Airport In A Box

One of the subjects that inevitably comes up with people who fly powered paragliders is, “how do you transport it?”  People come up with all kinds of ingenious ways to get their machines to the LZ (landing zone).  My initial idea was to just transport the Cruise Carbon Trike disassembled in the back of my minivan.  This got old pretty quickly.  So I bought a small walk-on trailer from Tractor Supply.   The trailer makes it easy to just roll my trike out of the garage and right up onto the trailer.

 

 

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Once my trike is loaded I use ratcheting tie-down straps to hold it in place.  The little tan minivan is the tow vehicle and is part of what I call “airport in a box.”  I load up my wing, my windsock and the base I made for it into the back of the van.  The portable windsock is pretty important because it’s more sensitive than the bigger windsocks at the airports and sometimes I don’t fly from an airport.  I need some sort of wind indicator.  So I bought a telescoping flag pole from Amazon and made a base for it out of PVC pipe.

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I used two 10-foot lengths of 1-1/2 inch schedule 40 PVC pipe.  5- Tee fittigs.  6 – Elbow fittings, and 1 cross fitting.  I also needed to use 2 couplers since I could make the final two sections of pipe long enough with the couplers.  It ended up being a perfect fit.  Everything is glued together except where the two uprights fit into the base.  This lets me remove the top and store it flat if need be.  If the wind is strong enough to knock it over, then it’s too windy to fly!

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One last item isn’t related to transporting the PPG.  It’s my instrument panel.  A glass display of sorts.  This state of the art avionics device also allows me to make phone calls, surf the internet, and listen to music as well as keeping track of my location, fuel consumption, altitude, speed, ground track, wind speed and direction, and several other handy functions!

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Cruise Carbon Instrument Panel

Yes, it’s an app that runs on my Android smart phone called PPGps.  Got lots of great functions.  I keep my phone in a case that has velcro on the back.  I then stick it to the velcro on the top of my reserve ‘chute.  This puts it at a perfect angle to see and use.  My next addition to my “panel” is going to be a tachometer and hour meter which I will either attach to the throttle cable or else just velcro it next to my phone.  Haven’t decided yet.  It’s made by a company called TrailTek.

 

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Didn’t get to go flying today.  Seems like I did what I normally do – take my PPG for a ride into the countryside on it’s trailer and then bring it home again. 🙂  It was too foggy to fly today.  However, I was able to take it to my EAA meeting today.  Our scheduled presenter was not able to show up due to the fog so I was asked to give an impromptu presentation on my PPG.  I was pleasantly surprised by the overwhelmingly positive reaction I got from the club.  I wasn’t able to fly due to the fog, really wet fog, so I just went through a preflight and started the motor for them.  The were surprised by the power and how easy it started.  They made numerous positive comments on the build quality.  Present in the crowd was one of the airport commissioners.  He was also impressed.  This is good because I will be making a pitch to the airport commission to improve a portion of our field for use by powered paragliders.  So all in all it was a productive morning!

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