This contraption is called a paramotor, and it flies. At least it is supposed to. This one comes courtesy of YouTuber Peter Sripol. He made it using a 3D printer and lots of duct tape. Using duct tape for anything even remotely related to saving your life is not a good idea. Oh, and he used 50 drone motors because, you know, it’s a nice round number.
What is a paramotor?
So, what is a paramotor? Basically, it is an ultralight paraglider with a motor screwed to it. They’re also called PPGs. You strap it to your back, grab your buttocks, and fire off the motor, or in this case motors. In theory, it is supposed to give enough push to get air.
Besides the duct tape and 3D printed parts, Sripol also used some standard paraglide parts. Like the wing and harness. He felt halfway safe because those are tested and known. Using 50 drone motors as your power source, on the other hand, is not.
This paramotor’s flying time is only five minutes
Being battery-powered, the paramotor’s flying time is only about five minutes. So he should also have a big clock to keep track of the time with only five minutes before plunging back to earth. However, there is no clock.
Weight, or the lack thereof, is everything in PPG paragliding. He determined that 50 drones were just enough. On one flying attempt, when one of the motors stopped working, Sripol couldn’t get enough thrust to take off. Some other attempts were also fails.
Based on the video, we would say that the lighter the pilot is, the more successful this death trap was. That’s the weight thing, again. The first thing you notice after he fires it off is the noise. It sounds like a million screeching bumblebees buzzing in a horror movie. But that’s OK, it just adds to the whole dramatic effect of this sketchy thing.
The RC controller was duct-taped to each pilot’s hand-great!
He used a wireless RC controller that everyone who attempted to fly this would duct tape to their hand. We would be more comfortable having it permanently attached to a tight-fitting glove. And that controller gave instantaneous power. There is no ramping up to speed. It’s like instant 10, though you can squeeze less to slow the motors down if you wish. Especially, if you’re preparing to land, you want to back off of the thrust but not completely shut off.
Generally, the number of experienced paragliders who tried this 50-drone paramotor had success. You wouldn’t want to just strap it on and go fly if you’ve never flown a paraglider before. So with a mild wind, an open field, and paragliding experience, it looks like a lot of fun. But without those three things, you’d be crazy to try.