Storage and transport

A powered paraglider is presently the only motorized aircraft that can be hangared under the bed, or on a balcony, and that can be transported inside a car. I store my machine split up in two groups: The clean things are hung from the wall in my bedroom, while the dirty ones go outside. Here you can see the "bedroom hangar": On the left is the steel part of the trike, permanently fit with the harness and emergency parachute, and also holding the paraglider, helmet, and a flying suit. The variometer hangs from the harness. The collapsed main trike structure (red) hangs next to it. The large wooden box is not related to the flying setup. On top of the box is the original backpack that came with the glider. I use it to store the harness that I employ for motorless flying, and some other rarely used bits and ends. The propeller cage is put on top of that all. The entire storage space needed, including the wooden box, is about one and a half meter of wall, and the largest items protrude no more than 40cm from the wall.

The flying machine also has smelly parts that I would not like to have in my bedroom. These are the engine assembly, which gives away intense gasoline smell for several days after each flight, and the wheels, which have a strong rubber odor. They are stored on a kind of balcony, permanently open to the outside but well protected from rain, which I also use for washing and drying my clothes. The wheels are left in a vinyl carrying bag on the floor, while the motor unit is hung from steel hooks installed in the wall, and covered with a vinyl dust cover that also reflects any sunlight, preventing discoloration and degradation of plastics, rubber and paint. The vinyl material is the kind used for truck cargo covers, which I also used to build my kayak. It is glued together, and uses velcro seams for easy installation and removal.

Note the battery charger on the wall above the washing machine. It keeps the battery well charged at all times.

The fuel canister and oil bottles are also stored here, but not visible in the photo.

I often take the flying machine on extended car trips, during which I live and sleep in the car. For this purpose I made the wooden structure shown here. For those trips, it is mounted in the car, bolted to several hooks and nuts already present in the car, in such a position that the propeller almost touches the left side rear window. The car is a 4WD Nissan Terrano (known as Pathfinder in some parts of the world, and very similar to a Toyota 4 Runner, among others). From front to back in the car, which equals left to right in this photo, the structure holds the wheel bag, the wing, the motor unit, and the fuel canister (not shown in the photo. The trike is engaged to the backside of the structure, while the harness is thrown over the wheel bag, and the propeller cage is loosely thrown into the other half of the car. Only the prop cage has to be thrown out in order to make room for sleeping inside the car. And this cage can be put on the car's roof, even if it rains, as it is aluminum and will not be damaged by rain.

This shows the other side of the structure, seen from slightly above. The motor unit is held by two bolts with wing nuts engaged to aluminum struts. There are two hooks for the trike, which is hung from them and locked in place by elastic straps engaged to additional hooks. The trike axles are protected by vinyl bags, which keep dust and sand out and the grease in. All the many steel wires of the trike, and the legs, are held in position by two elastic straps with velcro endings. The wing bag, wheel bag and fuel canister are also engaged with elastic straps and hooks.

This top view shows how the room is used. In the car, the propeller actually uses the room above the car's wheel box. It makes a quite good use of the car's available space, without putting any object high enough to obstruct rear view, or to attract the attention of would-be thieves.

The fragile propeller tips are protected by thick foam plastic cushions. These protections are kept in place until the machine is readied for takeoff.

This detail view shows how the motor unit rests on a slightly elevated podium. This keeps the fuel tank fully in the air, avoiding any stress on it. This is important, because the FLY motor unit is designed in such a way that the largest part of the weight could easily be placed on the plastic tank. While the tank survives this, it's certainly a large stress for it.

The black cable connects the starter battery to an in-car charger, which I use during any more extended travels.

Using this mount, I can travel safely and comfortably over great distances, taking the flying machine with me. Sometimes I have done trips of several thousand kilometers without finding a chance to fly, but on the other hand the best flights I have ever had were from places far from where I live. One of the nicest things about motorized paragliders is that they can be taken along almost wherever one goes!

Back to homo ludens volatrix.