Details on the effort:

Flytec eDrive
Yuneec International
Werner Eck
Neil Andrews ePPG
Csaba Lemak
Fresh Breeze
EFS, Ltd.
Ernie Van Drongelen

Skynch Propless Self Towing

Electric Paramotor Efforts

Note: Effort currently not being pursued.

Mar 7, 2007

Some setbacks with burnt out motors and other expensive component problems have paused their effort until investor financing can be found.

Jan 7, 2007

John Irving now has a working prototype and will have a video up soon on their website showing it to work in the lab. They've apparently solved some problems with the starting force of their brushless D.C. motors using a throttle style potentiometer.

This pulls the pilot instead of pushing and we look forward to seeing the details on how it will work out in flight. They have a nicely developed throttle that is shown here and the machine's inner works are here.

Sept 19, 2006

Getting towed up with a paraglider presents incredibly high risk to the untrained and elevated risk to the trained. Having a USHPA tow rating (or equivalent training) is the minimum. The risk is not apparent and it seems so simple. Numerous pilots have died by this deception. Having said that, towing in the right hands can provide a wonderful opportunity to experience the magic of motorless flight without having to go to a mountain. One company is working on a way for paraglider pilots to self-tow. As long as the pilot accepts the higher risk in such an operation, it could be a wonderful way aloft.

Skying out with a Winch

The company working on this is and they are hoping to produce an electric version. It would be a great way for experienced paraglider pilots to get airborne in areas with no hills. Free flight is a magical experience on its own but requires somewhat different skills. Any motor pilot who is a skilled ground handler will take quickly to free flight.

The difference between this and using a paramotor is that the pilot can use the much more comfortable free-flight harness. There is also almost no added drag since there is no cage or propeller. Plus, without the weight of a motor behind you, it's possible to balance nicely using the battery weight and winch weight.

We'll post more information on this when it becomes available. 

Free Flight Safety

Flying powerless involves using rising air currents to stay aloft. That means relatively strong conditions which does increase risk. However, that risk can be mostly mitigated through active piloting and solid wing handling skills. It has proven to be statistically riskier than PPG but has a reward that is well worth it. Good training, just like PPG, is important. Take a course from a certified free-flight instructor experienced in the type of flying you expect to be doing, especially if it includes towing.

Flying on smooth ridges is quite different than flying in the mountains but both have their own nuances requiring specific training to lessen the risk. 

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