MacPara Colorado review

Here is my review, as an intermediate pilot with about 300 hrs of experience on few different wing. 

My average total weight:  between 140 to 165 kg depend on equipment. 

Reason I’ve chosen Colorado 27 :  Cross country flight wing that I can also play with.

Paramotor:  Parajet Maverick MY19

This review is not a professional review.  It is my personal observation of this wing compare with what I know.  I flew ITV, Niviuk, Skyhawk, Dudek and Ozone.  I presently own an Ozone Freeride 21 and a Macpara Colorado 27.  Both wings have a 160 kg max weight recommandation. 

MAC PARA COLORADO 27

CONCEPTION:  I was impressed at first sight when I looked at the risers.  It has a 2D system and on top of that, it has a tip steering system that is separate with a new handle that are fixed at the lowest point of the risers.  It has a clip in and magnet so you can secure it very well.  Those tip steering can be use during long cross country flight to control direction and rolling while keeping your arm low and comfortable.  The rest of the conception is pretty standard from what I know.  At first, I found the factory set up of the brakes way too long for me so I made few adjustments to the fit I like. 

INFLATION AND KITING:  I was surprised how easy it is to inflate compare to other wings. It goes right up above your head in one block without any effort in low wind.   It does not overshoot you.  This wing is predictable and incredibly stable above your head.  It stays above you with minimum input.  It is a charm to inflate.  Kiting the Colorado is fun and easy and feels intuitive.

TAKE OFF: Taking off with the Colorado with no wind is an easy cake if you do it properly as mentioned on the manual.  Trim Set at neutral ( white line).  You make one or two steps back and when you are ready, you walk forward with chest out and it goes right up above your head.  When it is up there, you start applying throttle, hands up and after a few step, little brake pressure and you are gone.  With those new technology wings, you don’t need to use engine power to inflate the wing.  The climb rate of that wing is decent and I don’t need to use full power to make it climb. 

FLIGHT: During flight, I find the Colorado is one of the most stable wing I ever flown in its category. According to my level of experience, I put it to test to my limit conditions.  High wind, high gust etc and this wing never showed me any sign of collapse. I felt safe under it and I fly in really harsh conditions.  However, I always pilot actively so this observation might be inaccurate. 

TRIM: the trim system is well made because you can use the brake handle in any trim configuration without affecting its profile and get a frontal.  You can trim out completely and have no problem using brake.  However, if you use the speed bar trimmed out, you have more risk of getting collapses according to the manual. I did not try.  I personally fly most of the time at neutral (white line) because that where the wing has its most performance. Takeoff and landing, I always put it at neutral or sometime half trim out to have fun in landing.  Trim fully in will slow the wing at its minimum and it is perfect when you want to do thermal.  However, foot dragging and low flying or landing fully trim in, it does not have enough flare authority.  That’s why I suggest to do low flying and landing trim at neutral.  I would fully trim in just for thermaling or if the weather conditions are too scary. 

SPEED BAR SYSTEM:  The speed bar system is an Ok system. I find it hard to push and if you don’t have long legs, you won’t reach full speed bar range.  This is my case.  It does accelerate quite a bit but hard to keep it there for long before your legs are tired.  I did try it few times with all configuration of the trim. However It does accelerate the wing really well.

SPEED: The Colorado has a great speed range which make it interesting for me.  When I do low flying, I like it when I can fly really slow because I can try different things like landing on things.  The Colorado can have a relatively slow speed which make it fun to play near the ground.  At neutral trim, it has an average speed compare to other brands.  Full trim out, it does accelerate about 10 kmh.  In general it is a great wing that can go from low to fast at the speed between 25 kmh to 67 kmh. Also What I like about that wing is the brake range.  I can go deep on the brake without stalling it.  I did low to the ground pull at my hip level and it was still flying with no forward movement in a 15 kmh wind.  

