Old School Throttle

After two flights I’ve come to the conclusion that I like the old school throttle that I’m used to using. So, after making a wood prototype, then modeling it in SolidWorks this is my prototype 3D print. Waiting on electronic parts to complete the prototype and produce a finished product.


How are you going to measure the throttle position?

I am interested because I have made 2 prototypes of my own so far

I’m will be using the same internal components from the OpenPPG throttle. I’m just adapting them to this frame.

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I’m going to try this one this time


Very interesting and nicely designed – I look forward to seeing how it turns out with all the guts transferred over.

I only have one throttle to compare to the Oppg, I dont like the one on the Kangook I have. Too hard to hold the break and throttle at same time. I was thinking I would switch it over to from left hand to the right as my dexterity is better with the right. But now I will wait and see with the new Oppg. Oppg looks more common sense but until you try something you just dont know. I will probably set it up for right hand.

Cheers, Patrick

The thumb throttle is less than ideal. I aborted my 1st take off on an OPPG 2 months ago. 2nd attempt was ok.
We were all taught to bring up the glider with our thumbs on the A risers. On the OPPG you have to release the throttle and unhook your thumb in order to use your brakes once in the air.
This is ok on those easy forwards.
Once you get into a challenging site, it is best to have full control authority with thumbs in the A’s, being able to go directly to brakes after takeoff, never letting off the power.
Releasing the throttle on take off allows the glider to overfly you. The last thing I want to manage is a surge 5 ft off of the ground.
Paul and the boys have done an excellent job in getting this project “off of the ground”!
They had the tremendous foresight to make this an open project.
Robs’ old school throttle will give the community an option.
Looking forward to see the flight report .

Interesting… perhaps you were taught to use thumbs on the risers because the typical throttle is less than ideal. I absolutely love the thumb throttle and the precision control with light pressure. My fingers are all in the brake toggle so the the thumb makes perfect sense to use for throttle. The controller is small enough to hold the brake and the A’s with one hand which again makes the thumb ideal.

Good job on the traditional design, by the way! I think it’s great to have options. Specially for those who are used to the traditional. So yeah, keep the options.

To reduce complexity of launch why not put the brake handles on your wrists and not hold them. This is what I do for tricky reverse launches on ridges, then once flying can move the brake hands from wrists to fingers.

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And just how is this done?

Like this image

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Very interesting - will need to give that a try. Thank you.
Cheers, Patrick

Thumb throttle is great for reverses and easy open hayfield forward launches.
Not ideal for challenging forwards in dicey conditions.
These are some of my personal experiences.

Ocotillo Wells Ca. 2001.
Engine out in the desert mountains.
Landed on a spine high up on a ridge. Fixed problem. Spine ran down for about 15-20 yards ending on a knob. Below that was the abyss of the canyon. Long difficult treacherous walkout.
Lay glider out on the ridge spine. Glider is angled down 30 degrees on each side of the spine.
No wind… I gotta nail this forward perfectly. Hook thumbs in A’s. Advance glider overhead, go to full power.
Keeping hands on the risers, glider perfectly aligned overhead. Sprinting down that spine The knob getting closer and closer. Feel the glider taking the weight . Hit the Knob . Pop the brakes
And I am outta there.

2002 Parastars Convention
Danny Kriseler and I are out flying and spot a 7-11.
We land in a field behind it to get a couple of Coors Lights.
Not a good field to land in. Knee high prickly briars. And a 4 strand barb wire fence 100 ft away.
We drink our beers.
Lay out our gliders on top of the vegetation, which is about 2 ft high.
Then we spend 30 minutes meticulously picking up each line of our gliders and laying them on top of those briars.
There is no wind.
We go back in 7-11 and get another tall boy. (It was hot out!)
Now Dan is on a Monster. He hooks in, thumbs in the A’s. Wing pops up and he is up and out ,1/2 way down the field.
Now I am on an old Solo and a small Silex.
I hook in the same, wing comes up I am on full power (maybe 100 lbs thrust).
You have to keep advancing the wing with the palms of your hands until it starts to provide some lift.
I am running and the prickly brambles are grabbing at my pants. I am 1/2 way to that barb wire and the wing isn’t lifting.
Just stay with it. Full Power .Hands Up! Now I feel the motor weight come off my back. 3/4 of the way to the wire. The old Solo has been wide open since the start of my run.
There is just no way I am going to make it.
But I am a Duke, and I would never hear the end if I didn’t make it.
So, I just stayed with it, hands up, till the end.
I could feel the legs straps digging in, lifting.
As I got to the last few ft. I whacked in 1/2 brake pulled my feet up as high as I could and my left leg reached out and touched that top strand.
I was outta there and on my way back to land in another cowpath and drink the 6 pack that Danny bought and flew out.

The thumb throttle is good for those nice beautiful flying conditions.
Not so much when your in the down and dirty.

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Understanding how to ground handle your wing, whether you free fly or paramotor, is essential to safe launches and landings. Being able to handle different conditions, windy or not and deciding to reverse launch or forward launch is driven by your abilities. In Washington, we deal with mostly windy conditions and reverse launches are more common. Forward launches are not, so many pilots don’t practice enough forward launches and we see pilots unable to control their wing resulting in many failed launches, wing drifts to one side or pulls the pilot over.

You need to be comfortable and understand what works for you for hand position and practice makes you more comfortable with how you hold your As to start your launch. Forward launches are more about pulling your wing up and getting it stabilized above you head with pressue on the harness, brake checked to not over fly (if needed) and starting your forward run/launch (power on) with wing fully inflated. During a no wind launch, you would continue your forward movement as the wing rises.

For Windy Launches, one technique I use to launch is to set out my wing, build a wall and take two steps to my right to put my launch position off center of the wing. Put my brake handles on my wrist (like picture above) then I put both As in my left hand and prepare to brake with my right hand. This brings the wing up faster on the left side (which I have the corresponding brake in my right hand), which gives time to brake check the wing and then turn and go.

Many pilots get into trouble when launching due to the lack of ground handling practice. Practice Practice Practice. Which ever throttle you prefer, you should be comfortable with all types of launches and hand positions for your equipment. Thumb or hand throttle does not make a difference to me as I practice to use both.

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Hmmm… I do my reverse launches the same way but holding the A’s in my right hand. On occasion, especially when gusty, the right side of the wing lifts faster, sometimes the left. When the right comes up quick it’s messy getting onto the right brake quick enough. (See what I did there? Right brake not wrong brake🤪). Next time I’m going to start using your two side steps. Great tip, cheers.

The primary reason for the old school throttle is for forward launches where you have to old the “A’s” to pull the wing up. If you are always doing a reverse, it’s not as much an issue. I primarily do forward launches because we’re launching in 0-5 mph winds where a reverse is not an option.

Do you also use your thumbs on the A’s when you forward launch? Is launching the only time you don’t like the thumb throttle? How does your new design help launching forward?

So this is a discussion about personal preferences and circumstances. What if you combine the old school controller and thumb controller. You get best of both?

Lets just go with voice – “Alexa, 3/4 throttle pls”


Ever see the Clint Eastwood film “Firefox”? That’s the logical conclusion - mind controlled throttle.
TBD on when we’ll be shipping that throttle version :stuck_out_tongue:


I bet it could be done… here’s some open source resources: https://openbci.com/

Though probably not a good idea for the absent minded :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: