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Paraknight

Riddle me this...

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I have seen a fair number of people, on various paramotor sites, forums, and youtube, talking about things getting caught in the props over the years. Fom loose clothing, to straps/wires, and the obvious one the throttle cable. With so many various reports of this happening over the years, and the clear safety issue it presents, how come so many motors still have huge gaps in the cage?  

Look at Parajet, for example:   The volution has the big "A" shape with the swooping gaps either side and large gaps at the bottom, and large slits either side of the core frame.  Then the the Maverick and Zenith both have the huge circular hole in the middle surrounding the motor, as well as similar gaps at the bottom.

How come this fairly obvious flaw hasn't been closed up?  surely it just makes sense to stop *ANYTHING* getting into the prop, and any gaps at all are just asking for trouble at some point.

 

I will put my hands up and say this is clearly from a VERY rookie perspective so maybe there's a reason for it that I am unaware of, but the only reasoning for the gaps on the volution i can see is due to the way it disassembles, but there seems to be no reason the tolerances couldn't be a LOT tighter than they are.  And I cant see any real reason the netting on the Mav / Zenith couldn't be a few inches closer to the middle.

 

Whats the deal?

 

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I still have a Parajet V2 with the 3 piece cage and there is no gap at the top at all, it seems that for the sake of extra convenience of a 4 piece cage on the V3 the safety in this regard was compromised and it is one if the key factors why I haven't got one. I know that some will say that so long as you start it on your back it shouldn't be a problem but I am of the opinion that if something can find a way through the gap unexpectedly it then sod's law says it will.

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I'm still not convinced that this has been answered! I'm just starting out (since June 2017!) and will be buying extra netting to close the gaps on my new motor. I can't see why these gaps seem to be acceptable either.

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Yes, I think everyone is in agreement. Please forgive me if this comes across the wrong way, I'm 100% definitely not a brand devoteé and have only owned a Parajet Macro V1 and a Bulldog.

But when I was buying my second motor, 4 years ago, Clive Bunce of Bulldog fame showed me the cage design he'd opted for, and explained the reasons he had designed a fully closed net. He pointed out to me that the gaps in the netting, on pretty much all other paramotors, were 'an accident waiting to happen' (he really did say that to me). I remember him standing and demonstrating how a deep flare could put a badly routed throttle cable into a prop arc (if it were turning).

Now, I'm really not trying to say everyone should have bought a Bulldog, but surely its a relatively easy fix to concoct a bridge to the netting gap on most setups. More importantly, it really wouldn't hurt for some of the manufacturers out there to come up with a retro solution to this too (due diligence).

On a slightly different matter, I always route my throttle cable over my arm (never under). Geoff Soden taught me to do that, many moons ago, specifically to make life easy in the throttle were ever dropped - but also because of the dangers brought about by the throttle loop poking too far back! I do see a lot of people at flyins with the large loop under their throttle arm. Imagine if one of these hand/prop accidents happened whilst at height?!?!? I shudder at the thought.

We all know there are many risks involved with what we're doing, but its a terrible shame that some great guys and good experienced pilots have been seriously injured in such innocuous circumstances. Hopefully people will learn, adjust kit, habits etc and we'll avoid any more nasty's.

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Yes, I also changed to throttle over arm after discussion on here last year. However, the thing I have still not done (and I see most others have not either), is to shorten the throttle cable a little. I was looking at mine while flying last week and even over my arm there is lots of slack. 

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I am looking at various paramotors and keep coming back to this issue.

Is there anything that can be done retrospectively whilst still allowing the cage to be disassembled?

I am probably looking at a maverick or pap tinox. The maverick has smaller gaps. But also wondering if additional netting could be wrapped around the cage sections on the pap. Has anyone done this?

 

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On my V3 i took a tip from Scout. The throttle cable is now routed from cage at my shoulder where it is locked with a cable tie.

The cable is as long as my arm so no arm moment results in a throttle cable loop.

 Scout have a good video on this that shows it better. 

CHT and tacho cables also routed along swing arms so there is no chance of them coming loose.

I´m super careful with radio cables to make sure there inside the harness as I carry 2 radios, Airband and PMR.

I´m not using a speed-bar so its removed as I´ve seen this cause a few issues including a live demo of why its a bad idea in Italy when someone destroyed a prop on takeoff when the speed-bar came loose!

All my gadgets (GPS/Phone/Camera) are on tethers that are strong enough to real them in if  I drop them.

I use a flight suit to keep clothing contained and to keep me toasty :)

Ultimately pre flight is looking for anything that could reach or come loose and I think thats all we can do.

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On 21/07/2017 at 01:35, Paraknight said:

I have seen a fair number of people, on various paramotor sites, forums, and youtube, talking about things getting caught in the props over the years. Fom loose clothing, to straps/wires, and the obvious one the throttle cable. With so many various reports of this happening over the years, and the clear safety issue it presents, how come so many motors still have huge gaps in the cage?  

Look at Parajet, for example:   The volution has the big "A" shape with the swooping gaps either side and large gaps at the bottom, and large slits either side of the core frame.  Then the the Maverick and Zenith both have the huge circular hole in the middle surrounding the motor, as well as similar gaps at the bottom.

How come this fairly obvious flaw hasn't been closed up?  surely it just makes sense to stop *ANYTHING* getting into the prop, and any gaps at all are just asking for trouble at some point.

 

I will put my hands up and say this is clearly from a VERY rookie perspective so maybe there's a reason for it that I am unaware of, but the only reasoning for the gaps on the volution i can see is due to the way it disassembles, but there seems to be no reason the tolerances couldn't be a LOT tighter than they are.  And I cant see any real reason the netting on the Mav / Zenith couldn't be a few inches closer to the middle.

 

Whats the deal?

 

 

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the more cage netting the less air passes through (not good) if you place your throttle cable over your forearm before fixing to your palm it will never go through the cage , that leaves hair and clothing all well trained or competent pilots no that you never wear or have long hair open to the possibility of going anywhere near the cage never mind the prop.

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I'm surprised noone hass come up with a fly by wire throttle system yet shouldnt br to hard a servo for the throttle and a solenoid for the kill switch and a small range transmitter and reciever. You couldeasily put a 3.6v 18650 Lith-ion batterey inside the handgrip and i woulf of thought that the whole system wouldnt weigh too much more than a thickesh throttle cable zero chance of it getting in the prop!

 

*edit to correct spellings

Edited by Ben Butler

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There's been all sorts over the years including wireless throttles but nothing has gained much traction. At the end of the day I'd guess most of us prefer simple mechanics with a bit of cable pulling a lever - better for our peace of mind than some battery powered black magic tech going wrong. 

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