Have you heard of paramotors?

After this post, I’m planning to stop posting for a while. Getting out of the routine of doing it daily, alongside others, has kind of taken the steam out of it for me. I don’t want to be posting half-heartedly twice a week; I’d rather take a break for now (perhaps the summer months) and then go back to daily posting later.

I’ll keep updating other parts of the site from time to time, so you’ll still be hearing from me if you check back regularly.

Today I discovered this really cool one-person flight system called a paramotor. You wear a big motorized propeller on your back like a backpack, which gives you the thrust to get airborne. Then a parachute is attached behind that, which gives you control over your flight and descent.

Apparently there aren’t a ton of regulations on them in the US. The FAA classes them as an ultralight vehicle and therefore doesn’t require any licensing or registration to use one. That being said, you’d be taking a grave risk to pilot one without proper training. They’re not toys, and they take real knowledge and skill to fly.

Photo credit: Toni Castillo Quero

That aside, the paramotor seems to have all the things you’d want in a personal flight system. You get to fly out in the open (not enclosed), you can glide just over the ground or high up in the air, and the whole system is light and relatively portable (at least when compared to a plane or helicopter).

The old futurist idea of personal flight was always a jetpack, which would have the advantage of being able to take off from a static position. A paramotor requires a bit of runway to get up and down, and also takes up a little more airspace due to the parachute. But I don’t really see how a jetpack is meant to achieve stability, which the paramotor seems to manage quite well due to the parachute, provided weather conditions are safe.

Of course when I saw these, I immediately wished I could try one. It seems like it’s a serious investment of time & money to learn how to pilot one of these safely, let alone acquire your own. But at the very least it makes me happy to know something like this is even possible.

Have you heard of paramotors? Have you tried paramotoring? What do you think of them? Let me know your thoughts at my Ctrl-C email: gome ​@ ​ctrl-c.club.