What is paramotoring?
Paramotoring or “Powered Paragliding” (PPG) has existed in some form for over 50 years and has continued to evolve and develop into the popular sport we have today. Our fantastic sport offers the average person the ability to fly safely, easily and cost effectively without years of flight training and need for expensive vehicles such as planes and helicopters which in reality are financially out of reach for the greater majority of people.
Unlike the sport of Paragliding which involves the pilot taking off from elevated areas and relying on the use of natural thermal conditions to gain height and maintain flight, Paramotoring uses a similar type of “wing” or paraglider but contrastingly is combined with the use of a lightweight engine and propeller which the pilot wears on their back. The combination of the thrust created by the engine and the lift created by the wing enables the pilot to take off easily with a short run from a flat open space and maintain height by simply applying power. This enhanced flexibility enables pilots to enjoy flight times of up to three hours from just one fuel tank and the added ability to travel greater distances across country.
What was the first type of paramotor and when was it built?
Paramotors have existed in some form for over 50 years but the early ones really were very basic. These days the sport has evolved a lot and the standards of quality and safety are very high.
What are the biggest paramotoring competitions around the world?
Pilots will compete in the Paramotor world championships as well as regional leagues. The location of the world championships changes each year. There are also various other national events organised for pilots to compete in and also make a spectacle of the sport and raise awareness.
What is the best way to fly and control one?
People wanting to learn can take a basic six day or 12 day intensive training course. Both will allow the trainee to be flying safely within a short amount of time and pilots can continue to the develop their skills depending on what type of flying they want to do (e.g. pleasure or competition)
What are its top speeds and altitude max?
Maximum speed depends on wind conditions, size and type of wing and also engine size.
Normal cruising speeds are around 25mph to 35mph, but faster speeds of over 50mph can be achievable with the right conditions and equipment.
What are the best uses for a paramotor? Just for sport and recreation or for more serious needs?
The most common uses are: Fun – recreational flying / Competition flying / Display Flying / Photography & Filming
Alternative uses include: Military & Police / Aerial Reconnaissance / Search and Rescue / Border Patrol / Disaster Recover & Relief / Traffic Monitoring / Crime Prevention / Wildlife Conservation
Will paramotoring ever be used in the military or wide spread transportation?
Due to weather and specification limitations, Paramotors will not replace existing vehicles such as helicopters and cars etc, however due to the low running costs and ease of training, they provide a great alternative aerial support platform, which in many cases can be used instead of a more expensive vehicle such as a helicopter. For example should a search and rescue team receive a call that some hikers are injured and need a situation assessment, a Paramotor pilot can respond, arrive and take off near the scene very easily and quickly and fly at low speeds and heights over an area providing invaluable information to the ground teams below.
The cost of running a paramotor for three hours would be somewhere in the region of £200 whereas a helicopter doing the same job would be in the 100’s of £1000’s. Similarly another example would be for monitoring game reserves and working towards preventing poaching, again a Paramotor can be easily dispatched to oversee a large area for a very low operating cost.
What is the future of paramotoring?
Parajet are at the forefront of paramotor design and we are continually working to push the boundaries of what is possible in order to offer maximum safety and enjoyment for the pilot. Engine design continues to develop very quickly as well and because the sport is growing in popularity, a number of larger companies with 2 stroke engine pedigree have now entered the market. All of this is great news for paramotor pilots because all equipment continues to be manufactured to higher standards, perform better, and ultimately become more reliable.
Featured image copyright Parajet-Media