Jump to content

Cages and Netting


paraflyer17
 Share

Recommended Posts

Started looking at paramotors to get an idea of what machine I'd be looking to buy.

One thing I'm a bit confused about is the netting and cages. It seems there are very few that have what I'd consider fully secure netting and cages. All of them either seem to have largish gaps in the cage, or fairly large gaps in the netting. Is this an issue?

The ones that use wiring rather than netting especially seem really problematic.
For example:

Pap Tinox - what looks like at least a 6" gap in frame and huge holes between the individal wiring

Miniplane - netting rather than wires, but a 6" gap in frame

Wasp - The netting looks to have 2" by 2" holes in it which presumably a hand could go through, and again a huge gap in the frame in centre

Even looking at the mainstream stuff, the parajet volution seems to have a big enough gap in the frame for a throttle or hand to go through.

To a newbie, it seems crazy, is there a reason for it? Or is it not as big an issue as I'm thinking it is?

Edited by paraflyer17
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What is it there for then? 

There are documented cases of brake lines,  throttle cables and hands going into the prop. So my assumption is that is what the netting is for.

And if that is the case, why would you have gaps in it? I'm not trying to argue, just genuinely intrigued as to whether it's a consideration when buying and why? 

Edited by paraflyer17
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is there to stop objects going in to the prop area, There are loads of issues with people putting their hand in the prop but not when they are facing the right way, if the throttle cable is a good design and routed properly then it can't go in through the netting, I can't remember the last time I heard of a brake handle in the prop, 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Loads of aircraft don't have anything between you and the prop, treat it with respect and it will serve you well, 

 

Regarding different designs, it's all about reducing drag, the cris cross style like the tinox and Mcfly are a lot more efficient and stronger  than the square net type 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm complete novice to paramotoring - so don't take the following as well informed.  But as a former safety officer in the USAF who's spent much of my life on flightlines, , I'm a bit surprised at the state of the paramotor design.  It feels like where automotive safety was in 1903.  

There are a few paramotor designs that treat the netting more seriously.  The Skytap Angel for instance; it's netted like a tennis racket and claims to be as strong.  I'm not endorsing the product as I've never seen one, and have asked the designer several times about its weight with no response.  But I do think that there is an engineering trade worth considering- safety vs weight and convenience and cost.  At the very least, the netting on motors could be sheathed dyneema (like the wing lines) instead of easily damaged and highly stretchable nylon.

Jeff Goin has a good section on footflyer.com on building a safer paramotor.  I particularly like this:

******

Cage Hand Test

A critical test for paramotor prop safety is whether it can withstand the hand test. You should be able to put your hand anywhere on the cage and, at the motor’s full rated thrust, NOT be able to touch the prop. It’s a simple test: push on the weakest part of the cage netting nearest the prop (usually its tips) and see if you can touch the blade. If you can, you’re at higher risk of a prop strike. There should also not be any large holes that would easily allow a stray hand to go through.

****

From what I can tell, there's a weird history about stronger netting, and it's related to the infamous Flat Top by U-Turn.  The Flat Top suffers from a spokesman who makes terribly inaccurate,  irresponsible, and offensive claims about its safety while denigrating everyone else.  He's aliened nearly the entire community with his arrogance and grandstanding.   But we may be throwing out the baby with the bathwater.  The motor does have some interesting ideas in it, one of which is a net that you can stand on without deflecting into the blade.  The Skytap Angel does that. I think that if the Flat Top weren't associated with such an a**hole, a few more manufacturers might pick up the idea and make incremental improvements.

An aside:  I'm also looking forward to when hip belts (like on rucksacks and xc backpacks) on paramotor harnesses are standard.  Scout just put one out, but it's not for novices.  This a safety issue, not just comfort.  The longer you can stand there in the ready position, waiting patently for a favorable cycle, the less likely you are to make a poor go/no go decision because you're hot, tired,  shoulders are aching, and you've blown three launches already.   The times I've come closest to catastrophe with chainsaws, table saws, electricity, and romantic relationships all have one thing in common - exhaustion had snuck up on me.  

Edited by Ace Duffy
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share



  • Upcoming Events

    No upcoming events found
×
×
  • Create New...