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Electric Paramotor Competition - 4th March 2007 - View the entire paragliding news archive
First Competition for Electric Paragliders in Germany
The development of the electric paraglider is going from strength to strength with individuals from around the world pushing the capabilities of new battery and motor technologies. The German-based DULV have organised the first competition in this new class. The date is set for the 14th to 19th of May 2007 in Crawinkel. (I am getting married on the 12th May, so will be unable to attend!)
Related articles:- Electric Paramotor! |Electric PPG answers | Electric Future? | Electric Paramotor FAQ Videos:- Electric Paramotor - teaser! | Electric PPG in flight | Csaba talks about his electric PPG
Werner Eck a 60 year old powered paraglider pilot has recently built his own electric prototype. An accomplished pilot, Eck is striving for collaboration among the emerging developers of electric propulsion systems for powered paragliders. The picture below shows Eck's second protype, which performed it's first flight a week ago. Accordinfg to Werner Eck, 'Very unspectacular, with a fine deep sound.' The climbing rate with a total weight of 110kg should be about 1.5 to 2 metres/sec (not really measured yet). LiIoMn-Battery, 14 Cells and 25 Amp hours capacity. Weight of drive including harness is 9 kilograms plus the battery weight of 12.5 kilograms. The average output power of the 200 millimetres outrunner motor is 7.5 kilowatts at 90% (controller included). The prototype is directly driven with a folding CFK-Prop (diameter 1.42 metres, 1800 rpm and 40 Newton metres). Static thrust has been measured at 400 Newtons, flight-thrust at 10 metres/second was 360 Newtons.
Werner Eck: 'My first and second prototypes have made many successful flights with different pilots. This is a video of two of the very first flights. All the technical data of the drives is open for everybody. Richard Kruger-Sprengel (Helix) has built and successfully flown two samples of electric drives too. For my first protype I used a selfmade three phase 14 pole brushless motor, geared with a 1:3.5 belt-drive and powered by 12 LiIo cells with 28.8 Ah driving a 1.4m folding prop, which makes 1780Upm. Thrust at flight is nearly 400N. Complete weight is 18kg. The intention is to come in the thermal or slope upwind fast and easy, not too fly around in calm air.'
Helix have developed an electric PPGWerner Eck's electric PPG video
Csaba Lemak, co-inventor of the first widely publicised 'practical electric paramotor' (see links at the top of the page) has been invited to attend the electric powered paraglider competition, but was unavailable for comment since he is currently on a paragliding trip in the Dominican Republic. Werner Eck started the development of the electric driven paraglider in June 2005, not knowing that different teams had already tried it more or less successfully years before. His first idea to use two motors and propellers in front of the pilot did not work. He later came in contact with Richard Kruger Sprengel - owner of HELIX corp.- in October of 2005 to make testruns on his propeller test-stand. Discussing the pros and cons of different concepts of an electric powered paraglider (EPPG) he was convinced to go the conventional route. Richard had done some development work years before: 'I think it was 2001 when he had his first real flight with an electric powered paraglider. The flight time was only three and a half minutes, but this was the very first EPG flight in history. The battery technology was NiCad at this time and the weight of the drive was more than 40kg.' Times have changed and the Li-battery became significantly more powerful and affordable, when Richard and Werner discussed the matter. 'We decided to develop two different prototyps of an EPG independently in a loose cooperation. Richard's version is based on a modified lynch motor and I designed a completely new motor to reach low weight. Having some know how on high power ac-motors I designed a first prototype of an EPG based on a 7500rpm running outrunner and a belt drive 3.4:1 Plettenbergs motor or similar high power and low weight motors were not available at this time. This first prototype had its start-trials in June of 2006. The video shows two flights with this prototype by a testpilot about 15 kg above the design-weight. I have had some problems with the controller and the belt but I could fix it. After having burned two controllers and destroyed two sets of propeller-plates so many new ideas came up to start prototype two.'
Eck reports the maximum climbing height with the 12.5 kg battery pack to be about 800-900 metres, but this has yet to be measured. His development goals:- Drive to reach natural upwinds for slope and thermal soaring in flatlands or small mountains independant of other people. Lightweight and low noise level. Safe battery-technology (no possibility of burning or explosion) No extremly expensive special equipment No travelling over long distances with motor power 'I think I will have reached nearly all my goals and will test the new drive extensively within the coming flight session. I have given lectures at flight exhibitions and many interested people want to buy such a drive. I do not intend to make a business out of this development, but I will help some good flight friends to get their EPG for having no-noise-fun under the clouds after a low-noise-start. That is the story and it will go on...' Werner Eck is keen to hear from any other developers of electric powered paragliders from around the world so that they can pool their knowledge, share information and work together to make the electric dream a reality. Coming soon... an update from Csaba Lemak regarding the latest developments with his second prototype electric powered paraglider.
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