Paramotoring is the latest development in the range of
foot-launched ultralight air sports. It is literally an aeroplane in the
boot of the car! A small petrol engine drives a propeller, and the whole
unit is strapped to your back as you fly beneath a standard paragliding
Not only is this minimum aviation par excellence, it is
also the easiest powered aircraft you can learn to fly. Launching and
landing on your feet means an all-terrain operation, without the
limitations imposed by rough, wet or grazed fields when using a wheeled
undercarriage. Once dismantled, the paramotor and paraglider can be
transported easily - even taken on a plane to your holiday destination.
Paragliding or Paramotoring?
Paragliding has developed into a popular aviation sport
in the last 14 years. It is an evolution of hang gliding, but without a
rigid structure - easier to learn, lighter in weight, but most important
of all can be carried in a rucksack.
Canopy design over the last few years has seen amazing
progress, combining more performance with increased safety. Nowadays a
typical paraglider stalls at around 5 mph with a top speed of 25 mph. The
glide ratio is between 6:1 and 9:1 (a hang glider = 11:1). Sink rate is
typically around 250 feet per minute.
While a standard paraglider needs a hill or mountain to
self launch, adding a paramotor unit enables take off to be achieved
within a few paces from any suitable flat field. Unlike hill flying, the
wind direction is not important and there is no minimum wind speed
A paramotor is, however, a fair weather machine -
flying in strong or gusty winds is not recommended. A paramotor has a fuel
duration of up to 3.5 hours, making cross-country or extended local flying
a possibility. Landing out near a petrol station can get you back in the
air straight away!
The engine can be switched off once airborne to glide
gently back down to earth for a slow power-off landing. Alternatively you
can use thermal lift to climb to cloud base, or soar in ridge lift in the
same way that sailplanes, hang gliders and paragliders can when favorable
conditions exist. An electric start allows re-starting of the engine in
mid-air, extending the possibilities of this versatile motor-glider.
With the paramotor disconnected, you can use your
paraglider wing and harness to fly from hills or mountains, joining the
thousands of people who already enjoy this unique sport throughout the