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Issues with free flying with a motor on your back?


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The idea in my head that I have of paramotoring is that it allows me to be self-sufficient. I can use the motor as lift to get to a certain height / area, and then I can just shut the motor off and go into unpowered flight mode.

Ridge soar, hit thermals with other gliders, cross country on thermals, if I miss a thermal I can prevent an early landing by using the motor to get back up, etc.

I did free flight thermaling for the first time a few days ago and I was daunted by it all. I wasn't good at staying in thermals and I bombed out, which necessitated getting a car ride back up the mountain for another launch (there goes the self-sufficiency).

No one does a top landing back onto the launch site, which meant that in freeflight I would need to get a ride back up anyway to retrieve my car parked at the launch site.

All of this reliance on other people, cars, and the possibility of the environment not cooperating and forcing you to land somewhere kind of put me off a bit to free flight.

How is free flight with the motor strapped to your back different from having no motor? Top speed would be lower obviously due to the drag...

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Going from PG to PPG, even on the very best of the weight shift machines.. you will feel like you have no weight shift at all (comparatively)

I started as a frustrated Parawaiter with exactly the same thing in mind as you have now :-) !!

My story goes a bit like this........

Wanted a motor to get to cloud base and turn off.

Took off for the first time under power aiming for cloud base.

On the way there I had the realisation that I could go where ever I wanted, what ever height I wanted.. and my plan quickly changed into one that involved blatting about the countryside with distant thoughts of how I used to need thermals... :-) :-)

SW :D

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The idea in my head that I have of paramotoring is that it allows me to be self-sufficient. I can use the motor as lift to get to a certain height / area, and then I can just shut the motor off and go into unpowered flight mode.

Ridge soar, hit thermals with other gliders, cross country on thermals, if I miss a thermal I can prevent an early landing by using the motor to get back up, etc.

I did free flight thermaling for the first time a few days ago and I was daunted by it all. I wasn't good at staying in thermals and I bombed out, which necessitated getting a car ride back up the mountain for another launch (there goes the self-sufficiency).

No one does a top landing back onto the launch site, which meant that in freeflight I would need to get a ride back up anyway to retrieve my car parked at the launch site.

All of this reliance on other people, cars, and the possibility of the environment not cooperating and forcing you to land somewhere kind of put me off a bit to free flight.

How is free flight with the motor strapped to your back different from having no motor? Top speed would be lower obviously due to the drag...

Many of us are like you with a keen interest on going places.

I started free flying in the 1980s. Did a few epic flights here in Cornwall coast to coast and all but mostly bombed out in the middle of nowhere spending the rest of the flyable day trying to get back to my car. Hence the motor. First a Solo 210 on a solar wings Typhoon hanglider. Then reflex wings came about and I got into Paramotoring.

I got more airtime in my first 2 years Paramotoring than I ever did in over 15 years free flying.

Paramotoring is quicker than free flying. About 24 to 34 mph airspeed depending on the wing. The wings are different and designed for motor and to carry more weight than the free flying wings.

Pure thermal flying with a motor is more difficult than free flying due to weight drag and wing type. Bit like free flying with a small drogue Shute dragging behind. As for climbing up switching the motor off and spending hours ridge soaring and thermal flying, unfortunately it's not really going to happen. Certainly not in the UK. In saying that I do switch my motor off at some point most flights when playing with thermals. But not for more than a few mins at a time. I did run out of fuel once and managed to get back to my landing field after 20 mins of engine off but that was an exception. I attempted it as I had little option.

There was an electric paramotor that had a centrifugal type prop which folded and pointed backwards when stopped. Didn't have a cage and was like a free flight harness. Not sure what happened to the development of them. That might work.

Go for it. You won't regret it. Keep your free flying kit and do both. You probably won't do much free flying when you experience the freedom of powered flight and the flying weather envelope becomes wider.

Whitters.

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Fly before you buy

Some motors are fairly quiet and don't use much fuel

You can thermal with a motor if your wing is good for it

If you bomb out you can power up for another go without power and ad infinitum

So if you have a motor it is easier to practice than the poor sods who only have a hill and numerous cars dotted around. No excuses :D

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