I am new to the site. So I was a little surprised to see see ‘dpac’ estimating the total cost of his v.3.2 as US$6400 which I don’t doubt but is this what others have found to be the real cost of the machine? I thought it would be more evonomical. By the same token his motor (plus charger), four batteries and harness were quoted as sighing over 70 lbs. I thought they were supposed to be lightweight. Any comments?
I meant weighing not sighing!!
I believe that was for 8 batteries, shipping, prebuilt option and other accessories.
You can do 4 batteries and build it yourself and save 1400 plus shipping
The pricing can be found in the openppg online shop but I can give you some approx numbers below:
$3200 Openppg kit (add 400 if you don’t want to build yourself)
$1000 LiPo batteries (7s) x 4
$250 battery charger
Total = $4895 for a typical setup
You will just need to add your wing and caribiners to this and then take to the skies.
Add $750 for a reserve parachute.
Think of the batteries as paying for gas and oil for several hundred flights up front.
and another couple of dollars for a little bit of this and a little bit of that (@GliderPilot 's modifications/ 3D prints, some cable, connectors, heat shrink tube, solder … you name it )
Also, keep in mind that it’s cheaper to buy the kit than to buy all the materials and pay all the machining costs to make your own. And our total cost is half that of any electric production unit being sold and probably half of most ICE as well.
The motor only weighs 21 pounds.
My harness with reserve is 15 pounds.
Four batteries weigh 24 pounds.
That’s only 60 pounds total. Can’t get much lighter than that with today’s technology. We are all anxiously waiting for lighter batteries to become available.
The BlackHawk Kestrel series weighs 45-50 lbs. add fuel for 20 minutes (4 batteries on e-PPG) just a bit more weight!
If you can only fly for 20 minutes you can really only safely fly for at the most 15 minutes to allow for some reserve and not completely exhaust the batteries.
And when you add in 4 more batteries to enable 35 mins of flight with reserve, weight is far higher than most gas-powered PPGs.
For those who don’t mind lugging around 70 lbs for 35 minutes of clean, electric flight it might be OK.
The real test will be. How many people switch to gas-powered (like dpac) because they want longer flights; being able to refuel without waiting for a recharge; or because the weight is too much with a larger battery pack.
Eventually battery weight and longevity will presumably come down. Until then, unless you are an avid tinkerer I’d suggest waiting a year or two.
… in the meantime enjoy free flight paragliding or check out other lightweight gas PPG’s like Air Conception.
Have fun with your Blackhawk or Air Conception! I absolutely love my OpenPPG! There’s truly nothing like it! Everyone has different preferences and that’s fine.
Nsd, personally I think you’re undervaluing the difference a truly zero torque system like the OpenPPG makes.
And… Openppg is nearly half the price of a good quality ICE ppg. For me that stretch for ICE is just beyond my reach today. That may be a good thing. Shall see.
Just pre-ordered a batch 4 and am super stoked about it. I’ve actually never flown PPG, only free flight, but am looking forward to learning. Endurance was something that held me back on the decision for a little bit - Having never flown PPG I’m worried I might regret the shorter endurance - That being said the real reason I want a motor in the first place is to be able to get up into thermals without needing a good free-flight launch.
There’s also some really cool innovation to the OpenPPG kit - the zero torque setup, the way I’ll be able to fold it up and put it in my back seat, not to mention I rent a small room in a house with other guys and wouldn’t have anywhere to store a big giant ICE kit. Also, if you ask me, maintenance on this thing is going to be a cakewalk - I’ve built drones and been in the electric RC scene for a long time and the electrical power systems these days are so robust. Also, can’t beat the price!
7499.00 for an new eclipse with Atom 80 from Aviator.
Another benefit for me is to turn off the motors and soar in silence. You’re not supposed to turn off your gas motor during flight, which means the noise is non-stop.
I teach PG/PPG year round weather permitting and have since the early 90’s but I personally will never buy another gas unit again. I have one of the batch 2 OpenPPG, made a few modifications to it, and really customized my machine to my meet my needs. I am now pushing my students toward electric paramotors even though I still sell petro machines if they really want one. The average pilot around here at sea level will fly at most 45mn with a gas machine before having enough airtime for the day. Depending on pilot weight and wing model an OpenPPG could reach that duration on two Bonka packs (about 26lbs), etc… my machine is at the 50lbs mark with 4 Bonka.
Something to also consider, is that if you live in an apartment, you will not want to have to deal with gas cans, oil mixing bottles, buying oil bottles, mixing gas, funnel, a hose or electric portable pump to empty the gas tank at the end of the day, rags to clean your hands or overspills, fumes, motor maintenance (changing rings, pistons, clutch parts, and the list goes on and on…).
Added to that as GliderPilot mentioned, the fact that the torque is non-existent and there is no need to purchase additional counter-torque fins to attach to the net, or dealing with various other contration to negate the effect.
In my case another important factor is transporting the PPG to the takeoff site calling for an 8mn walk through a wooded area.
It really depends on what the pilot’s goal is.
Another advantage in my situation, and I understand that not everyone lives near a cliff at a shore line, is that I can takeoff and climb for a few seconds before going quiet and placing my flying tarp into the lift band. This machine enables me to cross gaps I was not able to breach free-flying before powering off again and catching the lift band to continue along the ridge for many more miles of quiet soaring. And if the wind speed drops or the direction changes making it impossible to stay aloft for too cross a direction or weak lift, I still have the chance to get back to home base without having to deal with a pull start that may decide to give me a hard time when I am trying to crank up the engine again. Gas machine still have the upper hand on some level for now, but the way things are going, who knows for how long?
Here with 12lbs worth of batteries
Who said you’re not supposed to?
I love my OpenPPG, but I (still) also have an ICE motor, I did turn it off a couple of times to pull start it again only later, all in the air.
I assumed it was general knowledge, but may be wrong. My instructor said the severe change in temp and pressure during long descents can damage the motor when restarted cold. He said even a low idle for long periods could be bad. And I believe he said his idle was set for 2000 rpm. Growing up riding 2-stroke motorcycles I know they should be warmed up before riding, but I never heard that the they can be damaged in severe temp changes…
Great post with excellent pics. Impressive build!
How did you keep the weight down with 4 Bonka Batteries? What did your setup eight with 2 Bonkas?
Can you estimate the true engine on run-time with 2 Bonkas and then with 4 Bonkas.
I am an old sailplane pilot but have no experience on PPGs.
My needs are to use a PPG for thermal and slope soaring - engine off if possible. Long cross-country’s are not that important unless I can soar!
I am 71, reasonably fit, but 170 lbs. That’s why weight is a bit of a worry.
I plan to learn PG first.
In your long experience what are you recommending for beginnners like me?
Oh and where do you teach? I am up here on the West