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Powered Parachutes: Safer New Way To Fly
If owning your own airplane appeals to you but you don't have a pilot's license and you're leary about getting into an ultralight, you'll like these new "Powerchutes" that are essentially a parachute with a motor on it. If the motor ever fails, you just slowly float back down to earth.
Powerchutes are already catching on fast in England, where they're manufactured, and in Australia where a distributor is selling them as fast as he can get them. So far, there is no U.S. or Canadian distributor for the new flying machines.
Available in single or two-seater models, Powerchute consists of a go-cart like propeller-equipped buggy hanging from a conventional multi-cell parachute. To take off, the buggy drags the chute behind it until it fills with air. It flies at nearly 40 mph to a maximum height of 5,000 ft. The single seater is fitted with a 42-hp. 2-stroke "Rotax" 447 engine with a 7 gal. tank that's good for 3.5 hours in the air. Weighs 260 lbs. It climbs or descends by simply in-creasing or decreasing power. Takes only about 25 yards of ground travel to take off. You can climb to 500 ft. in 30 sec. Direction of travel is controlled by pulling on toggle lines running up to the chute. When landing, chute acts as a brake, stopping the cart in anywhere from 5 to 50 yards.
Powerchutes were tested extensively by the British military and have been approved by both the British and Australian departments of civil aviation. No license is needed to fly them.
"We've had tremendous interest from farmers who use them to check livestock, fencing, and crops, as well as just for fun. It takes the risk and anxiety out of flying and is inexpensive enough to put it within reach of almost anyone," says Stephen Conte, managing director of Aerochute Industries, Australian distributor.
Sells for about $11,000 for the single seater.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Aerochute Industries, 12 Acheson Place, North Coburg, 3058, Victoria, Australia (ph 03 354 2612.

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1991 - Volume #15, Issue #3