An unofficial account of the Hodges Field Bad Apples Fly-in event 2018. Flare too high or too rapidly and you’ll stall, or maybe just deplete energy to do other things that may be more important later on. Like a broken record, airspeed is life, altitude is life. It seems like almost 50% of PPG pilots routinly start the landing process too high off the ground, myself included from time to time.
The Paradock line of products, are collectively know as Paradox.
The original “Paradock One” (seen in previous videos) is a steel and aluminum receiver hitch based platform mount for a paramotor. The Paradock One retains the motor system with solid steel pin fingers and a single moving part, a 3/8” steel draw bar. This enables fantastic open security transport to local flying fields, where weather is not likely to be a factor. Perfect for the pilot who keeps their gear in a garage or the living room and only loads up to go flying when the weather is good. A huge advantage of the Paradock One, is it’s open architecture that enables 100% safe starting on your vehicle and full power run ups without a chance of motor shift. The limitations of this first prototype were obvious in that the elements of wind, rain and degrading sunshine always are working on the harness fabric, the metals and the UV sensitive reserve components of your motor system.
The “Paradock v. 2.0” (seen in this video) is a receiver hitch based, weather tight, full motor and jerry can enclosure that is lockable and weighing in at a mere 23 pounds. The prototype version is 100% rolled and welded 1” aluminum tube structure, sporting an aircraft style riveted .032” 3003 aluminum sheet skin. The interior floor incorporates flush mount cleat rings mounted on hard points, for ratchet strap and bungee securing of your valuable contents. Side lift handles aid in attaching to the vehicle of one’s choosing. Welded stainless aileron hinges make door operation a pleasure, while multiple locks points insure that honest people are kept honest. A design in developmental phase, the unit will eventually have plug in trailer repeater lights for greater road visibility and an interior evening and pre dawn LED lighting system that relies on power drawn from the vehicle. Production unit costs are being explored, however the builder and designer of this unit, me, feels that the cost of material alone (nearing $1000) put the Paradock 2.0 out of the price range most pilot would be willing to spend. The construction techniques and requirements of quality, pushed the construction time near50 man-hours on this prototype, which would nearly double the cost of a retail unit’s material costs. On a production basis both material costs and time could be trimmed, but the base is nearly unreasonable. DOT approval for full manufacture of this device, would also add to costs. Shipping would then place the unit so far above reasonable that distribution could only be considered through exsisting para-equipment sellers that maintain inventory. They’re not likely to offer such access for free. Maybe it could be sold at fly-in events? For cost optimization this unit needs to be CAD spec’d and CNC punched. Press brake formed skins need to be utilized to insure consistent quality. Those design costs also add to the bottom line. But the container could be paint matched to your vehicle and you’d be THE COOLEST PILOT at your next fly-in.
The “Paradock X” (perhaps in a future video) is an EPA semi-friendly (5 gallon bucket and a shopping bag) remote use, plug in toilet seat, similar to other camping and hunting toilet seats that are already marketed under names like “off road commode” or “Bumper Dumper”. However the Paradock X has been designed specifically with the paramotor pilot in mind. It was inspired by legendary Compound pilot “Ripman Ridin’” whose between the open truck doors-hanging on to the running board relief technique, needed improvement. The Paradock X may be marketed as the “Ripman Rider” because the user rides ‘er and let’s ‘er rip.