Wednesday 26 December 2012

PPG helmet with earmuffs - DIY


Yesterday I made a paramotor helmet with proper earmuffs to protect my hearing when flying.
I ordered snowboard helmet and Peltor Optime III earmuffs. It took a bit of preparation, fitting, drilling some holes and screwing.
Everything looks and fits good. Can't wait to try it out :)

Here is a manual in Polish which I used as a guidence.

Wednesday 19 December 2012

Dudek Synthesis coastal flying


I had a couple of opportunities to fly coastal cliffs in Stanwell Park with Dudek Synthesis in free flight configuration  (without paramotor and with standard harness).

My take off weight is c.a. 90 kg. The wing size is 25 so it is 25m^2 wing.

On the one hand it is a bit small for me but on the other I have Sigma 6 which is 28m^2 and I am a bit light to fly it. Depending on the wind conditions I can switch wings and most of the time both are out and ready to fly on the hill.

The take off

I was taking off only in the classic way (i.e. standing front to the wing) because of strong wind on the site in Stanwell Park. There were no problems with rising the glider over the head. With Synthesis I am not afraid of overshooting and total front collapsing during inflation period. Reflex wings are resistant to this which I can confirm.

Ground handling is easier then with Sigma, glider wants to stay above you.

The flight

Right after take off I was sinking down like stone unlike the others who were gaining height. Sink rate is significantly greater even with fully closed trimmers in comparison to Sigma and other pilots flying that day. The knowledge about the site was helpful and I gained height quickly. However I was still the lowest flying paraglider pilot that day.

What happens when you fully open the trimmers?

You can fell the acceleration. Woah! It is so fast, almost like hang glider. I was overtaking every single PG pilot on the site. Sink rate increases even more but with strong wind conditions you want to fly in this configuration. It is the safest and fastest one.
The breaks become heavier and it is convenient to steer with small balls to make a turn (line is going to the tip of the wing). They are surprisingly effective. On speedbar the wing becomes 60+km/h fast but the sink rate... you know what happens ;) ... I did not want to end up on the beach just because of playing around with the speedbar.

The landing

I did the top landings only. With use of trimmers it is easy to maintain level flight during the approach (Stanwell Park site is quite specific for top landing). In the final  moment I pull the trimmers totally to slow down the wing (not too late!) and decrease the sink rate. Then stalling the wing is as easy as that and you are on the ground.

Is it good coastal flying wing? 

In my opinion it is good wing for strong wind conditions when you would no be flying normal (non-reflex) wing. I am happy to keep both wings for different weather conditions.

Here is movie of Martin Wysocki (a.k.a Hollywood) landing in Stanwell Park on Synthesis.


Sunday 2 December 2012

My travel with a paramotor by airline

How to transport paramotor (powered paraglider) in airlines?

First of all I want you to be aware that there are no strict rules saying if you can transport paramotor on the commercial aircraft or not. It all depends on safety officer who is on duty that day day and it is "case by case" issue.

I transported my paramotor from Poland to Sydney (Australia).

The journey started in Kolobrzeg. I traveled by train to Gdansk with one stop (c.a. 350km). Then I had flight from Gdansk to Frankfurt, from Frankfurt to Shanghai and finally from Shanghai to Sydney. To be honest I was worried the most about the german part of the journey.

Paramotor on the train and ready to go to the plane.

I started preparing my paramotor one day before. The paramotor was flown so you could have smell the petrol. I cleaned carefully the whole engine and harness. It is not easy to get rid of the petrol's smell. I cleaned the tank and carburator and finally  made sure that there is no fuel left.

Next I bought huge 'gipsy bag', plenty of bubble wrap and black stretch foil. I put black foil and bubble wrap all around the paramotor to make sure there was no smell anymore.

Packing paramotor and preparing it to go to onboard of the plane.

Detailed description how I prepared the paramotor to travel will be posted soon.
Paramotor fit in the bag. I secured all the vulnerable elements (like air intake filter) with cardboard since the bag is not rigid.

Paramotor packed in the gipsy bag and almost ready to go to the plane

Final step was to put as much foam and paper protection as I could fit inside the bag.
Paramotor's cage was protected with pipe-foams and hold together with zip-ties. The wing fit inside the inner part of the cage's halves. Then this whole 'sandwitch' was wreped with black stretch foil.

In this way I had two pieces of luggage. Two HUGE pieces of luggage. See below:         

Paramotor gear packed sitting on airport's trolley ready to go to the plane.

Did it work?

Yes, it did. Paramotor in a bag was declared as my personal luggage and the cage with wing was as the sport equipment.

The greatest trouble I had in Gdansk. Security officers paid to much attention to my luggage. They called me by speakers and interviewed in security room. I had to destroy the paramotor foil cover from inside the bag and show that there is no petrol. Fortunately there was no fuel smell which could have make them stubborn about the safety.

After this incident there was no further issue with the luggage. It landed safetly in Sydney. No one was interested in it anymore (according to my knowledge).


Sport equipment LOT Polish Airlines GDA->FRA: 37Euro
Sport equipment China Eastern FRA->SYD: 100 Euro

TOTAL 137 Euro
and that is it! No additional fees for oversized luggage (which surely was!).

Good luck with your paramotor journeys!