Motor paragliding

Motor paragliding (AKA: Powered paragliding) is a kind of paragliding that uses an engine to take off, instead of being winched into the air or taking off from high altitude. Some flights are still flown using thermals to ascend and it can be used as a form of recreation, but motorized flight is mostly used for getting pilots up into the air quickly so they can begin their cross-country flying sooner.

Motor paragliding
Motor paragliding

Motor paragliders have very short take-off and landing requirements making them more convenient to fly than traditional unpowered gliders. This makes them suitable for launching from small hills, fields & shorelines where there are no hills or tall trees required to launch a glider into the air.



Motor paragliding was used by the military in the past to drop spies behind enemy lines. However, since they are now lighter and more reliable, motor paragliders have been used in military operations for supply missions. A motor paraglider is about the same size as a large duffel bag and can carry a load of about 220 pounds. This does not seem like much but it is very useful when you need to get supplies or equipment to someone quickly.


Motor paragliders are used as an extreme sport by enthusiasts willing to use them on skis or on foot. It is more challenging to fly a motor paraglider when on foot, since it becomes unstable when it is close to the ground. However, this is what makes it so appealing to people who want more excitement while flying.

Safety and regulations in US

Motor paragliding is still considered a form of paragliding, the USHPA has its own rules for this sport. Motor gliders and unpowered gliders require different ratings and licenses to fly legally. There is a rating for non-powered free flight and one for powered gliders. The USHPA requires the same number of hours in free flight to get a license in both unpowered and powered paragliding.

World records

On August 12, 2015, a motor paraglider was flown at 507 km/h by Hubert Schepers in the South African desert. The motor glider used for this world record attempt is a S-UFO Twister made by RSL Speed wing from Germany. This speed was recorded using ground radar

How much is a motorized paraglider?

A qualified paraglider pilot will cost between $3000 and $6000, while a beginner can expect to pay $4000-$9000 for their first motorized tandem flight.

Do you need a Licence to fly a paramotor?

Yes, anyone flying a paraglider powered by any type of engine must hold an appropriate licence.

What is paragliding with a motor called?

There are two terms used to describe powered paragliding, they are autogiros and paramotor gliders.

How easy is it to fly a paramotor?

Flying a motorized paraglider is not so different to flying a normal paraglider. The only difference you will notice on take-off is the addition of a little more noise from the engine & perhaps some extra wind/turbulence caused by the prop. Landing a motorized glider is also very similar to landing any other paraglider however experienced pilots generally land their power units right next to them, whereas beginner pilots usually land out in front or beyond their gliders.

Are Paramotors legal?

Yes, paramotors are completely legal provided that certain rules & regulations are followed. All powered paragliders must be registered with the Federal Aviation Authority in the USA and also display an N-Number which is similar to a license plate for your vehicle.

How long does it take to learn paramotor?

It usually takes about three days of ground school instruction before you can take to the air in your power unit. Reserving time on a training hill & taking at least 7-10 flights will help you become more familiar with flying your motorized glider.

How much do paramotor lessons cost?

Tandem flights are typically $100-$150 per flight, with lessons including 30 minutes of ground instruction typically cost between $75 & $150.

Who is able to fly a Paramotor?

Paramotoring can be enjoyed by anyone aged 16 or over who weighs at least 70 pounds and has the appropriate training. Pilots under 18 years old must have parental consent before flying their glider. Anyone weighing less than 100 pounds should consider taking an extra harness size in order to fit into it comfortably.

How do I accessorize Paragliding?

Any accessories that you use for traditional paragliding will work the same way when using a powered paraglider too. So if you enjoy hiking out to your favorite launch site then a set of sand stakes might be a good investment to attach to your glider.

How far can a paramotor fly?

The maximum range of a paraglider is typically considered to be between 45 and 150 kilometers, depending on the size of your glider & how much throttle you use.

What safety equipment is used in Paragliding?

The main safety items required for motorized paragliding are a helmet, harness & reserve parachute. Landing in trees or confined areas can also be very dangerous if you don’t have some sort of protection.

How much weight can a paramotor carry?

A typical paraglider can carry up to 250 pounds of weight, including the pilot, however motorized gliders are generally no more than 125 pounds for beginner pilots.

What do you need to fly a Paramotor?

In order to fly a power paraglider you will need the following items: harness, helmet, reserve parachute, motor unit with propeller & sprocket assembly complete with throttle control cables. Of course a paragliding wing is also required which can be either self-launching or ground-launched.

Is it safe to use a Paramotor?

Yes, it has been statistically proven that paragliding and powered paragliding is one of the safest forms of aviation.

What do I need to know before flying a Paramotor?

To begin with you will need to learn to fly your motorized glider as if it were a normal paraglider. The only difference might be some extra turbulence & noise from the propeller. So, just like any other style of paragliding, you’ll need to learn how to launch & fly your wing before it’s safe to be powered by your motor unit.

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