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Thread: PPG wing vs. Powered Parachute wing

  1. #1

    PPG wing vs. Powered Parachute wing

    Hi folks:

    I'd like your input on some design tradeoffs I'm looking at.

    I've got a build thread for a powered paraglider quad, but I recently read an FAA item that has me reconsidering PPG wing vs. Powered parachute wing. I was reading in the FAA's Powered Parachute Flying Handbook about the IMSAFE checklist for pilot fitness. in particular, I have an old back injury which can go into spasm and essentially immobilize me. This would be critical with a paraglider wing since the wing is steered by holding my arms out at my sides and moving them up and down - a movement impossible if I have a spasm. If I take a muscle relaxant prophylactically to prevent spasm, then I'm not meeting the medication checklist item (though there are low dose, low drowsiness alternatives). Because of this risk I'm leaning towards a powered parachute wing with foot steering (which won't risk a back spasm).

    Unfortunately, I'm not happy about the tradeoffs of a powered parachute wing:

    1) slower flying speed
    2) greater airframe structural requirements which put FAR103 limits in jeapordy

    I did find a 450 ft^2 powered parachute wing with a 350kg load that is faster than a traditional rectangular planform powered parachute wing:

    http://www.apcoaviation.com/products...oduct=lift2ppc

    This wing is listed as being for experiences pilots (which I'm not), but training might offset this issue.

    Any thoughts to help me navigate these options?

    Thanks, Michael

  2. #2
    Dana's Avatar
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    Powered parachutes are faster, not slower, than powered paragliders. The newer elliptical PPC wings are somewhere in the middle, more maneuverable than a rectangular PPC wing but not as maneuverable as a PPG wing. If you have trouble with your arms than a foot controlled PPC might be a better choice. As far as any "medication checklist", I'm not sure what you mean but there are no medical requirements for PPGs which operate as ultralights and even PPCs are all light-sport meaning the pilot "self certifies" he's fit to fly.

  3. #3
    I'd be surprised if a powered parachute was faster - so how fast would a PPC be that was FAR 103 with a 36-40hp motor and a 450 square foot wing? The numbers I've seen for PPG's are in the 40mph range, and the PPC info I've seen seems to place them in the 25mph range. I didn't know about the elliptical PPC option previously, but it looks promising. The medication checklist is for the pilot fitness IMSAFE acronym in the FAA book on powered parachutes. Illness, Medication, Stress, Alcohol, Fatigue and Emotion. There was a specific mention of muscle relaxants as problematic, and they really do make me drowsy and slow thinking. I'm hoping to get 250-300 pounds of thrust from what I've read. I'm a big guy, so I'll need it. Thanks for your reply.
    Last edited by Michael Miles; 04-29-2018 at 11:50 PM.

  4. #4
    Whoops! I forgot to put a link in with my build thread: http://eaaforums.org/showthread.php?...araglider-Quad

    It describes the details of the design in total. I post separate thread for single issues.

    Thanks, Michael

  5. #5
    Dana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Miles View Post
    I'd be surprised if a powered parachute was faster - so how fast would a PPC be that was FAR 103 with a 36-40hp motor and a 450 square foot wing? The numbers I've seen for PPG's are in the 40mph range, and the PPC info I've seen seems to place them in the 25mph range.
    No, you have it backwards. PPGs are in the 20 mph range, PPCs more like 30 or so. The tiny "speed flying" PPG wings are faster, but they're way out of the mainstream... remember, you still have to land on your feet.

    A typical PPG is 15-25HP, a typical PPC is 40-65HP (square PPC wings are much less efficient than elliptical PPG wings).

    Very few PPCs are part 103, most are 2 seat and LSA. PPGs are all 103 with extremely few exceptions.

  6. #6

  7. #7

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    Green Eagle is a good machine. Agree with your plans comment. Modify a PPG for the foot steering and you will do well. Needs to be within 254 pound UL limit.

    Reference the ASC web site. There is a FAA revision that allows wheels on PPC for 2 seat training. Just what you need.

  8. #8
    Hi Jedi - what is the "ASC web site?" American Society for Cytopathology? I need to find the attach point measurements for PPG's vs PPC's. It looks like the PPC's are wider, but I need to find the details.

  9. #9
    Dana's Avatar
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    Aero Sports Connection

    PPC wing connections are definitely wider.

  10. #10
    Thanks for the info.

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