2010 Mar 6 The latest happenings in the world of Electrics
It's frustrating that so little seems to be happening on the
electric front in some ways but, at the same time, smaller efforts seem
to be reaping rewards. Lately, I've seen three new electrics come on the
scene including two drive trains that for sale. These will wind up on
but I thought them newsworthy for FootFlyer, too. Yuneec is still actively
working on their goodies and will hopefully make their target of having
something commercially available. Fresh Breeze has a commercial unit
that, unfortunately, hasn't arrived on U.S. shores yet.
While I'm not the early adopter type, I can't wait to see those guys start flying electrics.
It won't likely be their primary motor, and it won't be cheap, so the first ones will go to the
well heeled. My hat's off to those folks because, if it weren't for
them, the rest of would have to wait a lot longer for the coolest innovations.
ParaWatt by Pierre Renault, France
guys have been quietly building an electric machine for the past four
years--work that has paid off by creating a salable drive train that can
be used by other makers. After seeing pictures, I inquired with the
usual questions and the lead developer, Pierre, was most helpful.
Computer translators are remarkable, making up for my utter lack of
foreign language skills and letting us communicate reasonably well.
ParaWatt's story involves four "impassioned technicians" who have
worked on the electric paramotor for more than 4 years, testing many
existing motors, and finding nothing that approached what they wanted
from a quality point of view of, reliability and safety. So they created
one. The one in these pictures is their fifth prototype.
Here are the specifics, provided verbatim, from Pierre using a
computer French-to-English Translator.
The price of the engine is of 1794 € and the price of the
controller is of 699 €. We do not propose complete paramoteurs, but only
the engine intended for manufacturers of paramotor or light ULM.
The price of battery 13S is approximately 1600 € at Kokam in Korea.
The maximum trust is of 55 kgF with a propeller of 130 cm. Note: I
asked about a thrust/duration curve but they haven't done that kind of
testing yet. No worries, neither has anyone else.
The weight of our prototype is 31 kg, but it is a laboratory. I
think that it is possible to make less than 30 kg ready for the use.
We have 14 kg of batteries.
Battery is a LiPo
Special Chargeur/equilibror LiPo regulated over 4 hours charge.
The four team members are Pierre Renault, Louis Fourdan, Patrick Seme, Jean-Pierre Hochart. More pictures are
They're not allowed to fly paramotors in Switzerland. And now that
I've been there, it's almost (not quite, but almost) understandable. A
noisy motor would reverberate through any valley it flew in and, given
that most of the country lives in valleys, that's a lot of area. So
they're trying to get electric propulsion exempted and this looks like a
good start. No info on sales or pricing yet.
I got a bunch of letters about this one—a home-grown wheeled PPG by
Pierre Beney. It's built with off-the-shelf Radio Control model
motors. Looking at the video doesn't say much about it beyond the search
for improvements. It doesn't appear to have much of a climb rate but
hey, it's hefting the extra weight and drag of a cart so that's not so
surprising. One great aspect of rolling for takeoff is letting the
wheels do the lifting. Batteries are heavy. Hopefully we can more
details on this down the road.
The Swiss made FlyTec e-Drive, offered for trikes,
powered hang gliders and paramotors.
More information here.