New pilot considering SP140

Hey guys, I just soloed this past weekend and am now at the point where I have to start considering what motor to buy. (I already have the Apco LiftEZ2 wing). The SP140 is really new, and E PPGs are relatively new in general so my instructor was throwing some caution at me when I said I was considering one, but I also realize he’d prefer to sell me one of the brands he carries.

I believe I have the pros and cons right. Better reliability, higher power, lower maintenance, vs shorter run times and more weight. Also unlike a fuel tank, the battery will degrade over time, so while you don’t have to factor in fuel, you do need to plan to replace the battery.

I thought I would check and see if some more people have gotten their hands on the SP140 at this point and what they think of it.

Specific questions I have are:

  1. What is the potential of battery upgrades as technology improves? Is it likely to fit new battery packs to take advantage of more power or lower weight? Or will we likely need to replace the whole unit?

  2. I eventually found the specs for the harness on dudek.eu, am I correct in reading a 5ft7in pilot at 190lbs would fit well in a S/M harness? The harness sizing table information would be useful on the SP140 ordering page.

  3. Does any one have worries about long term parts availability? I know from reading that replacement parts are available right now, I’m thinking more long term, since the ICE manufacturers are obviously much larger companies and well funded. Nothing against small companies and startups (I’ve had my own), its just a worry in the back of my mind.

  4. How many charging cycles can the battery take? What is the expected life of the battery before needing to buy a new one?

  5. Are there many changes happening between different batches or has the design settled in at this point. Are all of the parts interchangeable between batches?

  6. I don’t particularly want a trike, but can this be mounted on a trike? I am having a hard time lifting an engine on my back… not so much standing with it, but having never needed to lift that much weight before I can’t get out of a kneeling position on my own. The obvious question becomes, if I can’t condition myself for that, can I still use the SP140 which is a heavy machine.

My solo flight looks to have been the last weekend before 30 degree weather and snow arrives, so I probably won’t get to continue flying until march when batch 3 starts to ship… so it may be in my interest to jump on the pre-orders. Any other feedback would be good to hear as well.

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you can see this post: Facebook Groups

  1. shouldn’t be a problem to able to swap into newer tech. even if the case size is different, you can add spacers/longer bolts (might affect CG though)

  2. i’m 5’7" 150. I have lots of space on the seat. If you have a wide upper body it might be questionable. I don’t know.

  3. motor and ESC is made by other people. battery, controller and frame made by OpenPPG.

  4. ? 500?

  5. You’ll probably see the SP140 mature in batch 4-6 as feedback rolls in. despite that, i’m generally happy with the 1st batch.

  6. I think someone here put it on a trike.

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One other thing to note, as a new pilot, where electric differs from gas.

If you’re running low on gas and arrive at the field near empty but you’re approach is poor you punch it for a go around. The power will be all there and your weight will be at minimum. This is ideal in a go around situation. With an electric PPG you get to the field with the battery near minimum voltage and punch it for a go around it’s going to sag a bit. You’re at the same weight you launched with but the power is reduced just when you’d really like to have it.

I learned to deal with this flying electric model aircraft. Plan that approach well ahead (as you’ve been trained anyway) and plan for a softer climb rate if you need to go around. You won’t be able to clear those trees or whatever you have as easily as you did when you launched (assuming the wind is the same). Along with the flight time/range this is the only disadvantage of electric powered aircraft. It’s not an issue if you have a vast wide open field to land on as the need to go around just isn’t there.

Batteries don’t like being cold so keep them in a warm garage or vehicle until you’re ready to fly.

Thanks that looks interesting, looks like it may be a bit limited due to the extra weight of a trike though … but it gives me something to think about.

Very true, planning with margins isn’t something thats new to me, I’ve had my private pilot certificate for about 12 years. But a good call out since you are actually losing performance over time, vs with gas you are losing weight and thus gaining performance.

You’re not new to aviation then. I have a Canadian recreational pilot permit. Electric power makes the most fun and convenient form of flying just that much more convenient and fun.

Hey @dguisinger !
Welcome to the Forum!

Yes, it works really well e.g. with the Air One Unique Single. This will add around 18 kg in total to your bill.


(This is a manufacturer image. AirOne.Pro owns the rights.)

Here is my setup:




The only thing I added are 3 dyneema loops (Edelried 30 cm) in case things disintegrate below me after a big collapse opening shock. I also like to have the battery fixed as I don’t trust gravity alone with that one :sweat_smile:
The Paramotor Pod is from Gin and works well with the SP140.

Just make sure your rescue parachute is large enough (as in buy a 150+ kg one), if your seriously consider a trike. I am using a X-Triangle as I like the potential of adjusting the place where I hit the ground if I have a rainy day.

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Lots of great information there, thank you.

So all in all, no regrets?

That’s awesome!