Certifying OpenPPG for use in Europe


#1

Hello,

As some of you might have gathered from the comments at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsQhtP4wmHw I am interested in using the OpenPPG paramotor, but in my region (Netherlands, Europe) we need a certified paramotor to be able to fly.
To get certification the Dutch government relies on the governments of either the UK, Germany or the Chech Replublic to certify paramotor gear.
I chose the German route and established contect with the DULV.de people.
I explained the situation and referred to Paul’s videos of the paramotor.
I am (still) awaiting an answer as to how to get the kit certified; most documents expect a 2-stroke motor.
I also enquired about the Aufstiegshilfe category.
As soon as I get an answer I will post here.

Issues I see are that the paramotor should satisfy all demands that the certification sets. It would be pity if the paramotor cannot be certified due to technical shortcomings.

If you have experience with getting paramotor gear certified and/or would like to help, please post here.

Udo


#2

Do you guys have an experimental class of aircraft? In Canada I can register mine as a “self-built ultralight”. Restrictions like no passengers, but it’s pretty straight forward. The logic is " you built it, and if you die its your own fault" :slight_smile:


#3

I do not claim to be an expert in this field; I did not find anything about such a category.
I any German people with knowledge in this area can comment, please?


#4

Hi Udo,
you may remember me from commenting your post on Paul’s youtube Videos.
I am based in Germany and I am currently a Member of DULV as well as DHV in Germany.

I currently fly a Simplify PPG Titan Frame with a CorsAir BlackDevil light.
when I set up my insurance (the paramotor is insured under my extended paraglider insurance at DHV)
the document asked for the Model Number.
Providing that number was no issue, because I found it on a sticker on the frame.

I also made sure that my glider, in this case a Nova Prion 3 was certified to be flown with a paramotor as well, I had to buy a new wing, because my other wing wasn’t certified to be flown with a paramotor.
In Germany, you are also required to take off and land at an airport or some airfield that had been previously registered for Ultralight take-offs and landings (known as a “§ 25 LuftVG Field”).
As this is an issue, in Germany, I know of a large amount of people actually just taking off and landing wherever they find a suitable area.

Technically this behaviour voids the liability insurance.

However: There is the law and then there is reality. We have a proverb in Germany that says: “Wo kein Kläger, da kein Richter” which translates to “no plaintiff, no judge” or literally “no harm, no foul”

As of today, I feel to have enough experience and knowledge to know for sure, that the important part is the wing. It must be certified and regularly checked as per German rules - my life depends on it!

As for any engine on my back - if it is technically safe (and I would use my common sense) then I would not care if it’s certified or not! It just provides thrust to climb. Should It fail or behave incorrectly, I have the glider that will let me land safely (or will let me continue to fly, if there are thermals). I would go for it anyways.

I am happy to help, if I can, with certification, but I am not really willing to spend a couple of thousand Euros for TÜV and DULV certification if I do not havy any commercial interest in this project (That’s the entrepreneur in me).

If the DULV does not give you any answers, because they are not interested in helping out someone who is not their member, just let me know and I can re-contact them, However: Udo, are you seriously willing to spend a few thousand Euros on this?

(If yes, you could be the importer of the kits, put them together and sell them as a certified unit to us fellow Europeans)


#5

I do not know of cost for the certification.
I do like the idea of electric flight if indeed I can fly for a nice time with less weight than e.g. a Top-80 on titanium frame.
I cannot legally fly the paramotor when it is not licensed as I need to register the wing plus motor to get the lettercombination that goes in the wing. Those are the (not so nice) Dutch rules as I understood them.

Even for required practical capabilities of the pilot the rules are weird; they do not specify what the pilot must be able to do, just that they must be able to show proof of capabilities. So everyone in the Netherlands gets a KNVvL brevet (certificate) to fly while that is not a strict requirement.
I am close to APPI PPG Pilot certification, so will that be enough in my country?

If the paramotor thing is not usable in the Netherlands due to missing licensing I due to the issues you describe I will complain with the Dutch authorities.


#6

I do not know myself what certification costs.
But it won’t be one or two hundred Euros only, I am sure.

No organisation will give you a certificate that certifies a product to be a “safe aircraft” if it hasn’t been thoroughly tested. But let’s wait for the answer to your question that you directed to DULV.

It would be great if you could post it here, if and when they reply to you.

Do you mind posting here what exactly you asked them, a copy of your letter/email?


#7

I have the same regulations where I live, Already checked with my countries association and they are super intressed, all they want is some more details on this project and what parts that it will use to deem if it’s fly safe.

As soon as everything is able to buy etc I will send all images etc to the association.

What I did was to call them and I recommend you doing the same to check on regulations.
They will probably say that it’s fine as long as it’s safe to fly and that it wont break in the air.


#8

Here is a description of what is required for Paramotor certification. It’s in German.

http://www.dulv.de/sites/default/files/Downloads/LTF%20Motorschirm_Trike%20NfLII%2023-05.pdf

Application form
http://www.dulv.de/sites/default/files/Downloads/eintragung_leichte_uls_20.PDF

No mention of cost?

Basically it’s load tested, weighed, measured and operates under 60db noise restriction.

A simple load testing we have done. Hang the Paramotor from carabiners and load it with sand or cement bags. 8g is 8x 100kg. Try to get 800kg in the harness and the weight shift arms do not fail. You are good. It’s a start. Even having that photo or video, promotes trust that some tests have been done.


#9

Do you have any idea where this is measured from? The pilot’s ears, a meter away from the center of the frame?


