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Neilzy
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Well in the last month or so since the seeds of PPG were planted I’ve done 2 hours training and gone and bought myself a Pap Top 80 and Apco Thrust HP Med wing.

I’ve completely demoralized myself trying to ground handle it – how do the guys advertising wings get them planted above their heads without as much as a tug on brakes or risors?

I wanted to fully familiarize myself with ground handling the wing before going back for training to save time and money – doesn’t seem to be working, and all my past experience on skydiving canopies counts for nothing. Mind you, ground handling them consisted of packing only except for the odd day when we were blown out at the airport and took them to the coast for some very short flights down to the beach.

When putting the motor on my back for the 1st time I was stunned by the weight of it, and could not imagine landing with it, especially with my puny pins. Need to get to the gym I think.

The motor has had only a few hours use and spent most of it’s time in garages. I drained the old fuel out and it starts 1st or 2nd pull. Needed some tinkering to get tick-over right but otherwise sounds great in the garden. Cat has left home though. I’m too scared to rev past 6k as it feels like it wants to come alive at that point. Just confidence I expect.

Anyway, I guess I’ll have another session at ground handling before I get some instruction and hopefully get myself airborne in a few weeks?

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I’ve completely demoralized myself trying to ground handle it – how do the guys advertising wings get them planted above their heads without as much as a tug on brakes or risors??

I think you'll find the wind is at a nice steady level, which always makes it easier to inflate the wing.

It always seems difficult at first, practice, practice, practice and it does get easier.

Same with the weight of the motor, once your technique is good it won't be a problem.

Cheers,

Alan

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Dudek ReActionTST 29

Fresh Breeze Airboss (Solo)

Previous Posts: 739 (logged as Alan K)

Location: Prissac, France

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The other key thing to making ground handling look easy is to control it by moving around yourself rather than using the brakes. Every brake input you apply is trying to stop the wing from flying. Repositioning yourself constantly underneath it keeps the wing in its designed shape that wants to fly rather than fall back down to earth. Understanding this is the key to successful launching too. The wing is something that you work with and guide along to achieve your desired result.

It's like a marriage with a recalcitrant wife, you have to make her do what you want by letting her think it was her own idea! The type of pilot that thinks they can force it around the sky on the controls are the ones who struggle and break props.

Who is instructing you? Assuming you are not a heavy chap then that is a pretty good choice of kit so they seem to be guiding you well so far.

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Thanks chaps

I’ve only spent a couple of hours with Alex in Braintree – who was great. You must need a lot of patience straightening out a wing for a student once it has flipped over for the 50th time!

Equipment choice was mainly my own, although Alex and a couple of others I spoke to mentioned the Top 80. I’ve done lots of research and can’t find much to fault it apart from the fact that some prefer direct as opposed to clutched units. The low hang points on the PAP are also a discussion point.

The wing was a little controversial. Some reckon that it is not suitable for a beginner, but it seems very similar in features, performance and safety to the Revo, Synth and other “beginner” reflex wings. With trims on it seems the same as the basic Thrust, which is hailed as a good beginners wing. A couple of folk heartily recommend the HP for beginners, and say it is easy to ground handle! The field I practice in must have dirty air! Also, the couple of times I have been out I have been accosted by friendly mutts, wrapping themselves in lines and slavering over them. It’s only a matter of time before I have a tug-o-war with the fabric. I must find somewhere else.

I’m 72kg, so I think the Top 80 is perfect. As for the wing, I would probably have gone for a small, as an estimated 115kg all up, I am towards the bottom end of the PPG weight range (100-165kg). My rational was firstly availability of 2nd hand kit (I know I shouldn’t let safety dictate), but also the fact that it is similar in size to a small Apco Thrust, so as well as a slight reflex profile, Apco must be loading the HP wings heavier to make them faster? Also, if they can also be used for free flying, then people would in any case be using them below the min PPG weight range. Open to debate possibly. Anyway. I have no intention of even letting trim out until I am happy flying it with them in, and same with speedbar.

Thanks to all forum members for comments so far, what with that and digesting the “bible”, I’m beginning to get my head around it.

Steve

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Jeff Goin's PPG Bible is an excellent book to study but disregard the section on airlaw and any references to FAA charts for navigation as the USA is different to the rest of the world in those respects.

I think I would have chosen the medium Thrust HP over the small one as you are suitably inside the weight range (however I wouldn't free fly it) and your efficiency will be better. You might go 1 or 2 mph faster on the smaller one but you will burn more gas and have faster take offs and landings when you don't want that for quite a while yet.

