How high can you expect to go with SP140?

How high should I expect to get in zero wind conditions with fully charged SP140? I looked around and read several threads but I am still puzzled.

1 hour of leveled flight would presumably require less power than ascending. I am 70Kg and researching my options with the view that perhaps a low maintenance electric solution would be a good fit for me. I don’t have specific glider in mind but it would be EN-A and I am just interested in some approximate figure to give me some idea.

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Hello @egghead1, welcome!

How high should I expect to get in zero wind conditions with fully charged SP140?

As usual it depends and all I give you without having flown an SP140 is a guess based on my general flying experience: I would say 1.500 m.

It depends on many factors like:

  • Battery capacity (assuming the large one for the SP140 is used)
  • Wing (size, efficiency, trimmer settings, …)
  • Total takeoff weight
  • Starting altitude / air pressure
  • Prop (2 vs 3 blade, size)
  • Temperatur at start and temp decent when raising (batteries have a sweep spot, motor and ESC will lose a bit of efficiency when getting too warm)
  • Aerodynamics to the extend you can influence it (e.g. using a pod harness / leg cover for less drag)
  • Battery characteristics: A higher power drain / faster discharge results in less total capacity being accessible (e.g. compare Samsung INR-21700-50E with 5A vs. 20A discharge)

The SP140 is rated for up to 1 hour flying time. My guess is that you could reach around 1500 m, maybe 2000 m of altitude in ideal conditions over the ground. You certainly won’t be able to get +1 m/s for 3600 seconds. If you are climbing all the time I guess you cut your flying time down to 30 minutes.
Once the SP140 units a shipped we should get a better view on the actual usable battery capacity.

Just for your comparison a value I recent measured for a petrol engine.
Start to 3:00 on my Tornado 280 with 140cm 3-Blade E-Prop on a light Trike + Dudek Boson 31 qm: +489 m

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hello, some basic values for eppg with standard desig like the sp 140:

level flight are around 4 -4.5 kilowatts with 115 to 125 kg total mass and EN-A wings. that means you have a flight time of around 40-45 minutes if you fly after take-off at around 200 meters above the ground. with a slight climb of around 1 meter per second, it is around 8 kilowatts.

during a strong climb at 1.5 meters per second, it is around 11 kilowatts. (the maximum in continuous operation for a very good 4 kilowatt battery) minus the loss due to the airtightness, with a 4 kilowatt battery and a total weight of around 120 kilograms, about 1300-1500 meters above ground are possible.

(The starting point was assumed to be 300 meters msl and normal weather conditions.) With powerful wings, the whole thing can be increased by 10 -15%.

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Ya I cant wait to start making vids on efficiency and max climb rate, and showing how much if any at 5k it changes efficiency to cruise.

After flying my apco hybrid (not the most efficient wing) L, I get an average of 3.7kw at cruse its definitely below 4kw and the lowest I was able to hold was 3.6kw. At 3.8kw I have a slow climb of about 1ft every 3-4 seconds.

I really don’t have any efficient wings, my brother does have a delta 3 or something its just a pain to launch in zero wind, and really never fly in anything above 5mph so on the ground its basically zero wind. When I did test that wing like 6 months ago it was defiantly more efficient then my apco, I remember seeing a 3.4kw cruse but ill have to test again and make a video.

The other wings I fly are ozone spyder 24m and freeride 19m. On the Spyder with trims in the middle it seems to be around 5kw trims in seems like 4.4kw. The freeride I flew the other day, trims mid 5.2kw and trims in i was surprised by its efficiency its was cruising 4.2 to 4.5kw while flying much faster then the spyder.

Again these numbers are off the top of my head so Im going to make a video, probably just fly each wing for 5-10 mins same day one after each other so conditions are the same. I think that would be fun and show the difference between each wing well. But Im quite confident in the numbers for the apco hybrid as I fly that a lot.

As soon as I get done shipping units this week Im gonna start making a bunch of vids. I’m super exited to actually start making them again.

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I hope to test this myself once I get the SP140. I have a Nitro 200 to use as comparison. My wing is a 26m Spyder3. I am expecting a more efficient climb from the electric as the air gets thinner due to the unbalanced air mixture of the ICE paramotor. Interesting to see.

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Cool. I fly the same wing. Of course at a different weight I’ll have a different number but it’s a good starting point.

