Skywalk’s electric paraglider propulsion system, the E-Walk, is nearing completion and should be available to buy from early 2011.
It is targeted at cross country paraglider pilots, who the company envisage using it to reach thermals and achieve long cross country flights.
As such, it has been designed for in-flight comfort and is built into Skywalk’s Cult3 paraglider harness, with reserve and back protection in place. It uses their own ‘Thrust Vector’ adjustment system to change the angle of the prop by 45 degrees between take-off, when the pilot is standing, to an in-flight mode, where he is seated. The adjustment is actvated by stepping on a stirrup, and the company say it assures optimum efficiency both in flight and on the ground.
The German company are pleased with the low noise output they have achieved with their folding propeller,whose design has been optimised by Dr Martin Hepperle. They are still working on some aspects though, such as trying it with and without a cage, the addition of which would mean the prop is protected but weight and drag are increased.
The brushless motor is powered by Lithium Ion batteries and the unit has already passed the new EMV (electro-magnetic tolerance) testing criteria, a pre-condition for certification.
Skywalk will have E-Walk units at the Thermik Messe in Sindelfingen, Germany, on 12 February 2011, so if you can make it to that you can see one for yourself. They should be available for sale early in 2011.
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