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Wing size confusion

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I am looking to get into the paramotor sport.. I need to get my own kit before I start to train as I'm a bigish lad 115kg..

I'm confused as to the size of wing I will need.. if I get let's say a 100-120kg does that mean if I put a paramotor on my back or a buggy under it, it won't take off or will it just fall from the sky? This may sound a bit simple to you guys, but I can not find any info really on my question..

Cheers karl 

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Hi Karl, as a biggish guy myself I was told by a some schools that I needed my own gear before I could fly however I found that this was not actually the case.

When I started I was 120kg and after some calling around I found Simon at paramotor training who was happy to teach me and also had the correct size equipment for my weight and a little more.

as far as wing sizes I do not feel I'm the correct person to help however you do need to add the equipment weight including wing and fuel on top of yours for the correct wing size.

good luck


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The PPG weight rating is recommended manufacturer upper and lower limit - aim for the middle of that range and you won't go far wrong.


Your weight is you naked PLUS 

paramotor / cage / harness / reserve / petrol / clothes / auxiliary equipment /helmet / comms 

basically all the weight that will be hanging underneath the wing. 


If you overload a wing (more weight than recommended) then it will not react in the way it was manufactured which is not something you want and, among other things like the sink (drop) rate being higher and taking longer to get airborne, it may be harder to control / recover in an emergency.  

Being over the limit may invalidate insurance..... 

Don't buy kit until you've been trained  ?


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The wing loadings are all listed. Here is Ozone specs for my wing...


There is much debate whether you should be towards the top, bottom or middle of the ranges shown. One thing that is certain is that a more loaded wing is less likely to have collapse issues in turbulent conditions. Hence, many advocate being towards the top end of the range. I started near the top end on my wing, then lost loads of weight.....now putting me on the middle. I haven't noticed any difference!

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Coming from the paragliding (free flight) world, I've seen a few large asymmetric collapses on take-off because the wing was not loaded enough. Luckily I've never experience this myself because it looks really scary. I'm too new to paramotoring to know if that's a thing in this sport too but it seems like staying toward the middle to upper end of the range would be better. I personally try to get as close to the top of the range as possible without going over.

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  • 1 month later...


The best person who should be answering your questions is your instructor! He knows you we don't...  where in the weight range?, although important is not the be all and end all.. 

you claim all up 139kg and will be going for a 130 max wing... This is now putting you outside the Cert. If your wing has one?.  The higher up the scale you are on the wing will also increase your T.O and landing speeds, for all we know you may be a 120kg ruby player and able to run without any issue or short and round making a fast take off more of a challenge..  

As a new pilot you will be flying in fairly calm conditions "i hope" yes the fully loaded wing is going to be less likely to collapse  BUT if it goes or 'when it goes' it will be much more dynamic and violent  over loaded than it would in the middle, especially if you start taking it out of it's cert..

you might want to float around in some thermals or in ridge lift, being at the top end is not going to be as easy as it would if your in the middle.   Another consideration is going to be fuel burn at your weight close to Tandem weight your going to be burning a fair amount of fuel, Being fully loaded on your wing is only going to make it worse...   


Speak with your instructor and get his thoughts 


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  • 2 weeks later...

Yep over maximum is a bad idea in terms of takeoff and landing speeds for sure.

I remember at my training course there was a big guy...he had a lot of trouble getting off the ground because he couldnt committ to the run for more than very short bursts that were not enough to get airborne. I think flying heavy would only make this much worse.

The other thought is, the faster you go close to the ground, the more its going to hurt when you hit the ground...so slower is better until you get some proficiency up. I have over 100hours paramotoring and still have problems sometimes...and yet when free flying i fly a high aspect ratio competition 2 liner glider and have 400 hours in that form of the sport.

I personally believe a new ppger should go for light wing loading...the lighter the better within manufacturers guidelines. Excluding the weather conditions considerations of a given flying day, i reckon it should be at least bottom of weight range with minimal or empty fuel tank. 

You have to keep in mind, we are already flying the wings grossley overweight (+25-30kg) compared with equivalent free flying specs anyway so collapses really are not an issue unless as a newbie you are going to willingly fly in shitty air.

Edited by adamjedgar
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