying stabilator. You’re not in danger of inadvertently going over the falls if you’re too aggressive with the yoke—a good trait for students just starting out.

Aesthetically, handling balance is sweet and smooth, and roll is solid and predictable. Borrowing from Shakespeare’s Polonius, “Neither too snappy nor too sluggish be,” P1 obeys by rolling somewhat easier than a Jabiru 230 but needs slightly more muscle than Tecnam’s Eaglet or the Rider MD3.

In a nutshell, the P1 is forgiving, easy to fly and great for training. In climb, I saw 800 fpm or more—plenty peppy to get you up and away. Rudder inputs are minimal, unlike some LSA. It’s a relaxing airplane to fly. And even with my headset off, cabin noise level seemed pleasantly low.

And although not superfast at 120 mph (I consistently saw more than 115 mph at cruise settings), LSA top legal speed is only 18 mph faster. That’s not a big deficit, and you get such a pleasant-handling airplane for the trip.

Low-speed performance is a tad wallowy—not quite as responsive to controls near the stall or in slow flight as the Eaglet, but certainly nominal. And stalls are so undramatic; the P1 doesn’t want to break and happily mushes along, nose high. Ease the yoke forward and, bingo, you’re flying again.

Easing into final at 70 mph, I crossed the fence at 60, let her settle, and the P1 just floated right onto the tarmac. Such a friendly bird.

A Note From Dylan

A few weeks later, I received an e-mail. I had asked Dylan about his flight home and life with his new airplane.v “Everything is coming along fine, and I am very happy to be flying it. This new setup is backwards (from what I trained on), so it’s taking me a little time to develop the proper muscle memory.

“I expect to fully transition soon and be ready for some cross-country flying. I set this plane up for long cross-countries with the Garmin 696, Trio Pro Pilot autopilot and long-range tanks. This plane can go about seven hours without refueling, which is farther than I can go! I have flown about 10 hours so far and, by Sunday, that total will be 20 hours.”

Now, you know that anybody who anticipates doubling his or her flight hours by the weekend is a pure aviator. Factor in the heart of a lion, and you have the definition of Paradise.

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