the interests are very different. I’ve started flying again myself and training cycling and strength training again. with my setup from 2019 that i have changed (prop and diameter cage) I would like to do 90 minutes with pure powered flight. for everyday use, an average of 40 minutes is enough for me and my friends. even the petrol colleagues usually don’t fly anymore. There are of course always professionells . on sunday a colleague who i know personally flew from italy over the complöette alps to austria ( his hometown ) non-stop 6 hours with petrol ppg. unbelievable. but there are very few in the world who usually fly longer than 1.5 hours ppg.
Most people on this forum would agree you should take lessons before deciding on equipment. After a few flights you might realize that one hour is plenty. Some people use gas for the occasions they want a longer flight and electric for everything else. I definitely prefer electric for all the reasons you mentioned.
Another option is a trike to handle the extra weight of another battery.
The SP140 was my first paramotor. I had similar concerns regarding range and life expectancy. While I only have about 20flights on it. Looking at my flight log, most flights have been around 20-25minutes. with a max flight time of 35minutes.
I am thinking of buying a petrol motor just for group cross country flights. Their flights are generally about 60-80 minutes. That takes me out of the group flights which sucks, although there has only been 2 organized all year. Most are just flying around for 45 minutes with each other.
As a learning to fly machine, 100% get it. all I hear with the group is problems with ‘reliable’ motors. I just plug in and go.
I did some back of the napkin math, and with that extra pack it would provide 10% mroe capacity, but likley not provide extra 10% flight time. Let me explain:
The 1hr pack uses 11P 4200ma cells, total of 46200 mah in the pack.
This pack is “quoted” as 5000mah. So you could essentially treat it like a total 51200 mah pack when added to the 1hr battery
So theoretically with the extra pack you have 1.108, or 10.8% more battery capacity.
Or 6 minutes considering the 1hr flight time standard claim.
The challenge will be matching the current draw of this pack and the main battery, they may or may not scale correctly. The SP140 could easily overload this batter and cause it to shut down.
Beyond that, it weighs 7.5 lb, which is quite a lot, most of it being dead weight like an extra BMS, non optimized case design, and extra USB-c ports and internal voltage regulator.
The additional 7.5 lb will reduce your flight time by a little, I would guess that adding one of these would result in maybe 3-5 minutes extra flight time which just seems not worth it.
My instructor had been pushing me to buy a paramotor before restarting lessons, I had soloed once at the end of 2021 and have been meaning to get back into it, the one thing I worry about is how well the larger battery would handle training. You say 100% get it for training, I’m worried about driving 90 minutes to a lesson and running out of battery before we are done with lessons, especially since a lesson might have multiple launches which would take a bigger bite out of the battery… but its hard to justify a second battery when you’ve only ever flown once and have no idea how much you will use it.
That said, my instructor had to keep adjusting his motors at the last couple lessons, and that doesn’t give me confidence in a gas motor and I know I don’t want to become a two stroke mechanic…
Congrats on getting to your solo!
Not sure how your training is set up and how long the sessions are but like you said most of the training is takeoffs and landings and time on the ground so taking off and climbing up will be the primary drain. While batteries seem like they can be costly, I look at it as prepaying for any maintenance and fuel that you would have for a gasoline motor. Essentially once you go electric you don’t have to spend any more money, no gasoline and oil to mix and buy, no exhaust to replace, no carburetor to tune, no starter to fail, etc.
Having one 4kw battery will get you pretty far in your training and flying but having a second one will certainly cover you. It’s pretty easy to swap out once one gets drained too.
My 2 cents but hope it helps