Manufactured in composite materials paying special attention to the aerodynamics, this paramotor trike attracted admiring looks at the XXII meeting of Las Candelas in Spain, in early February. The Dynamic Energy offers a striking appearance with many thoughtful details and enough power for comfortable tandem flights.
Behind its futuristic design is Fernando Ortigueira, expert pilot from Galicia and one of the first constructors of paratrikes in Spain with Airfer, the brand that he founded and directed from 1994 to the beginning of the millennium, when he sold it to its current owner, Lorenzo Alarcón. Since then, Ortigueira has been dedicated to his iron factory, but has continued flying and enjoying paratrikes. It was precisely during one of those recreational flights when he had the idea of the Energy. “I was coming back from a navigation of about 70 km, the temperature was 5º and I was really cold. I thought, maybe if I put a glass windshield on the front and something else it will be more comfortable… and I ended up designing a new paratrike to my taste. Then I went on making moulds and pieces, and when I had invested 60,000 euros I stopped counting… And I thought about selling these trikes“, explains Fernando, who has worked on this project for four years and has three prototypes of the Energy practically finished.
The new Dynamic Paratrikes brand expects to launch the Energy to the market during March. As Fernando explained to us, at this moment he is assessing different variations of the hang point system for the glider and perfecting a piloting system with a joystick using servos to control the glider that would allow the pilot to navigate keeping his/her arms inside, once in level flight and in smooth conditions.
The Energy paratrike weighs in at 120 Kg and has high hangpoint. It is made with the internal structure of mixed fibre of carbon and Kevlar, with reinforcements to grant maximum resistance with a very reduced weight, and the main fairing and those on the wheels moulded in carbon fibre. The rear suspension is with hollow carbon arms and has aluminum aeronautical wheels, with disc brake on the front. The trike can be towed by car, although it is not recommendable for long distances. In the rear part of the pilot’s seat is a ballistic parachute up to 350 kg manufactured by USH, fully integrated and hidden. The tank made of aluminium has a capacity of 45 litres.
It also has a transparent canopy on the head of the pilot and a windshield on the front. Fernando told us that there is also a closed pod with transparent canopy that completely covers pilot and passenger, offering only openings for the arms, and designed to fly in extreme conditions of cold – handling with the joystick.
The pilot and passenger positions are narrow, but the seats are comfortable, and the height of the pilot seat can be adjusted. The pilot’s arms are completely free to handle the wing. The front wheel control system is by pedals and requires some adaptation, as well as the piloting posture. Aerodynamics are well cared for even on the underside, where there are air vents.
Ready to take off
Fernando agreed to let me try his Energy with him as passenger; he had never lent it to anyone before, so it was an honour and an interesting experience. The inner space of the Energy is quite limited, but it is comfortable, and you get in without much hassle, even for an XL pilot like me.
Propelled by a water-cooled Rotax 582 engine, with centrifugal clutch and 64 CV, the engine and exhaust are fully covered by the fairing, which has openings for ventilation. The Energy is equipped with a 3-blade variable-pitch 160cm propeller, with which over 168 kg of thrust can be achieved. The preparation is the same as with any trike: Heat up, clip-in and fly.
Once connected we check the ignitions, and the starter engine wakes the Energy at the first try. The engine runs smoothly. The centrifugal clutch allows us to prepare the take-off position without blowing the glider around.
Energy, a High-end Cruiser
We take off without A-assist. Despite the high hangpoint, handling of the risers is optimal and the glider rises perfectly, just like with a conventional paratrike.
The weight in flight reached 360 Kg. For this test flight we also tried the new ITV Bulldog 40 paraglider, designed for heavy trikes.
We did a progressive inflation and a long run to see how it handled on the ground. Despite having a centre of gravity somehow higher than other trikes, the weight of the Energy gives it poise and conveys security and control, but yes, you do notice the speed.
In flight it is very stable; the fairing and the aerodynamic fins of the hoop confer balance in flight and allow the Energy to navigate practically without oscillations. Wind protection is total.
The operation of the wing trimmer was complicated for the high hangpoint, an issue that will require some revision. According to Fernando, this paratrike hangpoint is optimized for the Mac Para Charger, which is the tandem glider he usually flies.
In flight I noticed it is fast, stable and efficient. As for the flight position, as I said, it is correct but admits little mobility. The Energy has an integrated cockpit with a GPS instrument, water temperature gauge, RPM counter, hour counter, EGT Temperature and fuel gauge. In our local test-flight we did not really use any of that, but for long cruises you have all the information you need.
For landing, practically as in any paratrike, a good flare will help you to touch the ground smoothly. Otherwise, it is reassuring to know that the rear suspension axles can withstand up to 5,000 kilos. Steering the Energy on the ground with the pedals is singular but it works well, although the turning range is limited. We landed with tail wind and taxied about 200 meters down the track without problem. To stop, the Energy has disc brakes.
The Energy is an ideal trike for navigations under power, you will not be cold in winter or high-altitude flights. In addition, thanks to its aerodynamics it manages to maintain high speeds with a moderate consumption. In my opinion, it is an interesting and striking option for those looking for a special and exclusive flight machine, which will cost about 24,000 euros complete with parachute and Rotax engine with centrifugal clutch.
Dynamic Trikes plans to offer a version of the Energy without the engine, pod canopy and parachute, for about 9000 euros. And for next year, Fernando hopes to have a more compact and small solo version, but with the same energetic and fast spirit of the Energy.
+ Info: www.dynamicparatrike.com