See Upcoming Paramotor
2011 Phoenix Flying Circus & Paratoys
This year the Aussies are coming. I plan to be at both events although I
won't get to Mo's until Sat afternoon since I'm having to work Friday,
ending in Baltimore, and get in to PHX too late to try navigating
several miles of unfamiliar dirt road. I've been to Mo's place before
but only via an airplane. He's got a full runway which is cool.
I'll be hanging with Brett Paull and a group of his Australian mates who
have graciously offered me a birth on their rental motorhome. Gonna have
my digital scale for weighing paramotors and GPS for measuring speed of
wings. Hopefully I'll be a bit more thorough on the hard numbers when I
We'll probably leave Mo's on Sunday afternoon for a few days of dune
dodging before heading over to the Salton Sea.
This is the first time I'll be shipping the Miniplane so I'm curious to
see how that goes. I'll probably remove the motor (4 motor mounts) to
ship it separately and put the frame in a separate box. There will be
lots of crossed fingers.
If everything goes well I won't be running the competition at Paratoys
but will instead be competing. Come join us but sign up early (www.USPPA.org)
for some good clean fun. This year we'll again allow wheeled craft to
compete so there's no excuse not to participate.
There promises to be a lot of machines to check out at Paratoys not the
least of which is a new 4-stroke. I'm a foot launch guy but the wheeled
craft are a good time, too, and if I have to trailer something, it's
gonna darn well be a 4-stroke. I don't care whether they're generator
motors or not, they've GOT to be more reliable than the 2-stroke
machines. I've not compiled any data, nor would I know where to start,
but a casual survey suggests that less maintenance is required.
The USPPA competition is open to anyone flying any equipment. Don't be
confused with Mike Robinson's restriction on a separate event, a kiting
competition, to be for "non professionals" on regular wings, NOT
ultralight paragliders. The reason being that last year, Chad Bastian,
won easily with his Ozone Ultralight which can kite in about a 3 mph
wind. Of course lets not dismiss the fact that Chad is also an expert
wing handler. But I had to keep moving just to keep my wing up while he
could stand there. I don't spite Chad one bit--if I had an ultralight
wing like his, I'd have done the same thing. Competition is always
largely about using the right equipment and knowing the rules.
Speaking of Mountain Wings
I've had several people ask me about these lightweight wings, probably
because they've fallen prey to the misinformation campaign that is Dell
Schanze. He's the sport's biggest blower of bullocks, telling people
mountain wings will last as long as regular models. Poppycock! Any
manufacturer rep that I've talked, and one respected glider inspector,
says it's just common sense. These wings are made with thinner, lighter
fabric and inevitably trade off some longevity in the process.
They're great to launch for the same reason Chad's Ultralight let him
win the kiting war--they come up extremely easily. But don't expect them
to last as long as the company's regular gliders. There are plenty of
gliders out there with great inflation characteristics that you
shouldn't need to resort to using mountain wings for regular flying.
There's nothing WRONG with doing so, of course, as long as you're
willing to pay some price in longevity. As always, just know what you're