OpenPPG is an open-source electric paramotor project. They are taking orders for their SP140 electric paramotor now, for delivery from September 2020.
The SP140 comes ready to fly straight out of the box. OpenPPG say it’s low maintenance, built from quality components for longevity and available with a choice of two different sized batteries: the bigger, 4kwh one is heavier and gives an hour’s flight time; a 2kwh one lasts half the time but shaves 7 kilos.
The project team say electric paramotors have several advantages over combustion engine versions: they are lighter and lower maintenance; cleaner and easier to transport; quieter and vibrate less, and although they are not exactly cheap (the SP140 starts at $6995) there is no petrol cost to run one. OpenPPG quote US $0.50/hr to run an electric motor, compared with something like $5.50/hr for petrol and oil in the US, but this will vary depending on fuel prices where you fly.
The throttle control on the SP140 is precise, responsive, and linear, “much better than is possible with a petrol motor”, the project say, and the push-button start is much easier than tugging a manual starter cord with a motor on your back. It means you can launch your wing and then start the motor, so the prop is not spinning as the wing comes up.
The SP140 delivers 175lb (79kg) thrust with a larger prop, and 25kW maximum power. It weighs 14kg without batteries, 27kg with the biggest battery.
The frame is made from 6061 T6 aluminium, carbon fibre and titanium with Dyneema netting. You can order with a Dudek Comfort or Apco split-leg harness, and two- or three-blade prop.