Aircraft

Compact twin-turbine electric paraglider takes to the sky

Compact twin-turbine electric ...
The Canop-E electric paramotor. Just add parachute.
The Canop-E electric paramotor. Just add parachute.
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The Canop-E electric paramotor. Just add parachute.
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The Canop-E electric paramotor. Just add parachute.
A lightweight and compact paramotor that fits in a car with zero breakdown
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A lightweight and compact paramotor that fits in a car with zero breakdown
Rear of the prototype, showing the ducted fans and small battery pack
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Rear of the prototype, showing the ducted fans and small battery pack
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Indiana's Pete Bitar has quite a few pots on the boil right now. Between prototyping his LEO Coupe eVTOL "flying supercar," developing directed energy weapons for the US Military through his XADS company, manufacturing electric ducted fans, selling heavy-lift drones through his Vertipod company, working on small personal flight vehicles, and developing and testing electric jetpacks, among other things, you'd think he'd have his hands full.

Not too full, though, to give parts of the LEO's propulsion system a second home in an electric paraglider system. Bitar's spent plenty of time with parachutes in the past; before XADS stood for Xtreme Alternative Defense Systems, it stood for Xtreme Ads, a business in which Bitar painted adverts on parachutes. The Canop-E had to happen.

This prototype started out as a test for two of the six forward propulsion jets designed for the LEO eVTOL. Weighing in at 57 lb (26 kg), it comprises a seat, two 216-mm ducted fans, a harness, and a 100-V, 18-Ah, 1.8-kWh battery pack mounted in a simple frame. To the top, one attaches a 28-m (92-ft) parachute canopy, and from there it functions like a regular paramotor rig.

A lightweight and compact paramotor that fits in a car with zero breakdown
A lightweight and compact paramotor that fits in a car with zero breakdown

Bitar and his team have test-flown the Canop-E, claiming an endurance of around 20 minutes for the prototype, and a top speed somewhere around 70 mph (110 km/h).

Electric paramotors are not new, but Bitar says typically they're much bulkier than this, with single propellers shrouded by a protective cage that need some teardown or folding to fit in a car. The Canop-E, he says, needs no further safety gear around its ducted electric turbines, and can be thrown in the seat or the trunk of a car as it is, ready to hook up and fly.

"The plan is to offer a higher end, novelty CanopE-Jet 1, and a lower cost, ducted propeller CanopE-Jet Light," Bitar told us. "Not including paraglider, the Light model will sell for US$8,995 and the CanopE-Jet 1 will sell for $18,995. I think we'll open up pre-orders soon on CanopE-Jet, because I think we can start delivering units by Q3 of this year."

In other news, Bitar says he's completed a seed round of funding for the LEO eVTOL project, and "should be flying the LX-1 manned prototype by May." And while he can't say too much about the electric jetpack at the moment, "that's a very cool project, and getting cooler all the time." See the Canop-E fly in the video below.

CanopE-Jet First Flight!

Source: Electric Jet Aircraft

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13 comments
13 comments
HokenPoke
Looks like heaps of fun, E paragliders just gets better and better, Bar the unfortunate high price tag of this system.
ChairmanLMAO
Looks like the twin-turbine electric paraglider will have a problem taking off and moreso landing. Kudos for the ideas though. Too bad the video doesn't show the paraglider gliding.
guzmanchinky
Cool! Unfortunately air machines, more than any other, suffer from the relative low power density of batteries compared to gasoline...
notarichman
the paraglider isn't on their webpage. 20 minutes seems extremely short. however, if you take off from a mountain top, then you could gain some altitude, shut it off,
glide for a while, and start it up again to land where you started. i wonder what his glide ratio is with the power off!
freddotu
The 70 mph top speed for a paraglider is rather suspect. Paragliders fly by converting thrust to lift. More throttle means climb, less means descend. Certainly, one can pull down on the A risers for more speed, but not 70 mph, but maybe an uncomfortable 70 kph.
PeteBitar
So to answer some questions here, yes it's expensive because of the turbines. The CanopE-Jet Light will be in line with the cost of gas or other electrics with much more portability and ease of handling. 70 mph is real with speed bars on this glider which is an A/B, and there are faster ones out there, actually. No problems taking off. Got off in 3 steps, if you watch the video. And as far as range, batteries will get better, which means you're not limited to the same range when you buy it like you are with gas motors... Plus it's super cool flying a jet. No vibration. Let's air resistance. It is indeed the future.
Signguy
You know what they say "if you have to ask the price..."
doc
@chairmanLMAO

Looks like another stoneage commenter that has never seen a powered paraglider, should we explain to you how to press the play button on the video ?

@guzman
Not a concern its good enough to be useful now and will o ly get better from here, with gasoline, you always have issues of unreliability and maintenence headaches

@freddotu
Explained by the owner below do your research before posting.

@petebitar
I really like your product, just feel the price can come down.
Flyingdonkey
Compared to OpenPPG it seems deafeningly loud, a third the flight time per charge, and costs twice as much. I love to see innovation in our sport but I'm sorry to say this is a cool pet project that probably can't compete as a product. Especially the noise, PPG isn't about cruising from A to B at high altitude, you want to be able to fly somewhat close to the terrain without pissing everyone off and scaring wildlife. A quiet e-motor is great for this compared to traditional 2-strokes. If you fly turbines this loud anywhere close to civilization you will find trouble, be it with a rancher whose horses were spooked or the gov't when you scare off protected species from their nesting site.
ljaques
LOUD, but cool.
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