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And how light can it be for foot-launch and climbing on its own power?

I know there are stunningly light paragliders, but they are slow, inefficient, the wings wear out quickly, and they are prone to collapse in turbulent weather, unlike delta-wing gliders.

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Aviation. What models did you find that were too heavy so we don't repeat them? $\endgroup$
    – user14897
    Commented Oct 30, 2021 at 13:46
  • $\begingroup$ And how fast, efficient, durable, and turbulence-proof do they need to be before they are acceptable? $\endgroup$
    – Jim
    Commented Oct 30, 2021 at 15:30

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My knowledge of PHG may be a few years out of date. To the best of my knowledge most if not all PHGs are hang gliders combined with aftermarket power units, so the question really breaks down into finding the lightest power unit you can find and then identifying the lightest glider that can safely fly the takeoff weight.

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You can build an "e-help", an electric propulsion system weighing about 12kg (example and plans). Using it with a light glider like e.g. Finsterwalder-Charly Funfex (24kg) or Perfex (22kg) will probably yield the lightest, most portable powered hang glider package.

No one's building such electric propulsion systems commercially at the moment, but we're working on improving the situation. If you're interested in building or following along, there's epowered hang gliders fb group.

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  • $\begingroup$ It seems to me like 12kg is well within reach of current gasoline paramotors that don't carry such a huge range compromise. $\endgroup$
    – L29Ah
    Commented Jan 15, 2022 at 11:20
  • $\begingroup$ If you want range, you can have gas powered hang glider harness too (the Mosquito). It weighs more, but it also includes the harness itself so it's probably only a few kg heavier than the electric setup. Electric engine is much better for getting to altitude for a thermal / ridge soaring flight. Gas engine is better for cruising around on your own power. And of course paragliders will always be the lightest and most compact, but you know their downsides. $\endgroup$
    – Nikita
    Commented Jan 16, 2022 at 23:04
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You mean something like this?

Here's some info from below the video.

"Prop: 23inch / 12 pitch

Motors: Using Out-runner model aircraft motors 2,600W Around 140kV - 160 kV Around 60A

Batteries: Two lots of 6s cells connected in series

Speed controller (Speedie): We go twice the amp rating for reliability and think that is about right. So 120A speedie The 120A "Yipe" seems to work reliably as an entry level unit. Speed control is via a modified servo tester wired onto the speedie.

Weight: 1.7kg plus batteries (2x10,000A 6s) 2.7kg = 4.4kg. gives 10 min at full throttle or hours of fun at low revs/used intermittently."

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