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Paramotors

Questions and Answers

What is a paramotor and a powered paraglider?

A paramotor is part of the powered paraglider: a unit which generates thrust and in which the pilot sits during the flight.

A powered paraglider is the entire aircraft, including the paramotor and the paraglider.

A paramotor creates thrust driving the paraglider forwards. The pilot increases or reduces the altitude by changing the thrust. The paraglider, in turn, creates lift which keeps the system in the air.

What do I need to learn to make powered flights?

The powered paraglider training course is intended for Category B pilots (Level ParaPro 3). The student will need to use a motor of his own during the training.

What happens after the training?

When the training is over, an examination in theory and practice given by a representatives of the Latvian Paragliding Federation (the LPF) follows. A Category E licence is issued upon passing the examination successfully. In this case the licence features as many as two categories: B and E.

How much does a paramotor cost?

A second-hand paramotor costs ca. € 1000–3000, a new paramotor costs ca. € 3500–8000; it all depends on the configuration and manufacturer’s brand. There are several factors affecting the price: engine power, frame materials, hanger systems, propeller type etc.

Where can you buy a paramotor?

You can buy a paramotor from us. Club Adrenalins is the representative of experienced producers of paramotors (PAP-team, Vittorazi, Flyproducts, and Corsair) in Latvia. In the recent years Club Adrenalins has been developing paramotors of its own for the needs of the Club. To get more information please email us at krisjanis@adrenalins.lv or call us on +371 29339713.

How much does a paramotor weigh?

The weight of a paramotor is mainly determined by the engine displacement, its frame material and accessories such as electric/ manual starter, clutch system etc. A paramotor without fuel and a reserve parachute weighs 18–33 kg. When the fuel tank is filled up and the paramotor is fitted with a reserve parachute (which is mandatory), its weight increases significantly and may reach up to 30–45 kg. During the first flights pilots usually take up less fuel to facilitate an easier take off. One can only feel the weight of a paramotor during the take-off and the landing.

What are the types of paramotors?

Paramotors are characterised by the engine displacement/power (80–250cc), materials used for the frame (stainless steel, aluminium, titanium, carbon fibre), mode of switching on (manual or electric), place of attachment of the paraglider (high/low or moving/fixed horns), diameter of the propeller (115–130cm), whether it has a clutch (whether the propeller rotates in idle mode or stands still in idle mode) etc. One can go into further detail on and on.

99 per cent of paramotors are internal combustion 2-stroke engines. There are electric paramotors too; these are quieter and do not need to be warmed up or started. These engines are always ready to work, however they only operate for 30–40 minutes and cost twice as much. Due to the short life of the battery and high costs pilots generally opt for an internal combustion engine.

How does a powered paraglider take off?

Before a take-off the pilot prepares and inspects all of his equipment. The motor is warmed up. The paraglider is spread out neatly windward, and the pilot starts moving (running) windward with the motor on his back and switched on, then he lifts the paraglider up in the air. Once the paraglider has been lifted up, the pilot increases the rotation and rises up the air. During the take-off the weight of the paramotor lies down on the shoulders of the pilot; during the flight the weight is carried by the paraglider.

Do I need a special wing to fly a paramotor?

No special powered paraglider wing is necessary to start flying a paramotor or to fly it on a hobby level. One universal paraglider is sufficient for a free and powered flight. However, if you want to make sporty flights or participate in a competition, pilots opt for Reflex profile paragliders made specifically for powered flights.

How does a powered flight differ from the free flight?

The free flight resembles a bird’s flight; you can enjoy the silence and be in harmony with the nature during the flight. Birds will accept you as one of their own. The only sounds you will hear as a pilot is the wind, beeps of the altitude meter, and thoughts of your own, which are often the loudest. Flight duration depends on current weather conditions and pilot’s skills. Besides, using a motor one can be more independent of air flows, winches, take-off hills, and favourable weather conditions. A flight then lasts as long as there is fuel, or until the pilot decides to land, and one can vary the height and direction of the flight freely. One only has to sacrifice the silence because the motor is quite loud.

For how long can one fly with a powered paraglider?

The flight duration depends on several factors. The decisive factor is the quantity of fuel that the fuel tank can hold. Knowing that on average an engine consumes 3–4 litres an hour, one can tell the duration of a flight. The capacity of a fuel tank varies from 8 to 20 litres.

On average the fuel is sufficient to fly for some 2–4 hours. The fuel consumption depends on the engine displacement, air conditions, style of flying, gross weight, wing load capacity and so on.

In most cases the flight duration is determined by the pilot because he decides on landing when he needs to.

How far can one fly a powered paraglider?

The world record distance is 1101 km, from Spain to the Canary Islands. It is a matter of patience. If you can fly 100 km in 1.5 hours downwind, a windward flight may sometimes last for 4 hours for the same distance. In Latvia pilots often do not exceed the distance of 100 km. Usually the flights are local and related to sight-seeing activity or made for training purposes.

Where can one fly a powered paraglider in Latvia?

In Latvia flights on a powered paraglider are made in an uncontrolled airspace according to the VFR (Visual Flight Rules). More detailed information about the zoning of the Latvian airspace and flight rules is provided during the training lectures.

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