The short history of electric paramotor starts with a brief flight in 2001 by a German pilot using NiCad batteries and a 60 kg machine. Given the energy density (power capacity per weight) of NiCad we can see that it’s not ever going to provide long flights. That’s OK, it’s a start—and he didn’t have to mess with a broken exhaust.
In 2006 Csaba Lemak recorded the longest flight and ended up with a total flight time of 37 minutes.
The endeavor needs innovative people to carry the torch. Please keep us posted of any progress that you make or know of.
Electric Paramotor Resources circa 2009
When this website was updated in 2019 I scraped the old site’s “Resources” page for historical value. Of course you can also see it on website archiving services like the Wayback Machine. The latest entry I saw was 2009. Thankfully there were still developments going on but nothing for consumers until the OpenPPG came along in about 2016.
2009-Jan-10 We can only hope that this idea eventually works: using solar power on the wing to extend flight time, maybe even keep us aloft. Although the technology is a long, long way off, paraglider improvements and solar generating efficiency improvements narrow the gap (more of a gulf at the moment).
Thanks to Thierry Siereveld for the following.
2009-Jan-10 Randy Bollinger sent us this information on some new electric motors (1.2 Mb PDF) that show promise.
2007-12-18 Gerald Farrell sent us information on the AE-1 Silent, Electric sailplane. Their application is merely for self launch but that suits a lot of PPG pilots, too. What’s surprising is that this German-built sailplane started in 1998.
A flying hang glider trike has been built. See it at www.ElectraFlyer.com. This is too heavy for footluanched PPG but is a good start. Hang glider trikes, even though they fly faster, require less power per pound due to their relative aerodynamic cleanliness.
Electric Motors & Drives
2007-Aug-30 Manuel Planchart has suggested this source for brushless electric motors: a2tech.eu.
2008-Mar-21 Warner Eck has provided lots of information on electric drives for several applications of electric propulsion including paramotors and hang gliders. He also suggests several websites in his article.
2007-12-26 Gerald Farrell, Mike MacPhereson Stanford University Scientists have devised a way to increase the capacity of Lithium Ion batteries by 10 fold. More importantly it’s been done using a process that should be reasonably easy to manufacture—a promising battery technology that hopefully somebody can bring to market.
2007-12-08 Flytown Power Company is courting electric PPG hopefulls with battery backs suited to their application. They want to serve the PPG and lightplane communities as a special manufacturer of high rate lithium polymer (lipo) battery in sizes from 20C/30C to 4800mAh
www.flytown-batt.com is willing to special produce batteries but their line mainly includes:
- 1. high rate lipo battery, 10C/18C, 15C/25C, 20C/30C, 25C/30C… capacity could be 4800mah or higher. They’ll pack them according to builders’ needs. For example, 4S1P, 4S2P, 4S3P, … 5S1P, 5S2P…6S1P,6S2P… even 10S10P is ok.
- 2. intelligent charger for lipo battery with a balancing function,
- 3. Accessories (all kinds of connectors)
For more information, contact Rainy Lee at Flytown Power Co., Ltd. Fax:86-760-855-7569
2007-03-16. Mike Crawford has suggested these resources for improved energy density at affordable prices: everspring.net. He tells us their prices are impressively low, nearly in line with gel-cell batteries. He hasn’t purchased from them but is considering doing so for a boat application. They claim to be providing batteries for a Citroen model: http://www.everspring.net/product-battery-customerreference.htm