Have You Heard About Paramotor?
The Paramotor is the simplest form of light aviation that exists, it’s also one of the safest. It flies thanks to the support given by a paraglider and the propulsion granted by a small engine with a propeller on the back of the pilot, a device that also receives the name of paramotor. All the equipment weighs no more than 40 kilos, and it fits in the trunk of a normal car.
Unlike paragliding, paramotor takes off from flat terrain with the same technique of inflating the paraglider, on foot (or with a trike or wheel cart), but taking advantage of the thrust of the engine to generate wing lift and get off the ground.
The Story Behind the Motorized Parachutes
Paramotor as a sport arose in France in the late ‘80s, when some paragliders began to adapt propellers to their paragliding equipment to be able to take off from flat areas far from the mountains. Some of those pioneers are today’s leaders of the main factories of European Paramotors, and the machines have evolved from the first (and heavy) units that adapted lawn mowers’ engines to many that now use specially designed engines for the flight.
Over time, the paramotors have become more reliable and lighter, there are 2-stroke and even 4-stroke, and the discipline of takeoff with wheels or on a tricycle-type cart known as “Paratrike” finds more and more followers for its ease of use and lower requirements for the pilot’s physical condition.
In addition, special paragliders are currently being manufactured for use with propulsion, more resistant to weight, safer and with characteristics that offer greater advantages in this type of flight. This is the case of reflex technology, which allows flying at high speeds (over 60 kilometers per hour) with great stability, thus making long journeys possible, even in windy conditions.
The Flight in Paramotor
This kind of aircraft can fly at speeds between 25 and 70 kilometers per hour, and the average flying height is generally no more than 300 meters from the ground. The paramotor incorporates a harness on which the pilot sits once in flight and on the ground will serve to carry the engine as a backpack. While in flight, the paramotor harness is suspended under the inflated paraglider and the pilot controls the trajectory using the paraglider brakes and controlling the thrust of the engine with a small manual accelerator.
Thanks to the fact that the paramotor is a set between glider (paragliding) and engine, in case the engine fails in the air, there’s no problem because it will continue planning, as in free flight. The only thing is that without a motor is impossible to go up, so unless the pilot is able to find a natural descent, he should look for a good place to land.
Can Anyone do This?
A big amount of paramotor pilots are men over 30 years of age, but there are no limits of sex or age based on minimum requirements of height and weight, it is a sport practiced by men and women in many countries and it already has a high-level competition circuit. Also, a new “freestyle” modality has begun to arise, which favors low flight and acrobatic maneuvers.
The ability to fly low and slow, the ‘open’ feeling of flight, portability, low equipment costs and maintenance, plus good safety margins are considered the greatest merits of the Paramotor. It is a fun activity, which allows any person to fly above the most beautiful landscapes enjoying a view practically in 360º and can be practiced almost anywhere.