Powered Parachutes

4.0 based on 5 ratings

Updated on Mar 29, 2010


Mechanical Engineering

Grade Level

9 & up

Difficulty Level



Minimal, unless you actually rent/buy powered parachutes, or take flying lessons. These are available in certain areas with lots of open spaces. If available in your area, call for pricing. This project does NOT require the rental or operation of powered parachutes.

Safety Issues

If you ride in a powered parachute, standard safety issues will apply.

Material Availability

All necessary materials are readily available, except the powered parachutes.

Project Time Frame

4-6 weeks


This project looks into the concept of powered parachutes as the future of transportation.

The goals of this project are:

  1. To explore the possible uses of powered parachutes
  2. To improve on currently existing designs.

  • Computer with internet access.
  • Digital camera
  • Typical office/craft supplies (such as paper, pens & poster-board)
  • Small motor (inquire at your local hardware or hobby store)

All materials can be found in local stores or on ebay.


A powered parachute can best be described as a flying go-kart.How cool is that?But powered parachutes are more than just an exciting way to see the world.They have other important uses as well.But certain logistical concerns interfere.This project explores the possibilities of this eco-friendly, relatively safe, and extremely pleasant mode of transportation.

Research Questions
  • What exactly is a powered parachute?
  • What are some important current uses for powered parachutes?
  • What are some possible future uses?
  • Why doesn’t everyone have one?
  • How can this invention be improved for wider use?
Terms and Concepts to Start Background Research
  • Powered Parachute
  • Paraplane

  1. Read overviews of relevant topics (see bibliography below and terms listed above).
  2. Research and study the basic design of a powered parachute, through online searches and (if possible) visits to airfields where para-planes take off.
  3. Design and build your own small-scale model of a powered parachute.If possible, improve on an existing design.
  4. Explain your methods in a detailed report.
  5. Show your working model(s) at the science fair.
  6. Display any interesting photos taken throughout the course of the experiment.


http://www.paraplane.com/history.html (All about powered parachutes)

Powered Parachute Flying Handbook, from the United States Department of Transportation(2007)

http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid=p3907.m38.l1313&_nkw=powered+parachute&_sacat=See-All-Categories (Para-planes and related products for sale on ebay)

Internet searches of your own choosing:Do a Google or Yahoo search for any of the terms listed above (or make up your own phrases to search), and click on any results that interest you.Have fun surfing the net!

Judee Shipman is a Bay Area Educational Consultant and professional writer of quality educational materials. Her recent writing credits include Top50States.com (a popular and entertaining website about states), and a book called The Portable Chess Coach (Cardoza, 2006), currently available in stores.

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