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Mac Para Eden 3 Paraglider

The Mac Para Eden 3 is an improvement on the Eden 2 which apparently made quite a splash in its category. Most of the paragliders I've written up have been DHV-1, however this one, like the Spider, is rated DHV-1/2. It's got that extra amount of zip for pilots who want a safe wing that will remain a good choice as they continue to fly fairly frequently and gain experience.

The team at Mac Para did their homework on this one, going through 7 prototypes with various airfoils and line configurations to find the desired improvements. Security and handling were not compromised, while brake pressures were reduced noticeably. Light pressures help achieve a more sporty feel for the Mac Para Eden 3.

A three-pronged approach to quality ensures that if you buy an Eden 3, you should find it put together very well. Firstly of course, high-quality materials are used throughout. Secondly, quality control is applied at a number of points through the manufacturing process. Thirdly, computer software plays a big part in the design and fabrication of these paragliders.

On the subject of computer-aided manufacture, that must surely have helped Mac Para to make the Eden 3 available in no less than six separate sizes! We'll focus on the 3rd-from-bottom size, 26, near the middle, to keep things simple.



Construction

Ok, some details here for you budding aeronautical engineers. Top surfaces are Skytex 9017 Coating E77A. All the fabric in this glider seems to be 40 g/m² weight by the way. On the bottom is Skytex 9017 Coating E38A.

Mac Para splits the ribs into two types. The 'mean ribs' and V-tapes are Skytex 9017 Coating E29A. 'Minor' ribs are Skytex 9017 Coating E38A. V-tapes? These, plus other load-bearing tapes are designed to help improve handling characteristics during extreme maneuvering. There are 52 cells in this wing. A few more than your average DHV-1 wing.

The thinner upper lines on the Eden 3 are Edelrid Aramid 6843, ranging from 80 to 120 kg (176 to 265 lbs) breaking strain. Lower lines are also Edelrid Aramid 6843, in 3 strengths 240 kg (530 lbs), 200 kg (440 lbs) and 160 kg (350 lbs).

The lines were load tested to 8g, which is not high by other manufacturers' standards. However, it does make for a lighter paraglider. Mac Para make a point of saying the Eden 3 can be used as a mountain glider. In other words, for those pilots who use their legs instead of thermals, to gain altitude!

Split A-risers make for easier Big-Ears in this glider.



Specs for Medium-sized Version

As mentioned earlier, we're looking at the Mac Para Eden 3-26.
take-off weight incl. glider 77-100 kg (170-221 lbs)
wing area (flat) 26.03 m² (280 ft²)
wing area (projected) 23.26 m² (250 ft²)
wing span (flat) 11.7 m (38 ft)
wing span (projected) 10.5 m (34 ft)
aspect ratio (flat) 5.3
aspect ratio (projected) 4.7
min sink 1.2 m/s (236 fpm, 4.3 kph, 2.3 knts)
best glide ratio 8.3:1
speed min (mid weight range) 24 kph (15 mph, 13 knts)
speed trim (mid weight range) 37 kph (23 mph, 20 knts)
speed max (mid weight range) 50 kph (31 mph, 27 knts)

Also:
  • Glider Weight 6 kg (13 lbs)
  • Max Chord 2.76 m (9 ft)


Handling

Rather than a DHV report this time, here's some comments originally made by Gleitschirm Magazine in Germany. I just picked out the ones related to handling.

  • Launching (5/5) Suitable for beginners. Easy to handle in strong winds.
  • Big Ears (5/5) Easy and Effective. Works well with speed bar.
  • B-Line Stall (5/5) Easy to perform, effective and reliable.
  • Spiral Dive (5/5) Easy to enter and exit. Good for low air time pilots.

These guys are highly expert and a very independent source of information. They gave perfect scores for the Mac Para Eden 3 in these areas of handling. Impressive.



Colors

The Mac Para Eden 3 comes in 3 standard colors.

  • blue, with a red leading edge
  • silver, with a white leading edge
  • red, with a silver leading edge



Pricing

Typical price for a new one, at this writing, was US$4,200.



Other Comments

The guys at Gleitschirm Magazine thought this paraglider was possibly the best new-generation DHV-1/2 wing around!



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