This is the plans-built machine featured in the Powered Paragliding Bible. It is one of 3 viable paramotor kits that I’ve seen for someone wanting to start from scratch. It comes with excellent support and there are numerous machines flying out in the field. These are the reasons are why recommend it here on Footflyer.com. I make no money on the sale of the plans and/or hardware kits. But I believe in it.
Whatever you do, skip the “Easy Up” scam. They advertise heavily to snare unsuspecting marks into buying obsolete plans. I go to a LOT of events and have never even an Easy Up built, let alone fly. I have flown and seen numerous (probably 5) SkyBolts being flown at various fly-ins.
There may be other viable kit-built options on the market but only the Skybolt has a plans-to-ppg solution that I’m aware of. If there’s any doubt, go to the most active newsgroup on yahoo about paramotoring and type in plans.
How Is It To Build
The beauty of this system is that the primary skill is bending aluminum tube. For one thing, aluminum tube bends easily. Another is that the included DVD shows exactly what you need to do and how to use the few tools required. Full sized plans help, too.
There appear to be very few “tricky” parts although making your own connectors will take some time. I’d definitely buy the hardware kit if able unless you’re pretty well equipped with at least some basic machining tools.
How Much Will It Really Cost
The plans are $95 and come with a detailed DVD to guide you through the building process. If you buy the hardware kit, tube (the DVD/plans tell you where and what to buy), netting, tanks, throttle and other miscellany, it will cost around $1200. Where to buy all this is given in the plans.
The engine will be your biggest purchase. The plans show how to adapt the most common current paramotors including the Black Devil 172, RDM 100, Simonini M2, Solo 210 and several others. A used Solo 210 can be had for about $500 and a new Black Devil costs about $2300 so there’s a lot of variety here.
Assuming you have the hardware kit, expect to spend probably 80 hours to have a completely flyable machine if you’re of average handiness. That includes time on the phone, internet, and pondering of the navel that goes on during such projects.
Making the 80 or so connectors/misc will probably take another 30 hours between setup, learning curve and actual milling. That is why the connector/hardware kit that includes those parts is so valuable!
14 pounds for the frame alone, 24 pounds with fuel tank and harness and 66 pounds with a Cors-Air Black Devil motor including prop. Enough fuel for an hour of flying will add another 8 pounds. Unlike airplane kits which can easily get heavier depending on build technique, there’s not much room for that here. These are the weights you can expect if you buy the specified materials..
Quite a few of these have been built but lighter weight machines have become more popular so the number has dwindled. A a lot have been built and flown, probably over 30. As of 2019 the designer is not answering questions but online forums are still active. Check out the Skybolt Builders Yahoo forum.