Electric VS Gas Paramotors

The traditional two-stroke gasoline paramotor has peaked. Electric motors are here to stay.
Compare the OpenPPG X4 and SP140 with top ICE paramotors. 

  OpenPPG SP140 Top 5 ICE PPGs source OpenPPG X4
Price ready to fly $6,999 $7,429 $4,800 (DIY)
Thrust (lbs) 175 149.88 150
Cost per 100 hr* $54 $1,169 $72
Flight time * 1 hr 2.5 hr 0.4 hr
Weight (ready to fly) (lbs) 52-69 (½ hr-1hr battery) 74 45 

Transport/Storage
  • Breaks down like a typical frame for transport (4 mins to disassemble)
  • No Gas/Oil smell or leakage, can transport inside car and store inside
  • Easy long term storage
  • Gas smell if transported inside a vehicle or indoors
  • Gas needs drained
  • Folds up quickly (2 mins to disassemble)
  • No fuel smell
  • No need to drain gas or replace old fuel

Safety/training
  • No ground starts needed (large reason for injuries in sport)
  • Motor only needs to turn once the wing is above head in talkoff position, eliminating wing lines getting pulled into prop, another source of injury and cost.
  • No motor noise on ground preparing for takeoff makes communication between instructor and student clear
  • Motor starts often require the help of a friend to help start once the motor is already on back.
  • Need to have motor running before wing is above head
  • No ground starts needed (large reason for injuries in sport)
  • Motor only needs to turn once the wing is above head in takeoff position, eliminating wing lines getting pulled into prop, another source of injury and cost.
  • No motor noise on ground preparing for takeoff makes communication between instructor and student clear.
  • Absolute zero torque

Cleaner/
Green Energy
  • Aside from not having grease and grime, it is environmentally cleaner, and produces much less noise pollution
  • Oil and gas leakage
  • One Gallon of gas burned produces 20lbs of Co2
  • Aside from not having grease and grime, it is environmentally cleaner. Noise level not as low as the Sp140, similar to ICE motors.

 

Purchase Price is only half the picture

Top electric and gasoline paramotors are now roughly the same price new for new units but required maintenance can quickly add up.

 

Internal combustion engines (ICE) get their power from thousands of controlled explosions per minute. This inherently requires dozens of moving parts causes wear and tear. Two stroke paramotors need to be lightweight while maintaining power so they sacrifice durability. Most manufactures require a specific break-in process, warm-up procedures. Even after carefully operating ICE paramotors they still require parts replacement and engine rebuilds. Parts and labor costs limit the flying of many traditional paramotor pilots

 

Electric motors excel because of their simplicity and affordability. With no maintenance costs and only one moving part you can forget about having a motor and focus on flying with electric.

sp140 landing

The Hidden Advantages of Electric Paramotors

Raw specs are cool to compare, but there are loads of things that EPPG allow and open up a world of ease of life features that can’t be written down as a numerical value

Hidden Features of EPPGs

  • Always Starts–  Always having a motor you can depend to start every time no matter the location, altitude, temperature is huge. This means less time in the ground trying to get the air fuel mixture correct or just trying to pump that fuel into the carb while making sure you get the air bubble out of the fuel line, and hoping you don’t flood the motor.  No more pull starting and being sweaty and out of breath before you even attempt a takeoff (cons- lats muscle might not be as big)
  • Don’t need a personal mechanic or be one yourself– A lot of pilots joke to newcomers to the sport saying “You will be a 2-stroke mechanic in no time” 
  • Much Lower Vibrations– Low vibration are much easier on the airframe and the risk of nuts and bolts to come undone. Low vibrations allows much clearer vision and audio if talking with friends. Nice to not have your eyes shaking so much like on my Nitro 200
  • Climb up, Turn off Motor, Glide Down, Repeat- enjoy smooth quiet ride down, or just termal in peace. Being able to turn off the motor at any moment and trust it will turn back on at the press of the throttle is definitely and underrated feature 
  • See Accurate Power Consumption- Get real time efficiency numbers on wings, trim range, learn how to fly more efficiently and become a better pilot.
  • Built in Altimeter- displays on the throttle controllers a big bright color screen. Aside from the other sensors the controller has, altimeter is a very useful feature to have on anything that flies. No need to buy and external one, and with it built in allows advanced altitude hold for hands off cruise control.