Paramotor report, by Keith Pickersgill, 23 October 2001

Many pilots were interested in the new micro paramotor engine that I flew on Sunday

This new 80cc engine, the TOP80, was designed, developed and built from scratch,
specifically for paramotoring and nothing else, by Diego Cecchetto in Italy.

It is unbeleivably compact, lightweight and quiet, yet delivers ample thrust for my
overweight 88kg body. I expect it will comfortably fly pilots of up to 100kg from sea
level, yet is light enough smaller pilots of under 60kg to carry easily.

It also has many new features not previously available, such as:
* a gearbox instead of a belt-drive. This has several advantages, such as: higher
reduction ratio possible, quieter in operation, more reliable and less maintenance
required, plus it reverses the rotational direction of the propeller, to be opposite that
of the engine. This completely eliminates all accelerative torque effect, making flying
much safer and easier. Furthermore, due to the very high reduction ratio (3.6:1), the
aerodynamic torque effect is reduced by over 60%, further enhancing flying comfort
and safety.

* a centrifugal clutch is fitted, which has several advantages, such as: When pull-
starting the motor, you need not get the propeller turning, so it is MUCH easier to pull-
start. When the motor is idling, the propeller is not spinning, so ground-handling is
much easier and safer, also landing are much safer too, as you need not kill the
engine on final glide.

* forced air cooling keeps the motor cool and allows much higher operating RPM with
greater safety. Most paramotors are free-air cooled, and have the hot engine tucked
away behind the pilot's back, where it battles to get enough cooling air. The flywheel
of this new engine is shaped like a centrifugal fan and blows air at very high speeds
into a lightweight cowling over the hot parts, keeping the engine cool even under the
most punishing conditions.

* Walbro barb with only a single air-mixture adjuster, so its much easier to tune than
the traditional carbs with a Lo-adjuster and Hi-adjuster.

* Framework is very interesting, and packs away extremely compactly. The outer
ring is made from straight sections of flexible glass-fibre poles that are shock-
corded, much like the little igloo-shaped dome tents.

Finally, paramotoring is comming of age, as engines are being made specifically for
paramotors and our unique needs.

Keith Pickersgill
Xplorer UltraFlight, Performance Paramotors
PO Box 36784, Chempet, 7442
Cape Town,  South Africa.