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Why The Smoke?


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Unlike all you lucky fellow members who can fly......me, I am still grounded until I sell some land and get some cash....then look out!

So, in the meantime, I am restricted to fulfilling my ambitions of flying to watching videos of those who can fly.

What gets my goat, and I really cannot understand the meaning behind it, is that pilots choose to add a "smoke machine" to their paramotor.

What is worse.....is that these pilots do it in an environment with huge publicity, annual events, fly-ins, and promotional fairs.

Am I missing something here? To me.....if we want to promote our sport to the general public, so as to attract new pilots, as well as be accepted for what we do.....in this "environmentally fragile" awareness, spewing out smoke (regardless of how harmless it may be) while flying in some of the worlds most beautiful locations....does not paint a pretty picture.

If I was a spectator at one of these events, (and knew nothing about our sport) and watched in fascination, these guys flying around, then all of a sudden they started spewing out this smoke stream....I would first think, there is something wrong with the machine and also be thinking about the pollution it was creating......then afterwards when it became obvious that the smoke was deliberate, I would ask.....Why the smoke?

Ok...I have had my rant, thank you.

Any comments? Agree or disagree? I am curious to know what the rest of you guys think.



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Can't think of anything better than the lingering smell of 2 stroke and a waft of smoke, to attack the senses and give a third dimension to a display. It's not as if a kitten dies every time the smoke button is pressed :-)

Sent from my iPhone using PMC Forum mobile app

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Ok, maybe I didn't explain it very good.

I have no problem with the Red Arrows....

I have no problem with acro pilots that have coloured smoke canisters strapped to their ankles.....

When I see white smoke spewing out the exhaust of an engine.....I do not see a "display", I see pollution or a "blown engine".

Maybe if the smoke was coloured....then I might see a "display".

That's it for me.


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Biplane stunt pilots use the exhaust to produce their smoke trails for a show. I think it's just the norm.

The solution doesn't last long, I think coloured smoke grenades is an easier alternative, but you can't turn it on and off like the exhaust based smoke system.

What if they used lavender oil and it smelt like flowers as they went around polluting the air, that would be confusing for the Green Party ;)

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In an attempt to answer the question:

Exhaust smoke can easily be made by injecting oil into the hot exhaust. Such a system is easy to construct and can be switched on and off at will.

Coloured smoke canisters cannot be 'switched off'.

So it comes to pass that of those who wish to show off with smoke, many choose the exhaust smoke system.


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