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Wheel launchable paramotors into the SPHG definition?

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  • Paul Dewhurst
    replied
    Wheel launchable paramotors into the SPHG definition?

    BMAA lobbied CAA in the ANO review to deregulate for licensing single person paramotor a with a wheeled adaption. And Geoff and two bods from the CAA ( and I think Francis) met at the WMPC so CAA could see what it was all about. I spoke with one of them and he seemed very receptive indeed and saw the logic clearly.

    Paul

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  • Bob Hood
    replied
    Wheel launchable paramotors into the SPHG definition?

    Steve,

    I totally agree. This crossover genre of non nano trike really is the missing link from HG to microlight. It even manages to out nano Flylight nano trikes, and seems to be designed to be used with completely standard HG wings, like the Doodlebug was.

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  • Steve Uzochukwu
    replied
    Wheel launchable paramotors into the SPHG definition?

    This is looking like another missed opportunity for the BMAA.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Wheel launchable paramotors into the SPHG definition?

    Ian, there are two approaches to the issue that are currently being talked about. One is to retain some element of "foot-launched", either by the CAA interpreting "the aircraft is foot-launched" as meaning that is is able to be or by changing the definition to say "is able to be foot-launched". The other is to remove the reference to foot-launched and use some measurable criterion such as you suggested, a wing loading. The craft you link to is where the most problem exists, I think, and the fact that SPHG encompasses both paraglider and hang glider makes any definition that covers both difficult to agree. The craft you link to looks like it pushes the weight limit (what is its unladen full fuel weight?). Most powered hang gliders are 60 to 70 kg whereas most powered paragliders are leass than 40 kg.
    If you can establish a formula for determining what wing loading limit you would place then it might be possible to included wheel launched powered hang gliders, but that formula would have to limit powered paragliders too and I suspect the wing loading you would want for HG would permit too small a wing on a PG? Or you could argue for different wing loadings for PG and HG?

    Alternatively if the Zee is able to be foot launched then the first approach may cover it.
    A challenge under the Equalities Act 2010 has now been initiated and we wait to see the result of that.
    In the meantime if you have someone who can assist with the wing loading calculation for hg that would be helpful.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Wheel launchable paramotors into the SPHG definition?

    Francis, would you please try to include this style of flying within the exemption...

    http://www.hangglidingschool.com/The-Zee/More-Zee

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Wheel launchable paramotors into the SPHG definition?

    Actually I'd be quite happy to see a lower loading limit around the 14-15 kg per square meter! If we use high values then we end up with all the development going in the wrong direction. The whole slalom craziness has warped paramotor development for the worse lately and we mustn't let that happen here too.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Wheel launchable paramotors into the SPHG definition?

    Thanks for that Paul.
    Foot launched Paramotor wings typically are loaded at between 6 and 9 kg per square metre. Using a human capability instead of a wing loading is fundamentally contrary to the Equalities Act 2010 as it regulates according to a "Protected Characteristic". The "is foot-launched" clause in the SPHG definition was introduced prior to 2010. It may be that simply by the CAA being encouraged to interoret that clause as "is able to be foot launched" would allow the SPHG definition to remain as it is but still conform to teh Equalities Act?

    This approach would mean that no change to the law is required, merely a policy decision by the CAA?

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  • Paul Dewhurst
    replied
    Wheel launchable paramotors into the SPHG definition?

    It's all about energy and that's a consistent approach throughout aviation - and is used to determine level of oversight and regulation.

    Foot launched is a very neat way of ensuring low wing loading and hence low energy, which inherently makes it harder to kill yourself, and makes it the lowest tier in aviation risk hierarchy and hence why it is unregulated ( in UK at least).

    Add wheels and flight is capable at significantly higher wing loadings, speed and energy. And having wheels it's much easier fir someone without any training to open the throttle and get airborne in a craft that can kill them much more easily.

    Hence such craft generally attract regulation in the form of mandatory training and licensing - all pretty logical.

    So in order to petition to remove the requirement for training / licensing this basic problem needs addressing - how do you safeguard against this potential risk?

    What is being offered to cover this seems to be a 70kg max empty weight? - but does it really cover it? Wing weights for small wings are only 3kg or so, and a trike can be made for 20kg leaving 45kg or so for motor - a small rotary or tuned two stroker of well over 50hp is more than feasible at this sort of figure. Would make an exciting craft. But where is the argument that it is so much easier or inherently safer than other microlights that it warrants deregulating from training?