“the winner” is the nitro 200 petrol engine. you can fly the petrol engine at full throttle or a little less. at 1500 meters above ground, the loss of performance due to leanness is still very low. you cannot fly the sp 140 at full throttle for long periods of time. therefore you always have much less propeller speed / thrust when climbing. therefore it is not possible to compare e-ppg and ppg directly. the sp 140 e-ppg is efficient but not suitable for long-term full load because the battery cannot deliver it without overheating.

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Yes you wouldn’t want to climb at full throttle for the full flight but that isn’t the most efficient climb power anyway. At full throttle the lean back angle is very extreme.

So think for getting to max altitude heat is not a problem. So you can compare ice to electric.

The question really is what is the most efficient power setting to climb the most efficiently I know it’s not full throttle 20kw. I think it’s probably somewhere around 8-10kw. And it would be the same thing with Ice motors full power is not the most efficient climb.

@bratwurst what have you tested is the most efficient climb power on your units?

hi, i see a rate of climb of 0.6-0.9 m / sec with A and low B wings as the maximum efficiency. everything above that worsens the efficiency very much due to the high angle of attack of the wing class. With the high b or high performance wing of the reflex class, you can climb efficiently at 1.2 - 1.5 m / sec. to your question as an example at low. b paragliders and 125 kg total mass, 7.5 to 8 kilowatts with a 130 cm propeller are the upper limit to be efficient. Personally, I usually climb flat at 0.5 m / sec (approx. 6 kw with standard frame without pod, etc.) when I want to fly long and far. here the system works very well in terms of efficiency.

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I collected lots of climb data with the X4 to understand flight time vs climb rate with calm conditions. What I found is simple: full throttle will get you higher before the battery is depleted but total flight time including the glide back down will be the shortest. Therefore, level flight is most efficient and full throttle is the least efficient and anything in between just won’t get you as high.

So the question is: do you want to fly longer or higher or somewhere in the middle. If you are targeting an altitude in the middle then your most efficient climb to that altitude will be the amount of throttle it takes to get there at the same time the battery dies.

I don’t like to climb at full throttle for very long because of the stress it puts on the batteries and such. That works fine for me because I love flying low anyway. Flying to me is more thrilling with the ground or tree tops rushing underneath me. When you are really high it feels more like a hot air balloon ride. On the other hand, my son likes to climb really high so that he can do acro at a safe altitude.

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OK, that is a lot of data to ingest and awesome insights. Thank you all for sharing.

I think I will do training first and perhaps then I will get a better idea of the type of flying I am likely to do (so delay buying equipment for now). As a beginner it won’t be acro and it won’t be flying too low. Probably 500 to 900 meters. But with more experience later I will probably want to go above 1500 meter just to try it at least once. I am at sea level.

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my advice on that. You are always safest at altitudes over 300 meters above ground. the higher the safer. you have more time to react to wing malfunctions or to use the rescue system. as you write, 500 to 900 is a very good choice! Flying close to the ground is very nice in very good weather. if it is windy or lively it can be very dangerous as a beginner to fly low. Why? you only learn with time, for example. to recognize lee situations behind hills, high forest, etc. correctly. almost all fatal accidents are because the pilots fly low with ppg. but any good teacher will explain all of this to you. the air is also much quieter at high altitudes than near the surface of the earth. this is related to the friction and air flow. you will soon find that it is often better to fly a little higher when it “wobbles” than to go lower. Always wish you good safe flights.

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Yes, train first then get equipment. There are lots of people who buy equipment before they train and later lose money on it because they decided ppg is not for them.

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I see it every season - never fails! The chariot before the horse😆 Then, they ask me for training and 99% of the time they wasted their money on an impulse buy without knowing what they were looking at or getting into.
Phil
www.supair-usa.com

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I suppose in theory one would PG on thermals even higher. Here in Australia the maximum altitude is 3 Km anyways.

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I got 1500 ft of elevation… Twice… In my 45 minute flight yesterday… Just for a point of reference

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Unfortunately I cannot fly low with my x4 as cannot trust it to shut off. Still waiting for the new avionics for my x4 ordered few months ago. This past weekend system pulses power then shut off. Luckily was doing a pass over the landing area when it happened. I’m not entirely sure if I accidentally pulsed power then system shut off or if it did this on its own as it happened fast. Either way no good.

I flew again for 20 min after this without any issues. Such a strange intermittent problem with old gen x4 avionics

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I don’t fly low unless a safe landing area is directly beneath me. I always fly as if I know it will quit at any moment. I seldom ever have issues but no matter how reliable the equipment I feel that’s a good rule to follow.

I hope you get your intermittent issue figured out. Those are the hardest to diagnose.

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