An Idea of Freedom

This was my vision. This was the whole reason that I started taking tuition three years ago to fly a paraglider. I've always been obsessed with flight. I spent entire flights as a child looking out of the window at the engines and the wings and the clouds. I spent my university life studying aerospace engineering -- yep, I got a degree in the stuff: designing engine cycles, air-frame structures, aerodynamics etc. So, when I got the chance to take up actual flight... I took it.

I thought that a motor would allow me to rock up to a local field (of which there are many) and take off for a little local flight. The dream of being able to just head out for an hour amongst the clouds was where I saw it going.

During my tuition, I learnt how to fly the wing without a motor at first. This was even more amazing than I had imagined. In fact, it got me questioning whether there really was any point to learning about the motor at all.

Long story short: I got into free-flight and flew from hills for about a year before I thought about getting into the motor. I loved free-flight. But, I wanted more and I thought that the motor was my way to get it.

It would allow me to fly from nearer to home (using a flat field instead of having to travel to the hills) and it would mean I could fly on those long windless days in summer and calm cold days in winter.

I bought a motor

and it was a beauty. Super compact, super light, super powerful (for my weight at least). I took a few tuitored flights on it and enjoyed being able to get into the air and stay there without needing to find thermals.


There are a few down sides that I just couldn't overlook. Even though it was a light motor, it was still 20kg-ish. Which got exhausting on the ground trying to walk and run around. It was very loud -- you need ear protection -- and you can feel the vibrations rattling through your body every second of every flight. The harness is a bit more restrictive than in free-flying and you can't lean around as much -- useful for steering.

However, the main thing that sold me on selling it, was that sometimes, it refuses to start -- or run nicely, or the oil hasn't worn in, etc. I don't know how to deal with all that stuff and I'm not really sure that I want te get into it.

I suddenly thought that this thing wasn't giving me the kind of freedom that I got into flying for. It was actually going to be restricting me in some new ways.

I want to fly, not pretend I'm a mechanic!

The peace and quiet of free-flying, with only the sounds of the wind and the environment, is one of the great pleasures I enjoy. The freedom of hiking up a hill or mountain with just a back-pack and being able to launch off into an adventure is where I'm going to put my effort.

I sold the motor and spent the money on two new wings: my Cross country cruiser and my mini-wing racer for fast decending.

Long story short: I'm a free-flyer, not a paramotorer.