USPPA Simulator Project
Apr 30, 2006
Many accidents, especially for new pilots, can be prevented
through intense simulator training on emergencies and other more mundane
situations that experienced pilots handle with little thought. We believe it
important for every instructor to use a training device that provides their
students a sufficiently realistic experience that will allow them to react to
situations that may be encountered in their first few flights.
The preliminary plans for a lightweight, portable simulator
that incorporates individually moving risers and brake pressures are complete. A
prototype is being built and modifications will made as necessary. The idea is for it
to be very quick to erect and put away but be strong enough for a 250 lb pilot
and 100 lb motor. These will be produced and offered to USPPA instructors for at
or below the cost of production.
The top piece, which contains the risers, bungees, and brakes,
will be offered separately for those who already have the A-frame part. We have
gotten donations, discounts and volunteer help to make these particularly
Other quality simulators are available immediately for sale
(we are not connected with the companies). If you have a simulator that is for
sale and meets our requirements, we will happily list it here. It must:
1) allow displacement of each riser independently,
2) allow activation of a speed system,
3) allow activation of the trim system,
4) allow weight shift to at least 4 inches of riser travel with 70 pounds of
5) provide brakes with increasing pressure during pull,
6) have actual paraglider risers (or a close approximation) with trimmer and
speed system connections (speed system using Brummel hooks),
7) Assemble within 1 minute without requiring tools
8) Weigh less than 40 pounds, including support and,
9) Come with everything needed (except support) to use it.
If your simulator meets these specs (or the vast majority), we will put a link
to it here. The following are what we have to date: Zuba
Download Prototype USPPA Simulator Plans (77k PDF File)
Bill "Bad Bones"
Anderson of Rising Air Paragliding
who donated a set of risers for the first prototype.
Scholtes of Paradrome PPG for the
shop, welding tools, material and expertise in fabricating the A-frame
Chris & Tammy Bowles of Southern
Skies who provided risers at cost and donated speedbars and carabiners
for use on the project.
aluminum legs, work has progressed on the top piece. The first version,
shown below, needed upgraded bungee material to handle full rated weight
(350 lbs). Prototype B is being tested. It will likely come with extra
shock cord materal that can be hooked in place when a heavy load is used.
Otherwise, it's either hard to do weight shift for a light pilot or
bottoms out for a heavy pilot.
Nick Scholtes trying out the prototype center piece. Weight
shift is what we wanted, with about 4 inches of travel against the top
bungees. The lower bungees will need to be upgraded, these pulled to their
limits. Additional bungees will be added to the top but will only be
connected by the user when the load exceeds 200 pounds.
turned out that cutting the pipes to a peak added significant complexity
and effort for both cutting and welding. One was done but the other was
done leaving the pipes open ended. When these are fabricated, the easier
(read cheaper) method will likely be used. For this application, steel is
better than aluminum although aluminum legs will still be used.
We have gotten many good ideas from others and
appreciate the input. It has allowed improvement and refinement. Two
prototypes are being built of both the A-Frame and top piece.
Only testing will tell what the final product will look
like. Once complete, a materials list and pricing will be provided for
those who want to build their own immediately. One version of the top
piece is being built with PVC and is expected to cost less than $50
Here are some of the drawings and design elements we
have received and have taken ideas from. The efforts are appreciated.