Single-seat twin-engined motorised parachute with constant chord. Control inputs through pedals for yaw. Pilot suspended below wing in trike unit. Undercarriage has three wheels in tricycle formation. Nosewheel steering. No brakes. Aluminium-tube trike unit, without pod. Engines mounted below wing driving pusher propellers.
The ParaPlane, which is listed as an ultralight in the USA, is in fact a motorised parachute. Shown at Sun 'n' Fun in March 1983 at Lakeland, Florida, this amazing flying machine only flew once due to difficult weather conditions.
Designed by Steve Snyder, the ParaPlane uses as its 'wing' a 28.5 ft (8.69 m) parachute of constant chord giving 375 sq.ft (34.8 sq.m) of lifting surface. For pilots heavier than 185 lb (84kg), it can also be equipped with a 36.0ft 'wing' of 450sq.ft (10.97 m, 41.8 sq.m). The contraption is flown like a non-powered parachute wing, its pilot steering via lines attached to foot pedals to give directional control. The rear wheels of the trike unit are free to castor and are unbraked, the structure being made of alumi-nium tubes with a hammock seat and shoulder harness. Behind the seat, the engine mount carries the two Solo 210cc 15hp engines driving two twin-blade contra-rotating prop-ellers.
Weighing 79 lb (36 kg) empty, the trike unit is foldable down to 50 x 14 x 20 inch (127 x 35 x 51 cm). The aircraft is used like an ascending parachute and it collapses behind the trike unit when it lands. Take-off is made at 25 mph (40 kph), which is also the landing speed. ParaPlane Corporation does not quote a stalling speed, though a figure of 8-10mph (13-16kph) is mentioned.
Price: from $3750 in 1983.
Engine: 2 x Solo 215 (2 x 215cc) 33hp
Empty wt: 163 lbs
Wing span: 30’6”
Wing area: 400 sq.ft
Fuel cap; 4.5 USG
Construction: Aluminium, Nylon
Max wt: 360 lbs
Max speed: 26 mph
Climb rate: 250 fpm
Design limit: +9g
Glide ratio: 3-1
Wing loading: 0.9 lbs/sq.ft
Power loading: 11.0 lbs/hp
Engine: 2 x Solo 335, 15 hp each
Propeller diameter 50 inch, 1.27 m
Power per unit area 0.08 hp/sq.ft, 0.86 hp/ sq.m
Fuel capacity 4.5 US gal, 3.8 Imp gal, 17.0 litre
Length overall 5.7ft, 1.73m
Height overall 5.6ft, 1.70m
Wing span 28.5ft, 8.69 m
Constant chord 13.0 ft, 3.96 m
Total wing area 375 sq.ft, 34.8 sq.m
Empty weight 140 lb, 64 kg
Max take-off weight 355 lb, 161 kg
Payload 215 lb, 98 kg
Max wing loading 0.95 lb/sq.ft, 4.6 kg/sq.m
Max pow-er loading 11.8 lb/hp, 5.4 kg/hp
Max level speed 30 mph, 48 kph
Never exceed speed 30 mph, 48 kph
Max cruising speed 30 mph, 48 kph
Economic cruising speed 25 mph, 40 kph
Best glide ratio with power off 3/1
Range at average cruising speed 41 mile, 66 km