    So this is why theBMAA's thinking was to define something that intrinsically has no more energy than a paramotor - by it being a foot launch able paramotor with a wheeled attachment, that then can be argued as needing no more regulation for training than in paramotor guise.

    There may be other ways to achieve the same thing - but it needs to effectively rule out development of fast high energy and difficult to handle craft.

    And it's set against a tough background - CAA were only recently considering mandating training and testing for paramotor pilots after an air prox incident that raised a few eyebrows. BMAA beat that one back, but the concern about unlicensed pilots could resurface and make expansion arguments tough.

    Paul

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  • johnkendall
    replied
    Wheel launchable paramotors into the SPHG definition?

    I wish you every success. It's always seemed a silly rule to me.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Wheel launchable paramotors into the SPHG definition?

    2 place foot launched is invaluable for training. Just like tandem PG is for teaching soaring.
    2 place paramotor from wheels makes the launch much safer than on foot. However I feel that a higher level of training should be imposed (both powered and unpowered tandem) even for sub 70kg craft. Possibly restricting use for genuine training of solo pilots?

    I acknowledge it is problematic when it comes to non pilots in the P2 place but no more so than tandem PG and probably safer.

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  • johnkendall
    replied
    Wheel launchable paramotors into the SPHG definition?

    Sorry Francis. I remember about the "is footlaunched" part now. Surely everything else works. Let's just try and get that removed and keep it simple. That said, what are your views on 2 seaters?

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Wheel launchable paramotors into the SPHG definition?

    Sorry Paul I didnt read your response carefully enough. You calculate less than half the wing size I do. I need to look at my numbers again.

    Although even a 10 metre wing takes some "flying" but is footlaunchable.

    Looking at it the other way if a 4.5 metre wing was proved to be footlaunchable then the same logic would apply, if it can be foot launched why preclude its launch from wheels.

    But I do not think, in your example of a 4.5 metre wing, you would find enough power to supply that tiny wing with a 70kg power plant limit (including wing, frame harness and fuel) (not with anything currently available).

    We are currently flying 20 to 25 metre wings at up to 50mph top speed from foot launch. The development of smaller faster but with footlaunchable slow speeds is very rapid at present.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Wheel launchable paramotors into the SPHG definition?

    Ian what limit of wing loading would you set? I have approached that from the other end of the lift equation and, if my calcs are correct, the existing definition already limits this to 10 or 12 square metres (assuming a pilot of 100kg that would be 170kg per 10 sq metres or 17kg per sq metre, is that any where near your ball park?)

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Wheel launchable paramotors into the SPHG definition?

    John, sorry if this appears pedantic but the SPHG definition does not say "must be footlaunched" it says "is footlaunched" and the semantics are important for enforcement. At present, provided the aircraft can be footlaunched and is footlaunched (passive infinitive tense) on some ongoing basis then it is, semantically, within a legitimate (in English) interpretation of the letter of that law. Whether that was the intended spirit could only be determined by a judge if there were a prosecution. Some are absolutely adamant that such a defence would fail, others are sufficiently sure it would succeed that they regularly fly a footlaunchable paramotor from wheels, quite openly, without any expectation or hint of enforcement action.

    Many more are seeing this and asking "so what, if anything, does the clause 'is footlaunched' bring to the party?"

    The result is that there are now many places selling and training on the use of these craft and this training is without any oversight or standardisation. If the clause "is footlaunched" were removed or interpreted by CAA enforcement as meaning "is able to be footlaunched" then there are at least 10 BHPA regulated training establishments who could offer standaradised training virtually overnight.

    Other legal problems with the ANO definition include the fact that the term "foot-launched" or even "launched" hos no specific definition in the ANO so can only be interpreted as having the meaning in "general usage" and, in paragliding, the term "launch" often is applied to a wing being inflated it prior to take-off. i.e. we teach forward and reverse launch without actually taking off.
    Enforcement is rather problematic until precedent is set by a case and a judgement.

    From a common sense perspective a paramotor flies excatly the same performance whether it takes off from wheels or on foot (or a combination as with powered hang gliders) so why have the distinction and the resulting loss of training opportunities to regulated schools whilst unregulated ones take all the growing market share?

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Wheel launchable paramotors into the SPHG definition?

    Paul the 35 knots is the current ANO definition of an SPHG an aircraft comprising
    aerofoil wing and a mechanical propulsion device which
    a) is footlaunched
    b) has a stall speed or minimum steady state speed of less than 35kts calibrated airspeed and
    c) has a maximum unladen mass, including full fuel, of less than 70 kg

    My questions is what difference does removing the clause a) make to what is possible to create under that (remaining) definition

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