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Why do powered paragliders cost so much?


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I have been looking into purchasing a powered paraglider for quite some time now but am finding it very hard to justify the cost with myself. Everywhere I'm looking, it costs between $6,000 - $7,000 (£3,780 - £4,410 / €4,800 - €5,600) for the paramotor and another $2,000 - $3,000 (£1,260 - £1,890 / €1,600 - €2,400) for the parachute. So in total, it will be right around $9,000 (£5,670 / €7,200) to buy a powered paraglider.

So basically, it will cost me about the same amount of money to buy a powered paraglider as it would to buy a decent used car. Looking into how the engines are manufactured and everything, it doesn't seem like a very good deal at all. I still have a rather large craving to fly though. So ultimately my question is, why does it cost so much for a powered paraglider?

Most of the engines I've seen in PPG's are two stroke engines. This type of engine is rather simple as it has only one piston doing all the work and is air cooled in most circumstances. The typical used car for the same price has a much more complicated engine with four pistons or more, are typically liquid cooled, and just require more material and parts in general than a two stroke engine.

The frame of a PPG is essentially some metal tubing around the propeller from what I can see. So I find it hard to believe that the frame of a PPG even comes close to using a tenth of the material the frame / shell of a car does.

In general, a used car has a more complicated four piston engine, takes about ten times more material to make the frame, has many more complicated systems that come standard (like air conditioning / heating systems, radio systems, wiring for many more lights / sensors, ect), and just has many many more little parts throughout it than a PPG does, yet a PPG costs just as much. So why do PPG's cost so much.

I have a decent understanding of how most businesses work and operate, and I know the basics of economics. However, it would cost much less to buy all the machinery needed to produce a PPG than it would to produce a car, and you would need much less manpower to do so as well. I also understand the supply of PPG's is pretty low compared to cars, but so is the demand. So I guess I'm just having a very hard time wrapping my head around where the cost is coming from...?

I know PPG is more popular in and around the United Kingdom than it is here in the United States, which is why I did my conversions to the other pricing formats. Hope my math is correct.

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Your 100% right we get !@#$ed

You know what back in the days when they were developing etc I could see it but now.... there is just no justification if you ask me. To make matters worse I fly a miniplane (it has nothing).

With mass production where it is….. someone is making a good $. I know you could outsource every part to china and produce the unit for 1k maybe 1.5k. Most of the eng’s are already mass produced so producing the frames…… nothing.

Too much coffee (my rant for the morning)

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it's a simple answer. "Economics".

That and if you are in a flying car it's more than likely the landing will be "interesting" :lol:

Seriously though. The marketplace for manufacturers to make a living is very small. Aviation just doesn't have the mass appeal that motoring does. So it's all down to numbers.

If you comapre PPG to microlights (Ultralights) and light aircraft they are just so much cheaper. Even a decent second hand ultralight will set you back some serious cash.

If you want to fly you're just going to have to bite the bullet. It's nothing like driving a car. It's just uncomparable.

hope this helps

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Its all down to numbers....

Car industry is built around selling huge volumes, cars are mass produced on assembly lines, with jigs and tooling costing millions... costs are reduced and margins for the manufacturer are relatively low- but this is compensated by the huge volume of production.

PPGs are fabricated in smaller workshops... everything is done by hand, lower batch numbers, etc... therefore overheads are considerably higher (relatively speaking)... As volumes are very low, the margins need to be higher for the manufacturer and also the dealers...

Perhaps most importantly- PPG industry doesnt don't enjoy the government subisdy that the automotive gets.

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I understand economics, and I realize flying is different from driving and that manufacturing the product is different. Though, my argument still seems sound in the overall value of a car vs a paramotor. Also, one way to increase demand is to reduce the selling price.

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You would have to be a bigger shop selling 2k units at least per year. I wonder what the big names are selling per year if it’s over 2k then PPG should be lower in price.

China will fire up production for 1000 units of just about anything.

I think you guys are right in that the small shops that are doing it now want to stay local and are not being push really hard to lower cost.

T

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I understand economics, and I realize flying is different from driving and that manufacturing the product is different. Though, my argument still seems sound in the overall value of a car vs a paramotor. Also, one way to increase demand is to reduce the selling price.

you're talking about loss-leader. it works in mass markets or ultra high value products where the manufacturers have other products at a more realistic price (as per the Bugatti Veyron).

your argument whilst sound logically just doesnt' stack up in the real world. The numbers are too small to sell things at a loss with the hope that you'll break even or make a profit.

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The market for paramotors are still immature. The sport is expanding and there seems to be room for more actors before some more radical cleaning is taking place. I agree that we pay too much.

I was happy when polini entered the market. A larger manufacturer with good knowledge with small engines. I hope we get more of the larger ones that have better resources for development.

We pay for small series and inefficient development. I'm not saying that they don't put effort into producing good products, some certainly are, but no matter what they do, in whole they don't sell many motors before next one has to come.

Seems to me that the prices on paramotor gliders have dropped some, or is it just a local phenomena here?

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