Why other projects have failed?

Hi friends! I don’t know how pose this question, I want to know why others electric paramotor construction projects in the past failed, what are the main problems currently facing electric paramotors, and why they have such low acceptance by the pilot community. Thanks!!!

I would say too high cost and too short a flight time.

Both of which I’m happy to say Openppg is working on solving nicely. Love my X4!


I am NOT an expert; this is from my own research over the last year or three. I agree with assiegordon, but might be more specific and say “batteries”. Deep enough past and the batteries were too large and heavy. That is still an issue, but it has gone from “this won’t work” to “this is a tradeoff we can accept.”
Obviously, batteries aren’t the only source of cost/limited flight time, and cost/flight time aren’t the only obstacles, but the other problems … are mostly not specific to electric flight.


The same reason that people don’t want electric cars. Tesla has a range of 400 miles. People keep saying they won’t get one until that goes up even though most people drive less than 100 miles a day.

One of the numbers I noticed on myself and others I fly with, normal flying time is around sunset with average flight time of 30 to 45 minutes. So a hour battery life covers 90% of flights made.


I agree with the previous comments. The some of biggest challenges are cost and flight time. I would also say that an equally great challenge is people’s view of electric aircraft.

Over the years I have come across hundreds of people who will not fly electric because they believe that the batteries are without a doubt going to light on fire and that when it does, it will burn them alive before they can get back to the ground. They also often believe that E-PPG are over-weight, under-powered, will need to be replaced every few years, and are prone to breaking down. I have been able to change many minds by showing them all the safety measures we use and what current electric owners have experienced, but about two thirds of them have already made up their mind.

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In fairness (regarding range anxiety despite mostly short trips), most of the cost of a car (or plane) is fixed cost; having one that is sub-optimal for most rides is way cheaper than having two.

I my view it is wrong to state that “other electric paramotors construction projects” failed before OpenPPG.

There were several projects / companies that manage to deliver E-PPG solutions. Just because they are not wildly know, does not mean they don’t exist or work well.

Here are some examples of E-PPGs I am aware of:

I have not flow any single one of them yet, thus I cannot judge on the availability, quality or service.

Most of them are either priced higher than the SP140 or deliver less flight time as of today (maybe due to the fact that they have been developed earlier and use older batteries). Some of them have larger companies to backup the project, which might be good for responsiveness and spare part handling, but of course come at a cost tag.

I think the really big advantage of OpenPPG is the open forum and information sharing here. Once used wildly and for real stuff breaks, short comings get obvious and folks suggest improvements of the setup … for none of the projects above I have found anything similar.

Big thanks to Paul and Zach for spending their time and effort on this project and running it this way!


that would be impossible in europe. In terms of liability, it is impossible to sell aviation equipment in this type of company without liability. no insurance will insure a company in europe that operates opensource. there are laws such as warranty, etc. in europe.

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Im not sure i understand, say Paracell, Parajet or another wanted to opensource their frame files and stuff they could not because of insurance? They are just files and are for helping to support the customer if they say want to make a trailer to carry there motor?

Anyone can make frame dimensions available to their customers.

What is not legally possible is to enable the customer to tinker with the drive himself with the throttle grip, with the power supply, with the esc setup, with the display, with the battery.

You can only sell complete systems that get service and repairs from a company that also has liability insurance. this can be the manufacturer himself or a partner company. In any case, in europe it is not possible to generally leave these tasks to the customer, otherwise the guarantee will expire. In individual cases you can communicate with customers in writing that the customer is working as a test pilot and is allowed to make changes to the eppg himself. the product then has no product liability from the manufacturer’s insurance. you can only sell kits from the drive part. some companies do that too. But it is legally very difficult when there is an accident.

I would only do that if there is a big company behind it. otherwise, as a small garage hobbyist, you could lose your entire house and your fortune.

With a gasoline engine everything is simple because it is common for someone to screw on the engine himself. but as soon as a large battery is charged in the house and the laws for transport (UN 38.3) and many other things have to be complied with, it is not as easy as with a gasoline engine ppg.

i have a lot of contact with other e projects planes, rogallos trikes etc. all small manufacturers have the same problem with the laws and liability towards the customer.

there are no exceptions when it comes to aviation. as soon as you take off you are part of the air traffic in europe and have to comply with all rights and obligations.

there is also good for everyone.

What is not legally possible is to enable the customer to tinker with the drive himself with the throttle grip, with the power supply, with the esc setup, with the display, with the battery.

I disagree to your statement @bratwurst .

First of all it is perfectly legal for fly a lawn mower or leaf blower motor mounted to an alu ladder with swingarms forged by your grandpa in Germany, Europe - as long as you fly it below it DGAC certified wing and stay within the UL weight limits.
The mandatory reliability insurance contract can be bound to the pilot instead of the engine. This is what I use as I have multiple motors. It might be different in other countries of Europe.

That said it does not matter if you bought the device or build it yourself based on files someone shared and it does not matter if it is electro, petrol, gas (e.g. hydrogen) or whatever driven.
If you mess around with it or build it yourself then the liability is up to you.

It is the same with cars. They are street legal they way they are sold.
If you change the engine characteristics diagram and the machine starts burning you won’t able to sew the manufacture for your stupidity because it is you who altered the system.
That is the big difference over here in Europe.
You cannot sew companies for being stupid yourself. As documented in many cases that seems to be different in the US, where you have to explain customers that the coffee you sell is hot to be safe side legally.

…small manufacturers have the same problem with the laws and liability towards the customer

I am totally with you on that one.
If you sell a ready to use system over here to end customers, then you do have to comply with the regular liability laws and that is e.g. “secure to operate” and in Germany 2 years of warranty.
I know someone in legal dispute with paramotor manufacture on the petrol engine reliability and service quality. While I am pretty sure the service quality was actually bad, I am not sure if the claim on engine reliability is justified.
With the low volumes and low margins in PPG, the customer expectations and consumer rights can definitely be an issue for shop operators and small manufactures.

I am sure a bunch of people would be interested in buying a copy of your super nice trike Thomas. Maybe we can get you to the point of offering it commercially one day, or open source the build details :wink:

I see your point of view 1: 1 as it is wrongly described in motoschirm.de by non-manufacturers and hobby dealers. just read logs of flight accidents and see how each screw is examined in detail. you mix 2 things:

there are individual pieces that everyone can build and are liable for them. that’s OK. as long as there is no sale and the owner has enough assets in the event of damage or is well insured. 99% of the insurances do not pay if it turns out that it is sloppily self-built and is not a properly checked aircraft. if the cause is your own mistake, the insurance company just laughs.

but as soon as a manufacturer falls under trade law, he is fully responsible for his product. you can use it to fly with dgac, but in no case does that mean that the aircraft does not have to be state of the art.

a manufacturer is obliged to not cause any damage to the customer with the product. if necessary, he must have it checked externally if he cannot do it himself. for example the load test of the harness, the carabiner line to the reserve parachute, etc.

I can only recommend and ask your insurance if you have one for accident or disability and tell them that you build everything yourself. I am sure that you have to explain very quickly why you are doing this and where the authorization comes from.

Many insurance companies see it this way: as soon as you build something yourself it falls under “prototype test flight” and that is very often not insured!