Wheeled Powered Paraglider Landing Thesis
All information this page is just that, and as such you need to take any matters up with your flight trainer.
There are two ways for pilots to land there Wheeled Powered Paraglider (Quad or Trike)
- Power-on approach through to landing is more common.
- No-powered landing, as in engine-off or just idling through the approach to touch down.
So what way is the best, both ways have there Pros and Cons, each method needs different skill and technique to master a smooth soft and controlled landing, using either methods.
We would like to share with you a way to practice power-on landings so that if you choose to land with power applied, the outcome will be a nice gentle touchdown followed through with a controlled run out landing, all completed with power applied.
Because your WPPG skill level is unknown, here is a powered landing approach that we think most quad or trike pilots can use safely.
:: Powered Landing approach ::
To practice you will need access to smooth laminar met conditions (that's smooth wind attracted horizontal to the ground), NOT turbulent air affected by close obstacles such as Terrain, Buildings & Trees etc..
A nice smooth wide open landing area is preferred, we recommend a wide long flat paddock or beach with little or no people if possible, as it's usually the best place we can think of that you will find such conditions. If a beach is not possible then any wide open flat surface with little to no hazards (buildings & trees) and a constant breeze is good to start your practice power-on landings and equally launching.
In the beginning it is best to start learning to develop the skill set of being able to maintain a nice level flight path over long stretches of flat ground, generally at a flying height of around about 2 to 2 ½ meters above the ground. If you can find a location with nice constant wind condition of about 12 kmh, then this is possibly the best conditions you will have to safely learn all the skills needed to land smoothly with power applied. Similar and opposite conditions in valleys where a ventricle condition is created as the wind gets funneled between two ridges or mountains, making for higher wind speeds, and when gaining altitude, you would hit the slower moving air. Both of these conditions will show the WPPG ability to adjust.
The first step is to practice mastering the art of flying your WPPG while maintaining a smooth level flight path for a good 35 to 40+ meters or more, we feel that being able to fly just a few meters off the ground while remaining in a flat and level flight path for extended periods of distance is a great skill that everyone should try and master in all different wind conditions.
We feel that what this skill does, is develop ones eye, hand, wing and throttle coordination, so as to respond to the most minor of air disturbances, this skill leads to a pilot who is responsive to minor changes within the wings feel and who also actively fly's their wing.
The better your control of the wing and throttle working together, then the better your feel will be to dampen out any bumps or oscillations of the wing, and the more enjoyable ones flight will be and the softer your landing will become.
Once you have gained good skills in maintaining a nice steady smooth and level flight path with around a 12 kph wind, you are then ready for the next stage in maintaining a level flight path by gradually starting to practice flying in lesser and lesser wind speeds until you can fly a steady level flight path in nil wind.
We do this by way of flying with more power applied rather than trying to use more brakes applied to remain flying a flat and level flight path. After you have mastered level flight in nil wind, you are now ready to move on to powered on landings.
You would start practicing again with a 12 kph constant wind day. So as you come in doing another flat and level flight path, all depending on your brake settings, wing loading, type of wing you fly etc this will determine at what settings you would have your hands at and
the throttle settings chosen to maintain a smooth level flight path.
So, now try to get a little lower to the ground, say at about ½ to 1 meter, now begin slowly adding just a little more brakes or flare, and to maintain flying level you will also need to add just a little more power, not to much or you will start to take off, instead keep adding a little more brake while continuing to add just a little more power, all the while lightly and actively damping out any oscillations or bumps if need be.
Progress slowly with your brake settings and at a point while still flying flat and level with power applied, you will have basically reached a point in adding sufficient brake that your next input on the brakes has you touch down and you will have landed, as you roll out the
landing slowly raise the brakes and let the wing fly again without lifting off, now you progressively back off with the power and slow down. From this point you can do two
things as in either keep slowing to a stop or power up and re-launch, to do a go around and practice it all again.
When you have this going well, the next step is to then start working in conditions with lighter and lighter winds doing nice smooth flat and level approaches. What you will notice is that your ground speed will increase as the winds get lighter, don't worry as all is good and remember that once your on the ground your run out to a final stop will be over a longer distance, so don't run out of room or leave yourself short in the landing area, do a
touch, roll it out for a short distance and then go around for another try. The more you practice the better and smoother your landings will become.
We think that being able to fly just a few centimetres off the ground for extended periods of distance is a great skill that everyone should try and master. We believe that what it does is develop excellent hand, eye, wing and throttle coordination with a good response to the
most minor of air disturbances and leads to a better more skilled pilot who can actively fly there wing completely from launching to landing in all power settings.
Please understand and be aware that with any new learning skills there involves a learning
curve which adds risk to the pilot and possibly the potential of damage to ones equipment.
In all things to do with PPG and WPPG flying we believe that It's the small risk's taken, for the
greatest rewards gained!
It must be said, "We prefer our BlackHawk Quad over any Trike", the main reason is the stability of 4 wheels (mainly wide front stance wheels compared to a single front wheel) as the Danger of roll over on Launch & Landing is greatly reduced +less liability of injury.
If your Flight Trainer is Teaching you as a learner on a Trike, we would be very concerned with the inherent liability of Trike roll over's during the learning curve, as that approach may causing personal injury as well as Equipment Damage ! A rollover is usually caused by wing oscillation(s) on attempted take-off, usually created by rotor (turbulent air) from ground obstacles like Trees, Buildings or changing wind direction etc.
This Video shows you why our Quad is inherently far more stable than ANY Trike !
Most of the above info was taken from the words of many experienced PPG foot launch pilots, and has been revised and adapted for Wheeled PPG flying, many pilots practiced these methods of landing & launching with power applied and have found that landings in general have become
softer, smoother and generally safer overall.