I love to fly, so much that a few years ago I purchased and learned to fly a powered parachute (PPC).
What is a powered parachute? It's one of the safest aircraft you can fly. A large propeller and single or dual seats are integral parts of a framework of aircraft-grade steel alloy and aluminum tubes. The parachute is strategically attached to the airframe for maximum stability and aerodynamics. Design considerations make a powered parachute virtually impossible to stall, roll, dive or loop, and landing does not even require power.
My particular machine was custom built for me in Pasco, WA by Airframes Unlimited. It's called the 'Big Dawg' and it's power plant is a Hirth 3203 two cycle two cylinder engine (65 hp) with a 70" Ivo prop.
Below are some pictures of me flying my my 'Big Dawg' powered parachute:
Here are some of my flying videos which I've also uploaded to Youtube. I"ll add more videos as they come.
Video from Dinosaur Park - October 2005 Quicktime video - let it load, then hit the play button
About two years later, I also became interested in Powered Paragliding (AKA: PPG or paramotor). I purchased my PPG from Wayne Mitchler of Sky-Biker Aviation near Wetaskiwin, AB. It's powered by a Cors-air 172cc 'Black Devil' two cycle single cylinder engine. This is a foot launch flying machine. Below is my Paracruiser paramotor:
Summer 2004 flight pics
High quality pics from the Badlands of Dinosaur Park - October 2005
More pics from the Badlands of Dinosaur Park - October 2005
Gadgets I plan to install on my Powerchute:
You'll be able to track my 'real time' position on the internet. Not only will you be able to see my exact location on a digital map, but you'll see my speed, bearing, and altitude. This will be handy as its likely I'll be having too much darn fun to be worrying about my fuel gauge so my wife will need this info so she can bring me some more fuel (as I'm likely to run out).
Live Video Feeds
On my PPC, I plan to transmit color real-time wireless video/audio via 2.4 GHz. At our acreage property, I have a 2.4 GHz video/audio receiver and high gain omni-directional antenna at 140 feet. This will receive the PPC's video/audio feed and will then re-transmit it back to my home 45 miles away (on 1.2 GHz) where my wife can watch the real-time view of the flight comfortably on the home TV. Possible plans may also include feeding the video to the internet so others can watch my real-time flight too. Audio from the communications radios (air band/ham radio) and intercom system will be fed back with the video rather than the noise of the engine.
Interested in Powered Parachute or maybe Powered Paraglider training in Alberta? How about an intro flight? If so, check out Sky-Biker Aviation for all your PPC or PPG needs.
My PPC/PPG links of interest:
Ultra Flight Radio Show
Powered Paragliding Radio Show
Parasport PPG videos -awesome pilots
Paracruiser Powered Paragliders
Powered Parachute Flying Forums