Not even close to the same comparison. There are thousands of cars on the road that could hit me even if I drive safe and during safe conditions. To compare cars and PPG it would only be the same if I was the last one on earth and the only one driving on the roads. In that case then yes I would feel safe driving without a seatbelt. You aren’t going to just fall out of the sky and need a reserve randomly if you are flying with great weather and have a safe wing and fly safe. Your life is in your hands in that case. Not the same with cars.
weather is never truly predictable, and yes you can just randomly fall out the sky if you take a bad collapse.
Lol weather is pretty predictable for the 45 minutes you are in the air and you can’t just take a random collapse in good weather flying safe and with a safe rated wing.
I’m guessing your training is just ppg and not paraglider ratings, most paramotor pilots could really use more training on weather and airflow.
While I appreciate the various viewpoints on flying with a reserve or not, it doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing decision. For example, I happen to own two reserves because I fly with two when I’m paragliding. I’m going to take a break from paragliding for a while and focus on paramotor. I’m going to use one of the reserves, and I’m giving the other one to my son to use. They’re pretty expensive, and since I already own them, I might as well use them.
However, both of them need to be repacked, and I don’t have the side container for the harness yet. But I’m not going to let that stop me from flying my new paramotor. I’m just a beginner PPG pilot, and I think I’m unlikely to get myself into a sketchy situation right now. I’ll be flying as gently and carefully as possible. So for now, not having a reserve isn’t going to prevent me from enjoying my new toy. But I probably wouldn’t choose to fly without a reserve forever.
When I get the reserves repacked next week and receive the container, I’m definitely going to put it on my harness. It certainly won’t hurt, and you never know, it might come in handy some day. But for a few weeks at least, I’ll probably be flying without a reserve. Sometimes I drive around the block without my seatbelt, too. But I wouldn’t make a habit of it.
Basically what I was saying. I agree a reserve is a good idea to have but not a necessity just to be in the air. Comparing PPG and paragliding is a closer comparison but paragliding wants thermals and fly during middle of the day where as PPG wants calm winds and fly in early morning and evening. Way less chance for bad enough weather to cause a collapse. If I’m ever flying in weather that could cause a collapse or doing acro then of course being a reserve but just to get in the air and fly around a bit it’s not comparable to driving around not wearing a seatbelt lol.
Of course its not a necessity, I’ve flown pg and ppg without one, just as I’ve driven without a seatbelt and ridden a motorcycle without a helmet, But I would never recommend this to someone who’s inexperienced. Based on JeffG’s question and the fact that he is talking about his first solo flight, I’m assuming he does not have enough experience to truly determine what is safe weather, and how to handle a collapse if he took one. Everyone can determine their accepted amount of risk, but most new paramotor pilots that have only done paramotor training seem to know very little about weather and airflow other than the windspeeds to use forwards or reverse launch. I just think it is important that people understand you can be smacked out of the sky by weather or equipment failure at any point. Just as another driver can hit you on the road, or a wheel could come off.
True. If you don’t know the basics and make a bad decision to fly in bad weather anything can happen. My point was just if you fly in good weather and fly safe (don’t cause your own collapse) and on a safe wing you won’t just fall out of the sky.
Thanks everyone for your candid responses. I plan to get as many flights in under the watchful eyes of my instructor before flying unsupervised. Your comments have served to heighten my already raised level of caution.
This morning I installed a network of webbing into the frame, behind the harness. Then I did a hang test, which measured at 12 degrees. It’s nice to know that if I need to increase the angle I can do that by moving the collars back towards the default locations.
Looking more like a flying lawn hair everyday. Does the battery still slide in and out Easily? Safe flying.
Chair, not hair.
That webbing idea is a really clever solution! Thanks for sharing. Do you have a link to the loops you used? And do they feel sturdy enough to stay tight when under power?
Ha! I did consider using the replacement webbing for lawn chairs, but these ready-made Velcro straps worked out really well. No issues with the battery going in and out. I was planning to also add a piece of closed cell foam on top of the webbing, but it wasn’t needed. I was a bit nervous about how aggressive the Velcro was going to be, but the actual product doesn’t disappoint. There’s a decent amount of surface area engagement of the hooks and loops. I’m confident things are gonna stay put.
The upper and lower horizontal webbing pieces are also Velcro but they aren’t as aggressive as the straps. They seem to be holding well. If I were to do it over, I would find some more aggressive Velcro. The straps kit came with 6 straps, so I may sacrifice one and use it to replace the upper and lower pieces. The frame doesn’t offer convenient attachment points (like for the center horizontal strap), so I had to connect them as shown.
The 2" width is about perfect. You can get 3" and 4" Velcro. A 4" strap down the middle might be a better option, but this setup provides really good support with just a bit of give.
