Build it - Overview
 


 

 

 

When thinking about entering the world of Motorised Paragliding several options are available:
Build it | Buy it | Assemble it |
Build it Overview | Engine Types| Bar Types | Reduction Ratios

In essence one may build a powered paraglider out of many types of engines. We have even made one out of a motorcycle engine. The gearbox is cut off and replaces with a reduction ratio, to ensure the prop spins at a convenient speed (within the props power band- usually around 2400- 2800-rpm) and the engine operates within its maximum operating band. Reducing the size of the small one in relation to the large will increase the ratio and hence torque. Increasing the size of the large one will also achieve this same effect. The size of the large Vs small pulley will alter the speed that the prop spins (which is attached to the large one). For lighter pilots that do not require lots of thrust, the prop may be attached directly to the crank, i.e. a direct drive. Here a smaller prop may be also used (in order for the engine to turn it at the required speed), and cage may now also be reduced. Just monitor the prop RPM using a rev counter. The engine may be mounted upside down provided a diaphram carburetor is used or the engine and carburetor is designed for this purpose.

The prop size (both pitch and diameter) will also effect the speed at which the prop spins by the varying degrees of drag that is placed on the engine. I personally believe the most efficient prop is long and thin which results in minimized drag. The one disadvantage, which is viewed by some, is that the overall size of the cage increases. Each prop will be specific for each reduction ratio unless one uses variable pitches, which then may be altered for different take off altitudes and reduction ratios.

The harness is simply to attach the overall contraption to your back and the glider. Various systems may be used (hang bars, direct attachment, integrated bars in the harness and side J-bars). View this in this CD and the PPG book. Overall speaking once you are hanging in the harness the frame and prop must sit virtually vertically or 90 degrees to the horizontal ground or slightly back. The lie of the overall set up may be changed by clipping in higher, lower or using a foam wedge between the back of the harness and frame or using various clip in points for the glider. Always ensure a safety strap is used in case structural failure of one or other items occur. One must at all times be attached to the wing via your harness. (See below for various hanging systems).

Various canopies may be used, however usually higher performance wings do not have now to be utilized as one is now not relying on the performance of the wing to remain airborne. Additions worthwhile having fitted to your wing are a speed bar (to alter the flying speed of the wing), foot rest (to help get into the harness after take off) and trip tabs (to alter the flying speed of the wing). Having the front risers of A riser's split into to separate risers is also beneficial when inflating the wing. By pulling on the center A lines only ensures that the center of the wing will inflate first and outwards thereafter, making the inflation more controlled.

Material. Either mild steel, stainless steel (which may result in brittleness in some cases) or aluminum may be used. With aluminum we use from 19mm diameter with a wall thickness ranging from 1,6-2mm to 22mm diameter and similar wall thickneses. With mild steel a 19-mm diameter with a 0,9-wall thickness also works well and is just a light. The outer cage may be made using carbon fiber golf or fishing rod material, which is rigid, light and flexible. (View this on the CD). Aircraft aluminum may also be used however we do not believe that it is as important as many manufacturers are led to believe.

The pulleys and faceplates are made from high-grade aluminum and then may be chromes, anadized or simply left plain. The belt is a simple off the shelf poly V belt and bearings common sealed type.

Fuel is normal pump gas usually mixed with two-stroke oil. (Either 100% synthetic or normal motorbike two stroke). Check with the engine supplier first.

1. Always do a pre-flight check. Make sure all nuts bolts are tight and locked (spring washers, lock tight etc)
2. Always ensure there is a landing area below one and if not you have enough height to glide to one.
3. Always land and take off into the wind.
4. STAY OUT OF ROTOR.

Alternate Design



Zander Potgieter on his home built
100cc KT Yamaha go cart engine

Customise your own

MAKE YOUR OWN PPG NETTING.

Different colours and choose your line thickness.
How to make your own netting designed for your ppg.
By Roland Raffray South Africa.

 

 

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