I recently got my introduction into Powered Paragliders in flight when my RC Flying Mentor John's PPG Mentor Alex was testing the air for John with these flights as his continued his powered paragliding training on the ground. It truly is amazing to see this in person and I feel like this video recorded in 1080p HD at 60fps with my Sony Handycam and it did a pretty good job showing how awesome it is to see in person. He didn't even come close to crashing as he has developed a high level of skill in the five years since he began flying his PPG.
Some people also call these aircraft Powered Parachutes or Paramotor Wings. The hobby itself is referred to as Paramotoring and is a form of Ultralight Aviation. In this video you will get to see two Powered Parachute takeoffs and landings of Semiahmoo Spit at Semiahmoo Bay in Blaine, Washington right on the Pacific Ocean! If you are familiar with the area, it is just below Semiahmoo Resort.
I also recorded a new video with my Parkzone Ultra Micro P-51 Mustang with the PPG making a cameo in it. It was its first flight without landing gear, so I hope you like it! 🙂
Fun facts about Paragliders:
In many countries, including the United States, powered paragliding is minimally regulated and requires no licence. The ability to fly both low and slow safely, the 'open' feel, the minimal equipment and maintenance costs, and the portability are claimed to be this type of flying's greatest merits.
Powered paragliders usually fly between 15 and 45 mph (25 and 70 km/h) at altitudes from 'foot-dragging in the grass' up to 18,000 ft (5400 m) although most flying is done under 500 ft (150 m) AGL (above ground level). Due to the paramotor's slow forward speed, it must not be flown in conditions of high wind, turbulence, or intense thermal activity.
The paramotor, weighing from 45 to 80 pounds (20 to 36 kg) is supported by the pilot during takeoff. After a brief run (typically 10 feet or 3 metres) the wing lifts the motor and its harnessed pilot off the ground. After takeoff, the pilot gets into the seat and sits suspended beneath the inflated paraglider wing. Control is available using brake toggles for roll and a hand-held throttle for pitch.
Prices for a complete new package (wing, harness, and motor) vary from approximately 6000 USD to 9500 USD.
Paramotor is a generic name for the propulsive portion of a powered paraglider ("PPG"). It consists of a frame that combines the motor, propeller, harness (with integrated seat) and cage. It provides two attachment points for the risers of a paraglider wing that allows for powered flight.
The term was first used by Englishman Mike Byrne in 1980 and popularized in France around 1986 when La Mouette began adapting power to the then-new paraglider wings.
Pilots who fly these engage in paramotoring, also known as powered paragliding.
Engines used are almost exclusively small two-stroke types, between 80cc and 350cc, that burn mixed gasoline and oil. These engines are favored for their high output power and light weight and use approximately 3.7 litres (1 US Gal.) of fuel per hour depending on paraglider efficiency, weight of motor plus pilot and conditions. At least one manufacturer is producing a 4-stroke model. Electrically powered units are on the horizon. Csaba Lemak created the first electric PPG, flying it first on June 13, 2006. Flight duration for electrics is considerably shorter. Wankel rotary engined paramotors are also available, but rare.
The pilot controls thrust via a hand-held throttle and steers using the paraglider's brake toggles similar to sport parachutists. PPG Flying is also considered to be safer than flying a traditional airplane.