Welcome to the 2024 WPEC

Overview of what the championships involve

The organisation team warmly invite pilots, teams, sponsors, and spectators from around the world to join us for an historic event: the FAI Paramotor Endurance championship format, taking place at Category 1 level, for the first time ever.

Manston Airport provides an ideal venue for an event such as this, with a 1.7 mile long runway and prairie-like acres of open grassy spaces. It comes with a long history of aviation; the Dambusters flew training flights from there; the Concorde visited on several occasions, and the first Human Powered Aircraft to cross the British Channel was based there. We are very grateful to our hosts, site owners RiverOak Strategic Partners, and The RAF Manston History Museum for their generous support for the event.

The endurance competition structure builds on “classic” FAI tasks, but with significant emphasis on long distance navigation, maximising flying hours for pilots and minimising extensive briefings or complex rules. The key objective is to award trophies to the pilots that demonstrate the highest degree of skill through tasks that accurately represent the flight planning, decision making, and aircraft control necessary to fly paramotors safely and enjoyably. The format has been extensively developed and tested since 2018 through the annual British National Paramotor Championships, following its original inception by pilot Paap Kolar in Estonia.

The competition involves a series of navigational and piloting challenges, many of which can be attempted at any point during the allowed flying hours of the competition, which takes place over a period of several days. Further bonus points can be gained by collecting turn points en route to and from the precision tasks. Pilots are permitted a maximum number of flying hours each day, within a longer flying window that utilises the majority of daylight hours. Pilots may make any number of flights and refuelling stops within each daily flying period. Pilots will normally conclude their day’s flying by returning to the airfield; occasionally an alternative final landing point may be briefed if windy conditions dictate. Careful flight and weather planning across the period of the competition is therefore essential, as is equipment selection to maximise the distance/fuel economy balance of long distance flight.

Key features of the paramotor endurance format are:

  • Large competition map area (approximately 4,000 km2), with minimal restrictions and no-fly zones.
  • Many hours flying over spectacular and varied terrain (pilots expected to fly approx. 20-25 hours XC)
  • A strong focus on strategic flight planning, airborne decisions and practical paramotoring and piloting skills.
  • Free choice of flight windows up to a maximum (specified) limit of airtime hours per day, within a larger task window that utilises the majority of daylight hours.
  • Minimum of briefings and penalties.
  • Simple and fast scoring, using live GPS tracking to follow pilots.
  • Pilots score points through a range of task types:
    • Precision navigation by following prescribed routes accurately in both positional and speed control
    • “Collecting” turn points en route to and from other tasks
    • Flying economically, through choice of equipment, throttle management and/or use of thermic air
    • Precision wing control in accurate landing or ground-based tasks.