Paramotorology is the knowledge base here at Paramotor Flying.

This page is under construction.

I'm definitely not an expert at this so proceed with this understanding. If you come across inaccurate and/or outdated information or would just like to contribute to this section, please let me know.

What exactly is a Paramotor?

With exception of the very limited electric versions, paramotors are powered by engines and not motors so a more appropriate name might have been paraengine.

Paramotor is a generic name for the propulsive portion of a powered paraglider ("PPG"). It consists of a frame that combines the motor, propeller, harness (with integrated seat) and cage. It provides two attachment points for the risers of a paraglider wing that allows for powered flight.

The term was first used by Englishman Mike Byrne in 1980[1] and popularized in France around 1986 when La Mouette began adapting power to the then-new paraglider wings.

Pilots who fly these engage in paramotoring, also known as powered paragliding.

The engines used are almost exclusively small two-stroke internal combustion types, between 80cc and 350cc, that burn mixed gasoline and oil. These engines are favored for their high output power and light weight and use approximately 3.7 litres (1 US Gal.) of fuel per hour depending on paraglider efficiency, weight of motor plus pilot and conditions. At least one manufacturer is producing a 4-stroke model. Electrically powered units are on the horizon. Csaba Lemak created the first electric PPG, flying it first on June 13, 2006.[2][3] Flight duration for electrics is considerably shorter. Wankel rotary engined paramotors are also available, but rare.

The pilot controls thrust via a hand-held throttle and steers using the paraglider's brake toggles similar to sport parachutists. Paramotor wings have evolved specifically for use with power, as compared with free flight 'paraglider' wings. Such wings are typically designed for a higher speed, and may incorporate a "reflex" profile to aid stability in pitch, an idea taken from hang gliders of the 1980s. The Parabatix Sky Racers is an air racing event using paramotors to race round pylons in front of spectators.[4] - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Do you need a license to fly one?

faaNo.

One of the attractive aspects of a PPG is that the sport has little regulation. The rules that apply to this sport are found HERE.

  1. You don't need a license
  2. Age is not a factor, kids as young as 10 fly paramotors as well as seniors
  3. You don't need to register or license the machine or buy insurance for it
  4. While PPG associations do exist, there is no requirement that you join one
  5. You aren't even required to have training

You could order your flying machine online, have it delivered, strap it on your back and attempt to fly it and as long as you didn't violate airspace rules would be perfectly legal if you did manage to get it off the ground.

Amazingly people do do this and these are the ones that usually end up hurting or killing themselves.

There is great freedom in our sport and the fact that we are pretty much allowed self governance in a world increasingly tangled with rules, regulations and red tape, is a beautiful thing.

As always there are people who abuse the freedoms that result in making the whole community look bad.

Don't be one of THOSE people.

If you are going to drop 10K on a flying machine, it's just good sense to invest a little more on proper training so you don't hurt yourself or someone else.

If you want to get connected...

usppa

More links from USPPA...

Preamble to FAR Part 103 - Insight into the FAA’s reasoning for regulating ultralights

FAR Part 103 - The rules that govern ultralights in the United States

FAA Advisory Circular 103-7 - Provides guidance to ultralight operators in the United States

Applicable FAR Part 91 Regulations - Other regulations applicable to ultralights

Sport Pilots - Do powered paragliders fall under sport pilot? What about the tandem exemption? Here are some answers to these questions along with interpretation of rules that are being defined.

 

Is it Safe?

Powered paragliding is probably the safest form of recreational aviation ever devised. Get good instruction, pay close attention during training and respect the propeller to minimize most of the risk. Like any recreation with humans in motion, there is risk. Training and the first few hours of flight are the most critical. We estimate the overall risk is less than motorcycle riding or free flying (paragliding with no motor) or flying small airplanes but more than driving a car.

Of the minimal risk, most comes from pilot error, not equipment malfunction. A conscientious pilot with the right attitude and good instruction can make this sport incredibly safe.

This question answered by Jeff Goin at the FootFlyer

What about Weather?

This is a light-wind sport. Generally a maximum wind of 12 mph is acceptable although, under certain conditions, experienced pilots can fly in stronger winds. We generally fly in the mornings and evenings so as to avoid the bumpy mid-day air. A few pilots seek out those mid-day conditions at the expense of some added risk.

This question answered by Jeff Goin at the FootFlyer

More weather resources from USPPA...

DUAT Weather Brief How to Use your UsPPA membership to get official FAA aviation weather.
FAA.gov/asos FAA listing of recorded weather telephone numbers around the Us. These are the ASOS and AWOS sites that report current weather.
Weather & Sectional Charts Gary Brown has put together a fantastic Combination site for weather AND on-line sectional charts.
WeatherToFly.Com More than you ever dreamed to know about weather as it pertains to flying. Many valuable links from here too.
Weather.Com Turbulence Very General Turbulence Plot for Aircraft
UsAirNet.Com Launch weather forecasting tool tailored specifically for hang glider and paraglider pilots.
How high can you fly?

Another amazing thing about paramotors is that you can fly literally just feet off the ground or as high as an airplane.

Watch this video for a more thorough answer...