Several years ago, Osprey Technologies developed the first and only ALL-composite powered paragliding (PPG) backpack unit. While other companies are slowly integrating more composites into their designs, Osprey continues to lead with new innovations.
The Evolution (EV1)
Osprey’s first powered paragliding design, the Evolution (EV1), was designed for a 115-cm propeller. This smaller prop design provided a good balance between performance, weight, maneuverability, ease of carry and launch.
The EV1 showcases many innovative features, including an all-composite main frame with integral composite fuel tank.
The EV1 was particularly well received in Europe. To meet the preference in the United States for a powered paragliding (PPG) unit with more thrust capability, Osprey is developing a 125-cm backpack unit, as well as a new innovative trike design.
The Evolution 2 (EV2)
The new 125-cm prop unit, the Evolution 2 (EV2), incorporates the EV1’s innovative features, but with engineering improvements. It will also include numerous new innovations and features.
Improvements, Innovations and New Features
While the size of the mainframe will remain relatively the same, the EV2 will use a new carbon fiber and resin system to improve stiffness and strength.
For added safety in the event of crash or other anomaly, the all-composite composite fuel tank (integral to the main frame) is being modified to increase its distance from the prop. The fuel tank will also include increased safety features, such as the integration of Kevlar in strategic areas to mitigate tank puncture risk should the spinning prop strike the fuel tank in the event of a crash.
Osprey is also adding a universal engine integration plate. Although the EV2 is designed to accommodate its current Black Devil and Top80 engines, a universal integration plate will allow pilots to add their own preferred power plant.
The 125-cm cages will also undergo some design modifications to improve aerodynamics and cage stiffness.
A new composite spreader-bars design will include the ability to be repositioned for thrust offset produced from the numerous forces on the PPG unit.
One of the biggest innovations coming out on the EV2 is a new vibration isolation system. Since 2-cycle engines used for PPG applications are known for their high thrust to weight ratios, they are also known for the severe vibration environment they produce (which is typical of 2-cycle engines). Osprey is currently working on a new composite/elastomeric system to significantly reduce the vibration levels at the pilot interface.