paramotor hang test guide

Paramotor hang test: How to set paramotor hang points and angle

Strapping into your paramotor on the ground and setting the hang angle is extremely important. A hang test should be done before taking your first flight, or whenever you fly a different paramotor. Hang tests are essential for safe flight, and neglecting them could lead to dangerous takeoffs and landings, and can even cause something known as riser twist.

Rather listen to this article? Get all of our posts in audio format, plus our bestselling book & lots more when you become a member by clicking here.

Setting the hang angle is easy to do, but trying to guess the angle while strapped in is difficult. I recommend you have somebody with you to tell you what angle you’re at, or to take pictures for you to review. If nobody is available, simply film yourself from the side, and then watch the video to check the angle you were hanging at.

You’ll need to emulate an actual paramotor flight, so before doing your hang test you’ll need to prepare as if you’re really going flying. Fill the tank half way up with fuel, attach your reserve parachute, wear your helmet, flight suit, and anything else you would normally take flying. This will ensure that you’re the same weight during the hang test as you’ll be during an actual flight.

A hang test is also a good opportunity to practice things that you’ll have to do during a flight. One good example is to practice getting into and out of your harness, as this will be necessary for both takeoff and landing.

My friend was struggling to get into his harness, and had to abort two flights because he just couldn’t manage to get in. We got him up on the hang test and figured out where he was going wrong. We adjusted his harness, and he practised different methods of pulling himself into his harness, he never had anymore problems.

You can also move around in the harness to practice weight shift turns. Watch how the bars move, and figure out how much you’ll need to lean to initiate a turn. Practice reaching for your reserve handles, to make sure they’re easy to grab if you ever need to. And when your reserve parachute is ready for repacking, you could even throw it! This is great practice, and should be done by every pilot.

Where to hook your paramotor during the hang test

For my hang tests, I use a steel A-frame engine hoist, but you can use anything that’s strong enough and allows you to safely attach a paramotor. If you don’t have any type of A-frame handy, You may need to get a little creative. Things like tree branches, wooden beams in buildings, and children’s swings all make great hang test attachments.

If you’re still stuck, you can purchase a swing frame fairly cheap, you’ll need it again in future so it’s definitely worth it. Something like this frame on Amazon would be perfect for a hang test > A-frame. Or if you’re handy with a little metal or wood work, you could easily make your own! To make the job easier, you can get ready made steel brackets that simply bolt to the timber, like these on Amazon > A-frame brackets.

When you have the frame, you can simply tie two pieces of rope around it at the same lengths to attach the paramotor. Make sure your knots are good, as you don’t want them coming loose. If they slip, you’ll risk damaging your paramotor. Use strong rope and non slip knots, as explained here > Non Slip Mono Knot.

You can also use ratchet straps, just like I used in the main image at the top of the page. Just be sure to wind plenty of the strap around the ratchet so that it doesn’t slip through. You will also need to use good heavy duty straps, as the cheap ones can easily break and cause damage to your equipment.

The hang angle

Now you have the frame set up, you can go ahead and hook-up the paramotor. If nobody else is available to help you with this part, don’t forget to start filming from the side view so you can check the angle. When you stop swinging, observe the angle and use the images below to decide whether you’re settings are correct.

paramotor hang test hang angle setting

Leaning forward

If you’re leaning forward, as in the first image, you’ll need to move your hang points forwards. Neglecting a hang test and flying in this position will make launches and landings very difficult. It also brings the cage very close to the risers, which increases the risk of a brake handle being sucked through, and into the propeller.

Leaning back

Flying a paramotor that’s leaning too far back, as in the third image, is also very dangerous. You’ll find it harder to run during launch, and the torque effect will be dramatically increased, which can result in riser twist. To correct this, move your hang points further back.

Riser twist is where the torque twists the paramotor so far that the risers are able to cross over, and spin the pilot around 180 degrees, who’ll end up facing the wrong way. If this happens, the thrust of the still rotating propeller can completely stop forward motion, and the wing will stall.

Correct angle

The correct angle is shown by the centre image. You can adjust the hang angle to lean slightly more forward than shown, but no further back. Remember, when you’re flying under power, the thrust will naturally cause you to pivot under the wing. This pivoting will cause you to lean back even further, so it’s important to get this right.

Adjusting the hang points

The way in which the hang points are adjusted will vary between manufacturers. The most common method is to have the hang points bolted to the bars or swingarms, and you simply move them to the correct position, but some will use thick nylon webbing that’s looped and wrapped around the bar.

If your paramotor uses nylon webbing like you can see below, you need to be very careful whilst re-attaching it. Ensure the webbing is not looped underneath the bars, as shown in the first image.

There have been cases of pilots making this mistake, the hang points slip forward after takeoff, tilting the pilot back. The pilot ends up facing directly upwards looking at the sky, and at serious risk of riser twist. You can only guess what the landing would be like! After re-attaching the webbing, double check to make sure they are attached correctly.

hang point paramotor correct

If your hang points are bolted to the bars, you’ll simply have to loosen and remove the bolts. You’ll then be able to move them forwards or backwards to achieve the desired hang angle, by using the alternative holes. Tighten the bolts to the correct torque as specified by the manufacturer, and double check that they’re in the same position on both sides.

paramotor hang test harness

Keep checking the hang angle and adjusting the hang points until the correct angle is achieved. When you’re happy with the hang angle, be sure to check everything is where it should be, and that all bolts are re-tightened.

Paramotor hang test round up

The hang test is now complete, and your paramotor is ready to fly. Remember, if you lose or gain weight, you may need to do another hang test. Similarly, if you ever carry extra weight during cross country flights, competitions or fly-camping adventures, you may need to do a hang test first.

Happy flying!

Check out my ultimate guide on the tools and other important items that should be in every paramotorists toolbox every time they go flying by clicking here.

GO TO PARAMOTOR PLANET HOME PAGE

Comments

  1. I just watched a vid by a manufacturer and they were talking about the angle the motor is at. Up is bad and down is bad but level is good.
    In your illustration, the motor shaft is not level which is supposed to be good.
    aiming up as in your illustration will lighten the load and the wing will begin to fly badly.
    you need to fix your illustration.

    1. Author

      Hi Sean, you obviously missed the part where I explained that. I mentioned that it’s OK to lean slightly further forward (this would be level), but no further back. The graphic shows the maximum amount of angle that is acceptable, any more then you’ll be leaning back too far

  2. So what’s the goal? I can’t tell from the picture. Should the drive shaft be perfectly horizontal, or slightly tipped upward? How many degrees? 5 degrees? is 10 too much?

  3. Hi ? .
    I searched for your name but couldn’t see it.
    Can you tell me.
    In modern paramotor ( bulldog monster 185 ) is the harness adjusted to help with torque compensation or is that done by second loop in risers. Also. How ( high hang point ) important is positioning of the motor ( thrust ) in relation to your seat position. Is position precise within cm,mm,inches or eye it up.

  4. So there would be no hang point adjustment if your harness has a HIGH hang point as apposed to the LOW hang points this article referred to ?

    1. Author

      Hi Trent, high hang points can also be adjusted. Some high hang point machines have solid bars that will let you move the carabiners, just like the ones in this post. Others have soft mounts where you just adjust the straps in or out with a simple buckle.

Leave a Comment