THERMAL and SOARING: Thermaling and soaring is easy with the Colorado if you set the trim at the lowest point which makes the wing more comparable to a paragliding wing.  It is easy to control and easy to take thermal and turning it. When doing it, I like to brake a little bit use weight shift and tips steering to control turn to make sure I stay flat and it works very well.  Because of its stability, you don’t get thrown around when you enter and exit thermal, it stays above your head with minimum input.  It climbs easy as well. 

WING OVER : For wing over, i feel confident under that wing because I know it won’t surprise me.  Like mentioned above, it is really stable and agile.  But like all wing, keep pressure by applying brake both side when you are at highest point to avoid collapse.  It is really easy to end your wing over by finishing doing spiral and get out easily from the maneuver in less than 2 tour and no resource. 

SPIRAL:  When I go into a deep spiral, it is predictable and it takes its speed progressively compare to other wing, so I don’t get freaked out because of its quick acceleration.  To get out is also easy and you don’t feel like you are losing control.  However get ready to deal with the G forces because it is not a beginner wing and it can turn fast. 

STEEP TURN: The Colorado is really agile and can turn quite fast. But when I do steep turn, it’s relatively easy to control my angle with the outside brake. Thanks to the 2D system.

LANDING:  Landing is super easy with the Colorado. It’s easier than similar wing.  You can’t really swoop land with it unless trim out no wind. It’s a joy to land this thing.  If it is a white line, it has a great flare authority.  Landing is so easy with that thing and it is forgiving. 

CROSS COUNTRY: This wing is a perfect cross country companion; it is a real joy to sit under it for hours with any pilot input.  I was so impress about its stability in flight.  The low point tips steering are at the right height.  You can control your direction while keeping your arms low and relaxed.  However, I did long cross country with it and I barely touch the tip steering because that wing is so stable and even in turbulent conditions.  By weight shifting you can basically do your all cross country.  This is a perfect wing for normal cross-country flight. However, if you need to cover lots of distance for long cross-country flight and time is important, this wing don’t have enough penetration compare to my Freeride.  I would say this is the only negative point I have to say about that wing.  But it does not matter for most people that don’t do 600 km cross and more. 

CONSUMPTION: In a cruising configuration from white line to trim fully out, it has great fuel consumption. better than most wing that I flew.  there is not much difference in RPM when trim fully out.  I have not test fuel consumption with speed bar.   In climbing, the fuel consumption is not the best.  It does not climb as fast as other wing. 

BIG EARS:  Big ears are super easy with the Colorado and are really smooth but you need gloves because it is hard on your hands.  You can do relatively large big ears and the decent rate is like most wing.  I don’t really use this technic anyway because I don’t find it really effective. 

CONCLUSION:  This wing is great to overall flying.  Agile, stable, safe and economic and really great for cross country flight.  I am not a picture guy, but for people that like taking picture, this baby is so stable that makes it the perfect tool.   It is my go to wing when weather is not really good to fly my freeride or when I want to practice things like wing over, spiral etc.    

4 thoughts on “MacPara Colorado review

    1. John, speed is good compare to similar wing. It is hard to tell exactly how fast it can go because there is so much factors that play. Weather, wind, how heavy you are in your wing etc. I wish I could give you exact number but it would be a lie. I fly with people that have ITV BILLY, Dudek Nucleon, Apco etc. I have similar speed than those guys so speed is good for its category. Hope it helps ?

  1. Great review. Note on the speedbar. They are all heavy as you are lifting much of your weight (in air flow across the wing). Also, unless your legs are shorter than a few inches (lol) they arent too short. Youll have to adjust the speed ar properly for you and the wing setup. Do that and you can really theow some speed on that colorado, if you choose.

    ~~Keep flying.~~

    1. ok thanks. will try that. however i have also a ozone freeride and i can tell you pushing the speed var on that thing is super easy compare to the colorado. the speed bar system on the ozone freeride is well designed with pulleys.
      i know it is not the same category of wing and it might be why. but thanks for the input i will shorten my speed bar ajustement and see. How is it react with turbulence at full speed ?

      thanks

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