#10

It’s at a set distance. I cannot remember though, maybe 10 meters, that’s the number in my head. Sorry, it was 2 years ago I was told about it.


#11

hello, as 1 would like to say that there are no misunderstandings: I can tell you gladly facts that I know from more own experience. I do not criticize it in any way with the idea of ​​the 4 motor concept.

for approval in europe .: it is not the same in all countries will therefore only a few things to tell. If somebody wants to know it later, he always asks the aeroclub in his country.

Noise measurement:
The noise regulation does not apply to the pilot but to the environment and the fellow human so that they are not bothered with noise. a protocol as it is done in austria you can see here. There is an old electric drive from me that was still relatively loud. my present concepts are under 50 dB.

Safety: The battery must have an UN test. (except for prototypes used by the manufacturer) the motors must be built by the aircraft manufacturer. also the esc. The pilot must see in flight state of charge and the battery temperature. Of course we have a lot more but not required. a solution with mobile phones or similar gadgets would be unthinkable in aviation.

Air law: in most countries, the minimum height of 150 meters above ground must be adhered to. about settlements 300 meters, about cities 600 meters.

The important thing is: the drive must run perfectly, safely get up.
important for every registration is a working concept. auditors in aviation are not interested in words in texts. they want to see that it after the start on an example 200 meters and then the specified minutes can fly.

In europe it is also necessary to have a liability insurance for flight sport. as well an accident insurance which allows flying . If you fly with an unauthorized system you would not have protection.

My own opinion on the battery: I would never fly with lipo because: these are too expensive because they only last a maximum of 1 year or shorter if you fly often. 18650 cells have a higher power density and last for many years and are very insensitive in winter. (I sometimes fly at minus -10 degrees!)

Basically everyone has to be clear that builds for other aircraft that he is fully responsible for the life of the pilot. everyone must be able to agree with his or her own if a piloit crashes because a part breaks. Therefore, it is logical to write the manufacturer of accessories for drones or model flight big on the product: “only for model construction”

I hope you do not understand the facts wrong.
since I’m 43 years old and family I see many things differently now than maybe 20 years ago when many things went wild and without limits.

ÖAeC (160526) - Lärmmessprotokoll BRANDSTETTER.pdf (172.0 KB)


#12

If you consider certifying it as an “Aufstiegshilfe”, you should have a look at these rules (if Google Translate results are hard to decipher, I am happy to help you translate the document):

Note however, that the maximum battery capacity for the Aufstiegshilfe is 3 kWh.


#13

the current state regarding ( aufstiegshilfe ) is the System that visually looks like a paramotor that can not be recognized as an " aufstiegshilfe- thermicassistent " with its frame and cage. statement by phone . 1 month ago from DHV- Germany responsible for it.


#14

An " aufstiegshilfe " should only be helpful for thermal flying. it is not a paramotor for cruising only with Motor power.


#15

One general thing, which is probably obvious to everyone, and which requires a lot more time:

We need to extensively show and demonstrate these devices to the public and authorities. The event in Austria is a great opportunity, but this needs to gain a lot more traction worldwide.

We need to turn key figures within the authorities into enthusiasts for electric paramotors. We need these key figures to rewrite or amend existing certification guidelines.

If we can convince them, that the 4 single motors actually act as one motor, with one throttle, with the added safety benefit of canceling the torque and higher overall reliability, they WILL introduce exceptions for paramotors which will allow for these kind of systems.

If we can show that we will be less noisy - or that the noise spectrum is a lot more acceptable - this will be a great argument to push new amendments to the guidelines.

I am working on electric drivetrains for aircraft, and we are already seeing the impact on the Certification Specifications.


#16

and

What difference does the paramotor need to have to be considered an aufstiegshilfe?
Why can’t the current incarnation of OpenPPG’s paramotor (as seen in the latest videos) be used for thermalling?
(slightly confused here; no DULV reply yet)


#17

Currently, in the Netherlands, paramotors appear not so welcome when one reads the regulations.
So if the paramotor is less noisy (as is OpenPPG), more reliable and thus more safely then would the regulators slightly change their minds?

Maybe introduce a testing mode in the firmware so one can fly with any (n-1, n-2, etc) numbers of engines to demonstrate.
Would one engine running at full rpm be able to keep a glider in level flight?


#18

From what I remember from Dutch regulations it is with the paramotor overhead at 150 meters or so.
German rules etc might be different.


#19

The regulation " aufstiegshilfe " is only available in Germany I have the current status answered. it is in germany around it: if it is an " aufstiegshilfe " one has more liberties since one flies so nearly only in thermally silent. a paramotor has to hold onto airfields like an utralight. Of course you can also use the 4 engine concept to fly thermal. but I think there are very few pilots who will do that with the concept in really thermals and xc flights. " aufstieghilfen are more efficient (need about 40% less energy than 4 engine concepts) have professional thermal harness for Long XC flights and optimal thermic flying. ( work with Body weight and Brakes like flying in mountains.) that should show the difference. It is not a rating whether a system is worse or better. It is purely about the purpose of how to use something.
I myself fly many different systems because there is no system for everything.


#20

Hi Udo this will lead to a Einzelzulassung, the german Musterzulassung would be a hard issue for that Paramotor. :slight_smile: Here are the german documents for the type certificate application letter and building regulations.
[http://dulv.de/sites/default/files/Downloads/LTF%20Motorschirm_Trike%20NfLII%2023-05.pdf] and [http://dulv.de/sites/default/files/Downloads/musterzlassung_englisch_15.pdf]