Here are the links for both items:
Amazon.com: 2 x 48 Inch Hook and Loop Cable Tie, 6 Pack Heavy Duty Adjustable Fastening Adhesive Cinch Strap with Plastic D-ring Buckle, Multi-Purpose Reusable Cord Organizer by Cacturism : Electronics
Amazon.com: ApexOne 2’’ Wide 16.4’/5 Yards Long Hook and Loop Cable Tie Cord Wrap Fastener Nylon Power Cord Management Wire Organizer Strap Reusable Cut to Size Self Gripping Tape Roll (Black) - 4’'Wide Available : Industrial & Scientific
I think longer shackles will allow the swing arms to move up as opposed to allowing your seat to move down. With the arms up the hang points get higher relative to the thrust line so it might cause a greater recline during power. It might not be significant but just something to keep in mind. I’d love to hear about your results after adding foam or backboard.
Here’s and idea I don’t think I’ve seen mentioned, apologies if it has been and I missed it.
Why not move the ESC Down below the motor, keeping it on the same vertical plane? Take out the spacers that are between the ESC mount and the motor mount, bolt the motor mount directly to the ESC mount, and fashion a simple plate for the ESC that mounts between the lower ESC mount and the battery stops on the same plane it currently rests. Might need a thin washer so the bolt heads don’t block the battery, but should be fine. You can rotate the motor on it’s mount clockwise so the wires to the ESC are aiming down instead of sideways, and you might even be able to still plug in the battery. If not worst case is you need very slightly longer cables from ESC to battery plug. This moves the motor in quite a bit, and also moves the ESC weight down, both helping the COG move forward without changing the thrust line. Only negative I see is it puts the prop closer to the cage, but not enough so that it won’t work, especially with the Iris quick mount spacing. Seems like a very simple design change. Am I missing anything? If not I might have to try this.
Poorly drawn visual (ignore stray blue lines):
hello, in the picture you see an eppg from 2014 from me. in order to achieve the distance from the propeller to the cage / pilot, eppg pilots worldwide have been using " spacers " mostly made of aluminum or carbon with different lengths for about 15 years. since the total weight is closer to the pilot it is not a problem to adjust the trustline if the pilot is very light.
I did some very rough measurements and back of the envelope math, and with my machine as currently setup, moving the motor forward 2" moves the machine’s CG forward by 0.12".
Personally, I’m thinking that @GliderPilot and @JeffG are on the right track with adding some sort of backplate to move the pilot further forward. If you look at any other swing arm machine on the market, you’ll see that the swing arms attach 1-2" further back than they do on the SP140, which I think fully accounts for the 1-2" we’re looking for in hang point adjustment…
Interesting, thanks for the reply. At this point I might try it just to see how close the prop gets to cage and if it affects CG in any noticeable way.
I’ve added cross webbing behind the back pad to push me forward, set the arm stops as far back as reasonable, added my reserve and have the harness setup properly, and the best angle I can get is about 17-18 degrees according to ye old iPhone image angle adjust.
Thoughts? I’ve never worried too much about this in the past with my PAP, Parajets, and Gravity frames… angles were always eyeballed and were obviously less than this. Also note that the biners are up just below my ears which is pretty high compared to any previous setup I’ve had.
(Side note… this resource is amazing for PPG geometry reference: Paramotor Geometry Classroom - Scout Aviation - Fly Out Of the Ordinary)
I added the Iris paramotor arms, which didn’t appear to improve the hang angle since I already had the soft links as far back as they could reasonably go. But they are a huge improvement in terms of engineering and providing a much improved attachment point for the carabiners. No more floppy soft links spinning around or pulling at a weird angle. The Iris arms are top-notch. And they look pretty bad-ass too.
The other thing I did, which did improve the hang angle by a couple degrees, was to tape a piece of foam to the ABS backboard I had cut, effectively pushing me forward by another couple centimeters. I used one of the white pieces of foam that the battery came packed in, and taped it on with some Gorilla tape I already had in my garage. It’s not beautiful, but it’s functional, and it seems to have had a positive impact on the hang angle.
I’m seemingly the only one not having the CG problem of being too light, I think in my newbie paranoia I set my CG thrust angle at the motor to 8°. I’ve recently taken my first few flights and I feel as though I’m falling out of the seat board and my legs are hanging down.
I added a foot stirrup to help with the getting into the seat handsfree and hoped to eliminate the feeling of falling out of the seat. Now my legs are extended and I think it lowered my thrust angle even more. When I was on the throttle what should have been level flight it was pushing me towards the ground. I had to apply a lot of throttle to climb, the foot stirrup helped some with the feeling of falling out of the seat but I think the attachment point needs to be higher on the harness above the seat board to effectively raise my knees and feet at the same level as the front edge of the seat board.
When flying I don’t have much room in-between the risers and the cage netting, I was watching one of @Voltair videos and he has at least twice as much the space between his risers and cage than I have.
I plan to adjust the hang point again on Wednesday with my legs extended using the foot stirrup. I’ll post a new picture and dig up the old picture from January for comparison.