Buying Guide: Paramotor

12/31/2014 How to look at the many options available.

I commonly get questions about paramotors. What's the best? What's the most reliable? What's the lightest and so on. They're frequently good questions but can also be the wrong questions.

First of all, this is for those who are looking for their second machine because new pilots are sooooo much better to buy either from their instructor or buy a unit that he's familiar with. Another thing is that there's almost no way a new pilot will tell the difference. Some configurations are more difficult to learn on. Why make it harder? It's not that you can't learn on them, it's that it's not necessary.

So what matters? What works and what's hype? Some recent developments had all the makings of hype but turned out to actually be effective. That's cool. It's part of why I think this would be a fun, useful project.

It is *NOT* going to go through every machine on the market. Rather it's going to look at different styles, different tradeoffs, and provide some understanding of what you're looking at. We will, of course, show a lot of different machines but not with the intent of claiming one is "better" than another. Usually that's not the case, it's that some machines, for some people, are poor choices. For someone else they may be fine.

So this is intended to help you be a knowledgeable consumer, to provide examples of  what's out there and what tradeoffs are made.

The proposed outline is on the right, if you can think of other areas that would be interesting to include, by all means send a note to

If all goes well, filming will start in about March. There will be some animations to explain concepts but they will be brief. This will be more about showcasing various motors in an effort to see their strengths and weaknesses.

As usual I've got lots of ideas, some which will require building a sturdy simulator structure that allows for some articulation and hopefully thrust testing. There will be no effort to rate all the machines based on thrust since it's simply impractical. But I do hope to show what goes into turning the same amount of fuel into more or less thrust.

No timeline exists yet but I'd love to have it finished by October or so. Living in Florida has it's drawbacks, number one is relentless nice weather that keeps me from writing, film, etc. On the other hand, relentless nice weather is good for playing, too!


2015 Remember, If there's air there, it should be flown in!