Educational by Chapter of the Powered Paragliding Bible

I: First Flight

01 Training Process

02 Gearing Up

03 Handling the Wing

04 Prep For 1st Flight

05 The Flight

06 Flying With Wheels 

II: Spreading Wings

07 Weather Basics

08 The Law

09 Airspace   

10 Flying Anywhere

11 Controlled Airports

12 Setup & Mx

13 Flying Cross Country

14 Flying With Others

III: Mastery

15 Adv Ground Handling

16 Precision Flying

17 Challenging Sites

18 Advanced Maneuvers

19 Risk Management

20 Competition

21 Free Flight Transition

IV: Theory

22 Aerodynamics

23 Motor & Propeller

24 Weather & Wind

25 Roots: Our History

V: Choosing Gear

26 The Wing

27 The Motor Unit

28 Accessories

29 Home Building

VI: Getting the Most

30 Other Uses

31 Traveling With Gear

32 Photography


--- Not in book ---

33 Organizing Fly-Ins

34 Places To Fly

35 Preserving the Sport

36 Tandem

Chapter 25: Roots - History of Powered Paragliding

Jan 15, 2007 | Section IV: Theory & Understanding

Past Paramotors   Pilots PPG Club   Timeline    Parastars First Fly-In 2001

The sport hasn't been around for very long but, then again, in the greater scheme of humanity, neither has flying.

Our history starts with parachutes, wends through some interesting twists and lost lineages and eventually comes through paragliding. The book goes into a few offshoots including David Barish whose work predated even the earliest efforts that eventually led to commercial success.

Like archeology, new information is always being dug up and it will be placed here when we learn of it. The latest has been condensed here in the TimeLine.

Below are addresses; pieces of history from the Wills Wing Dealer listing page (up as of Sept 20, 2007). Unfortunately, they are no longer current. Pago Jets have long been discontinued.

If you have contact information from either Patrick or Don, please let them know I would love to interview them for a continuing history of our sport in the U.S.

Early French Homebuilt

2009-11-28 Francesco DeSantis provided these pictures and a look back at our early history. Given the dearth of production paramotors in 1989, it's not surprising that French paraglider enthusiast, Axel Charles-Messance, and a friend, built his own. He is pictured below flying the unit under an Alien wing built by Custom Sail (a wing Francesco also flew).

Axel is a journalist living in Bethesda Maryland, having just moved from a 2-year stint in London. He's recently gotten back into powered paragliding but now with a much, much lighter weight machine. Welcome back Axel!

1) Foot dragging started right away. 2) Following watercraft--hmmm, look familiar? 3 & 4) Reconnecting with the sport.


© 2016 Jeff Goin & Tim Kaiser   Remember: If there's air there, it should be flown in!