It’s a parachute fitted with motor and wheels. It can take one or two passengers. It’s also considered as the most economical motorized air vehicle. A new one person powered parachute has a cost of about ten thousand dollars. A top notch two-seater on the other hand can cost about fifteen to twenty thousand. A motor scooter can also be converted which costs approximately six thousand.
Its airspeed is twenty five to thirty five miles per hour (that is forty to sixty kilometers per hour) and can fly of up to one thousand five hundred feet and the capacity of going as high as eighteen thousand feet. The world record for the lowest flight is 10 inches which can support up to five hundred pounds. One person variants don’t entail a license to operate. They can be learned in five to seven days by an average student. They only require one hundred feet (thirty kilometers) of land to be able to take off and land.
They are securer than conventional fixed wing aircrafts because they are more stable, few control inputs and less stall resistance. They can be handled by engine or moving its steering bars. The engine controls the rate of vertical climbing while the steering bars cause deflection which initiates horizontal turns.
Landings are relatively safe as long as the pilot as has an appropriate landing site. They generally have square wings which are more stable, resistant to stalls and chute collapse. Other designs have elliptical wings which have greater air cells than the square winged variant. Most collapses are due to pilot and fault.
The only setback is weather conditions and cannot be used when wind speeds are ten to fifteen miles per hour. Other hazards comprises rotors and wake turbulence crated when other aircrafts are passing by. The pilot must also avoid hindrances such as power lines, trees, and other things that can be found in low terrains.
Powered parachutes fly near the ground so it’s much securer to fly upwind of obstacles. They cannot be forced to land on water since the pilot gets tangled with the parachute.
They can be utilized for photography and great for sightseeing. They are also utilized by flight organizations such as ELLASS (Emergency Low Level Aerial Search and Surveillance). It’s a search and rescue organization. They only entail small airports, yard strips and mown hay fields for take off and landing.
Powered parachutes are great alternatives for those who prefer to stay close to the ground. They can be easily learned and secured one for anyone.