After purchasing a paramotor for the first time, you will have to make many important decisions. One of the top-most aspects you have to focus on is the clutch. Many travelers have different thoughts about this clutch aspect. Some believe that it enhances the safety factor while flying, but a few don’t think it is crucial for the paramotor.
It can prevent accidents in the future while you are flying. However, there are plenty of arguments regarding this aspect. In this article, you will learn many things about the clutch and its benefits. You will also get to know more about the disadvantages of purchasing it so that you can make a choice appropriately.
Working of a paramotor clutch
Before you can find out the benefits and disadvantages of the paramotor clutch, let’s look at what it is and how it works.
Usually, paramotors would have a unique aspect called a centrifugal clutch. You would also find a clutch on go-karts, chainsaws, and mopeds. Centrifugal force is used for the operation of these clutches. That means you wouldn’t find a lever that would usually appear on a dirt bike.
However, this approach is essential because it acts as a link between the propeller and engine. The only work it does is to stop the propeller from turning. It would disengage at the exact time when the engine would stay idle.
After you pull the throttle, the speed of the engine increases. At that time, the clutch also starts engaging to make the propeller spin. In the end, it will generate more thrust that will allow you to take off.
Would you need any extra skills to use a clutch while flying the paramotor? It would depend on whether you can fly the paramotor or not. It is because all the clutches are automatic, and you wouldn’t require any extra efforts to use them.
Usually, when a driver uses the clutch while driving a car, he would manually press it when they need it. However, when it comes to paramotor, things are slightly different. The clutch automatically slips to avoid the delay when it comes to the engine. That means you won’t need extra control for operation while flying.
No clutch VS clutch: differentiation while flying paramotor
Now that you know what the clutch is and how it operates let’s see whether you need it or not. You slowly find out the best option for you.
Is it reliable?
The engine is essential in the paramotor. If you focus on adding more aspects to the machine, you can see a reduction in its reliability. However, the centrifugal clutch will be reliable for you because of its usefulness. The only thing you will have to remember is to replace the clutch plates whenever they wear out. This only happens if you use it for more than 150 hours. However, most clutches will even work after the time limit.
You will still be disappointed if you don’t know how the engine works. If you have not worked on the machine, you will find it tiring to replace the worn-out aspects. However, a centrifugal clutch will not be daunting for you since replacing them is very simple.
Several manufacturers will give you tutorials so that you don’t end up making any mistakes. Even if the engines vary in terms of brand, the processes are almost the same.
Starting the paramotor
When you use a paramotor without a clutch, the process of starting it will be more challenging. This is because you would have to focus on turning the propeller while pulling the cord at the same time.
Some paramotors will contain an electric start system that will make things easier. However, if you want to go for pull start engines, you will find it difficult without a clutch.
The clutch makes things easier because the polling process of the cord is much safer. You won’t need more energy and strength to pull it. That means, if your body is weak, you should go for clutches to kickstart your paramotor.
When it comes to clutch or no clutch paramotors, you have to consider the safety factor before doing anything else. Let’s compare a few situations as mentioned below:
- Paramotors without a clutch
Most people go for a clutched paramotor only because it can offer more safety factors to travelers. Many of them are often troubled by non clutched engines. You will often see minced wings that might cost you thousands of dollars.
Usually, one of the lines gets connected to the propeller, which is dragged in automatically. Before you can react or notice anything, you will see the lines entangled in the propeller. This situation will shred the wings.
At the time, you will have to focus on clipping in before you can start the engine. However, the situation can be more complicated than you can ever imagine. This is why many people go with an electric start engine if they don’t want to choose a clutch for flying.
The worst-case scenario is the hand of a pilot being dragged into the propeller. The propeller that is spinning fast will end up snatching the cable and pulling it inside. That means, if the pilot’s hand is attached to the throttle, it will also be dragged.
- Clutched paramotor
If you think that clutched paramotors can only provide you advantages, you are wrong. It can also have disadvantages that could end up inviting a dangerous situation.
When you are training, the professionals will teach you that you need to stop the paramotor by pressing the kill button. This is to be done only when you feel that the launch isn’t right. If you do this, you will stop the propeller from making it worse and shredding the wings.
It will stop immediately after you don’t have a clutch attached to the engine. However, things are slightly different if you have a clutched paramotor at hand. The propeller spinning will continue for a few seconds after you stop the engine. That means if you launch wrongly, the wing is likely to get shredded.
Many pilots even complain that they find it harder to land with a clutched paramotor. Everyone knows that you will have to stop the engine just before you are about to land so that the propeller would not spin. However, the clutched propeller does not stop even after you kill the engine.
If you delay killing the engine, and the propeller will be spinning when you are about to land. At this time, the wing would fall and cause much damage to you. You will have to remember to stop the engine way before you can land.
You can also read: Learn Paramotoring In 5 Easy Steps- Do Not Miss Out On Step 2!
How much does it weigh?
Usually, the clutch would contain three aspects that need your direct attention. You would find an outer drum that is an essential part of the clutch. It turns freely only to allow the propeller to make a turn as well.
Another important aspect is the center shaft that is attached to the crankshaft of the engine. That means if the engine turns, the shaft will do the same.
The last thing attached is cylindrical clutch weights. It is attached to another part called the central shaft, as mentioned above, with a spring. It keeps the clutch weights retracted.
It is sure that when you acquire a clutch, these three parts will add to the weight of the paramotor. An average clutch would add the value of about half kgs. However, other additions will also add to the matter that might be problematic for new riders.
Essential things you should remember before choosing
The above information about the paramotor clutch can end up confusing you to a broader extent. However, the report mentioned below might provide you with balance and help you choose the right thing.
If you want to have a forward launch, your propeller will start spinning and generate wash. However, if your paramotor doesn’t have a clutch, it would be difficult for you to develop a fixed amount of wash. You might even find your layout ruined because of overblown wings. If you don’t notice such a problem, you might not launch properly.
Propeller strap is the most critical aspect of a paramotor. It will help you eliminate the chances of having body parts that are minced and prop strike. This kind of issue has injured many pilots. Since it’s widespread among sports, you need to focus on its solutions.
However, you cannot use it if you don’t have a clutched engine. Even if you try to use it, it is impossible because it will always be turning to allow the propeller to turn.
Should you buy the propeller clutch?
All the possible points have been considered concerning the usage of the clutch in the paramotor. The above aspects will make it easier for you to choose whether you are ready to buy a clutch. If you are still not sure, this section will provide you enough information about it.
Do professionals prefer clutch?
Many travelers and flying experts have used both clutched and non-clutched paramotors at the present date. However, many professionals think that a clutched promoter is way safer than the other one. It is because the risks of non-clutched paramotors are higher than that of the other.
Shredding of the wings can cause you more trouble that occurs while you are launching your paramotor. It is even risky if you don’t practice it regularly. Only with practice will you be able to harness the landing part easily after using the clutch. The risks with a clutched engine get considerably lower.
The pilots don’t ever see the wing shredding after they use a clutched paramotor. Some of them, however, complain that the wing will fall on them after landing. But if you plan to stop the engine on time, you won’t face this problem.
A clutched paramotor will help you in getting the rate of the risks related to wings. As we have seen, the wing can be dragged inside the propeller. Other hazards that are reduced include the prop strike. However, if you don’t have a clutched engine, the risk factor increases, leading to accidents. After considering all the elements, you must find whether or not you want to install a clutch.