To fully understand the many harness permutations and terminology, check out Harness Systems.

Of many harness and motor adjustments, setting the proper motor hang angle affects far more than comfort. As covered in Chapter 12, correct setup can make or break launches and cause or prevent riser twist crashes.

The diagram at right shows how to adjust some popular styles of harness and how to set those with a hard point attachment.

Hanging back too far will increase the amount of torque effect which makes riser twist more likely. It also makes it more difficult to launch since, as the wing lifts, you get tilted backwards which makes your legs push against the thrust.

Attaching a carabiner incorrectly as shown in the diagram’s upper right can (probably will) result in the motor sliding back and pointing nearly directly at the ground. If that happens, you’ll end up looking nearly straight up and torquing violently. The only cure is to immediately get off the power, fly the wing, and prepare for impact. Fortunately, if this happens, it’s usually right after liftoff or when getting into the seat. A good preflight is your best prevention here.

Adjusting hang angle and caution about hooking up fixed bar systems correctly (inset)

Thrust Line

When setting your hang angle be mindful of what effect thrust will have while flying. Here are some tips.

High Hang Points

Machines with high hang points will normally have the thrust line well below the hang (pivot) point. Power will tend to push you forward and make you lean back at full power. That will also re-direct the thrust more downward which will slightly decrease your climb rate. The diagram at right shows this graphically.

This leaned-back condition will make it harder to launch and aggravate any torque effects. If launching is difficult, adjust the hang angle to be more upright. See Hang Angle Adjustments.

Low Hang Points

On machines with low hang points the thrust line is usually very near (if it has S-arm geometry) or even above the hang (pivot) point. If the thrust line is above the hang point than the motor will tilt you forward when thrust is increased. The top of the cage pushes toward the risers.

On some units, especially older, low hookin types, the brakes may get dangerously close to the prop at high power. If they can get through the netting they can get into the prop. At best the brake handle gets cut off. At worst the brake line wraps up in the prop—that only happens to a pilot once.