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Intro & advice needed


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Hi everyone from a new member and old fart.  All I know about paramotoring so far is from the web & YouTube vids - I am a total newbie to this sport.  I am a reasonably fit & healthy 72kg 62 year old who started flying at the age of 14, first sailplanes, then power single & twin light aircraft, and then rotary (helicopters).  I have had a PPL for 30 years but not flown for the past 5 years because it has become too expensive to justify.  So I am now looking seriously at trying paramotors as a fix for my addiction to flight - besides, it seems to be a far more pure & free way to fly, even better than sailplanes.  I will of course have a far better idea after taking an introductory lesson (cannot do that till end of July due to other commitments), but maybe I could ask for some preliminary advice ...

My ultimate aim is to take paramotoring holidays.  e.g. I might take a ferry across the channel or a commercial flight to somewhere more distant, then paramotor all over Europe, Asia or elsewhere for a couple of weeks, using other forms of transport as little as possible (in some places it would be faster than by road!)  The weight of the equipment would appear to fit into a commercial airline standard luggage allowance with enough left over for a laptop, toothbrush and a few shirts, though size may be an issue.  How realistic is that dream?  Would it be feasible to carry circa 10-15kg of luggage on a paramotor?

Also, my total budget for the purchase of all the necessary equipment would be around £10k.  Will that be enough?

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There are motors out there that will do the job. Another thing you'll need to consider, when adding weight, is the wing. Make sure your instructor knows what your plans are as far as the extra weight so he/she can fit you correctly. But absolutely doable.

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Thanks for the replies, they are very encouraging.  This is something that I am definitely going to do!  While browsing the web, I saw that there are countries where you can hire paramotor kit.  Nepal was one such place, and it might be an alternative to taking it with me.  Nepal is a country I love to visit (I may try to retire there), but getting around is a PITA - the roads are so bad that a 100 mile journey can take well over 5 hours on the most uncomfortable and bumpy roads I have come across, not to mention that they sometimes get washed away, so getting around by paramotor would seem ideal, probably even faster & a lot more comfortable than bus or car.  The weather is also predictable with little wind most of the year, and the flatlands have plenty of places to land if the motor quits.  Not sure I would want to trust hired kit though, so going through the hassle of shipping my own ahead or taking as luggage would probably give better peace of mind.

So my next step will be to train and take advice as well as educating myself about the pros and cons of various types of kit.  Should I be concerned about clubs pushing a particular manufacturer's kit instead of recommending what's best for me?  I live a few miles East of Brighton on the South coast, what club would be a suitable place for me to train?  There appears to be a few within range.

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Hi, and yes, this is definitely something you should do!

As for wings, most brands are very good, there are at least 30+ wing manufacturers who gives the impression that they know what they are doing, bet half of them have paramotor specific wings. A few of them stands out in the community as favorites. And lots of pilots are brand loyal, guess there is a good reason for that.
Most important, buy a safe wing intended for beginners when you start, upgrade later only if you feel the need. Even if the instructor want to sell something to you, I'm sure he won't sell a bad wing.
As for motors, there are some good and some bad stuff out there. It's hard to say what will last and what will break. Even if everything works fine, after a while you can have material fatigue, cracks in exhaust pipes etc.
Some paramotor brands are definitely premium with better quality overall. There are a few, easy to spot on the craftsmanship and price tag.

As for carrying extra equipment there are a couple solutions; harness pockets, backpack on your stomach, "cockpit bag" and even expedition bag like on the Bear Grylls paramotor (Parajet) that you have under your fuel tank. If you fly a trike you can attach even more luggage.

Keep reading on the Internet and ask local pilots, the more you know, the better progress and decision you will make.

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Thanks, Casper.  One thing I especially like about paramotors is that they don't need a well prepared surface to take off & land.  From what I can tell, a trike would not have that advantage.  I have friends who could allow me access to farmland, but with no guarantee of it being smooth enough for wheels.  I certainly intend to walk before I run (apart from take-off of course!).  I will probably get a safe beginner's rig to gain experience, and trade up after a year or so.  One old truism that I have taken to heart is that there are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old bold pilots!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Same weight as me.

25 mtr low end wing should be fine. The rela concern is actually what motor you should get.

My honest advice, by the lightest high powered motor you can afford. I fly a nirvana rodeo 200. Lots of power but its 34kg on my back with full fuel. Conversely i have second paramotor with a dle 200 twin that is a bit less powerful, however its 6kg lighter. That 6 kg less makes a huge difference.

 

The problem with cheap paramotors is often that they are not very reliable and not particularly comfortable (for example vibration feedback through back rest is a bit of an issue on my cheaper one...its important to keep prop balance in check).

 

Ultimately you get what you pay for.

Good luck.

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