What size prop are you turning on the Top80? You really have got a suitable motor for your weight. You are 72, a PAP 1400 Top80 weighs 25, wing is about 8. Allow say 5kg for clothing and you are 110kg. Another 5 for a reserve, GPS and vario gives you your 115kg. Don't include fuel in your calculation as it has a habit of dissappearing between take off and landing.

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Fanman.

It is the 1400 I’ve got with 1250 prop I believe. What motor/wing have you got?

I definitely wouldn’t use the wing for free flying. If it were the small, I would consider it, but if I ever felt like free flying I’d buy a dedicated wing.

I did my PPL in Florida many years ago and learnt the FAA stuff and had to come back and relearn UK airlaw. I don’t fly PPLA any more – too costly and bureaucratic. I’ve still got the books somewhere but they would be 20 years old now! Is there a good reference for airlaw specific to ppg?

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The BMAA have some material that covers all the relevant up to date aspects of air law, etc.

Glad to hear you are turning the 125cm prop. You will get just the right amount of thrust out of that while avoiding the hassles of torque and precession that bigger motors would give which are not required at your weight. The thrustline on your machine is above the wing attachment so you will get a rotation forwards under application of power. Many people think the pivot is the carabiner but it isn't on the PAP, it's the shackle beneath the carabiner and strop that connects to the swing arm. I'm sure Alex will hang check you but when he does make sure that the tilt back angle is right not just when sitting stationary with the engine off but also when someone applies a 50kg push through the center of the prop hub as that is what it will be like under full power.

You ask what kit I have... I have 3 motors and 6 wings (did have 4 motors but recently sold one!). I have a PAP 1400 (but not with a Top80) but do have another machine with a Top80 engine as well. I have low, mid and high hang point machines and can genuinely claim that a decent mid hang point set up wipes the floor with the other 2!

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Any more feedback on the alternative harness arrangement for the FB Fanman?

Cheers,

Alan

Only that it has proved very, very successful with the 'Respect' frame but needs an extra horizontal bar welded in to work well with the original curved frame like yours Alan. :(

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SteveC welcome to paramotoring it has to be the most frustrating pastime ever in the begining, but it will just click one day and the ground handling will just well it sort of just gel's and you wonder what all the fuss is about, just enjoy I struggled like bugger to pop the wing up then Geoff Soden just showed me my problem I was bending my arms on the pull up kept my arms straight and just all fell into place. Still get them day's still when nothing works tho Ha Ha.

Hope you get sorted soon Alex & Mike will help good Ol'e boys them.

Neilzy :acro:

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  • 1 month later...
The other key thing to making ground handling look easy is to control it by moving around yourself rather than using the brakes. Every brake input you apply is trying to stop the wing from flying. Repositioning yourself constantly underneath it keeps the wing in its designed shape that wants to fly rather than fall back down to earth. Understanding this is the key to successful launching too. The wing is something that you work with and guide along to achieve your desired result.

I think, for what its worth, that this is one of the best bits of advice for anyone learning to control a wing. Spot on Fanman.

For me its all a sort of fluid movement of small inputs from the tips of your toes to the end of your nose! I try to feel a little pressure from everywhere, the brakes, the harness, the risers, your legs, your arms, shoulders, all over lol and yes lots of practise. Lots lots lots. Its worth getting a freeflying harness for ground handling and a nice clean mown field. The local cricket pitch or bowls club are nice, or one of the greens at a posh golf course are always smooth ;)

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I think I’m getting there slowly. Despite the common notion that we rarely have light winds in the UK, the biggest problem seems to be finding days with enough wind so that you can get some time with the thing above your head. I’ve done a couple of sessions with a dummy motor now and it’s like starting from scratch. It’s a low attachment point system like my pap, and when I first tried to pull the wing up in reverse, I could have sworn there was someone standing behind me stopping me moving back – the strangest feeling. It is of course the pressure of the wing felt through the harness rather than through the straps of my ground handling harness. A few forward launches with that thing on and I’m pooped! Also ran around the field with the motor on a few times looking like a noisy headless chicken.

I’m trying to get as far as I can in the next few weeks as the nights are drawing in and I can only spare evenings and the odd day on the weekend.

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  • 1 month later...
We are a boring bunch, and i know we not all out flying no one got anything to post Ha Ha

still struggling to find a good flying field :cry:

I hear you tried our new modest top secret location out what do you think of it.

Hope to be flying with ya real soon to, just got to get the rest of the cash together for tghe flatty.

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We are a boring bunch, and i know we not all out flying no one got anything to post Ha Ha

still struggling to find a good flying field :cry:

I hear you tried our new modest top secret location out what do you think of it.

Hope to be flying with ya real soon to, just got to get the rest of the cash together for tghe flatty.

its a cracking site, just need the weather to play ball now :D

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