Paramotor Trike (Cart) Reviews
Trikes, Quads and other configurations that mate a paramotor to
wheels for launch and/or landing
2009 Cheap Trike
2008 Trike Buggy
Understanding Paramotor Suspension (Harness) Systems
Walk and roll!
Adding wheels to a paramotor can make it a whole different craft and
there are many flavors. My experience suggests that transitioning to wheels is easy provided the pilot heeds some simple advice
as covered in the Powered Paragliding Bible and your qualified
The variation in craft is dramatic. Additional material will be added
to Footflyer under Chapter 6: Trikes and Chapter 28 on choosing a trike.
term trike suggests 3 wheels, quads are also common which have (as
you figured) 4 wheels. Other variations have 5 and 6 wheels. The 8 wheel
variant shown at right is too bizarre to name and, to my knowledge, I'm
the only one to do it. Inline skating is another pastime of mine so it
only made sense to mixed the two. I've not seen
anyone launch while strapped to a bicycle, either.
The distinction between powered parachutes (PPC's) and Wheeled
powered paragliders can blur. Mostly it depends on the wing. If the same
wing is being sold in any quantity to foot launch pilots then it's safe
to say that the combination is more powered paraglider than powered
parachute. For review purpose, I classify them in 3 flavors.
1) Wheel Only machines that are not intended to be foot
launched. The only difference between these and powered parachutes is
the wing. It's still a wheeled powered paraglider if it uses a wing and
riser set commonly flown by foot-launch pilots.
2) Wheel Only PPC hybrids are those requiring special wings or
riser sets. The SD PPCg is an example. Although it's wing is essentially
a Prima, it hooks each separate riser set (A's, B's, C's and D's) to
separate connections on the frame.
3) Cart Attachments are, by far, the most common. They attach
to a foot-launch paramotor so that it can be launched with wheels.
Probably the most important bit of advice is to never accept a
takeoff with the wing oscillating. Every trike crash I've seen (and I've
seen a lot!) has been caused by this malady. It may take great discipline to
overcome the urge to launch but it's well worth it. If the wing is
oscillating, either fore/aft or left/right, abort or get it under
control firstóskip the hospital/repair time and pain.
During launch a trike should lift off the front wheel(s) first lest
it try to twist awkwardly. The A's, if required to be held, should be
within easy reach.
If you have good wing
handling skills, transitioning to wheels should be pretty easy. In a
no-wind condition, wheels make it much easier. In stronger winds, wheels
become a liability and require significant skill but can be managed.
There are a many other tidbits, of course, and you'll benefit greatly
from quality instruction.
There are a number of attributes that determine cart characteristics.
The most important are wheel base and center of gravity (CG). A wide
wheelbase and low CG increase stability.
Some units have a method of self steering where the wing tends to
turn the craft in the direction it's pulling.
Some also have a method to pull the A's during inflation and others
have the manufacturer suggest not pulling the A's at all although most
trike pilots say that is rarely a good idea if the unit doesn't do it
I'm not an experienced trike pilot but have made 9 flights on 9
different trikes and have yet to blow a launch.
Wheeled machines do not fall under
sport pilot just because they have wheels. As long as they're single
place and weigh less than 254 pounds they're ultralights and fall under
FAR 103 (in the U.S.). If you have another seat then, regardless of
weight, it probably falls under sport pilot.