A SOUTH Cumbrian Para Motorist has traded in his petrol engine for a more eco-friendly, and much quieter model.

Dan May from Kirkby-in-Furness has been flying paramotors around the Lakes for about four years and often shares pictures and videos of his journeys through the air, as people love seeing the views he captures from the sky.

A paramotor consists of a large wing, an engine and propeller, which allows piolets to take off from the ground and doesn’t rely upon a strong wind.

Unfortunately, petrol engines can be quite noisy, Dan said they vibrate and require you to run the engine on the ground for at least 10 minutes before flying.

Dan recently invested in an electric engine, which he charges via solar panels, so his flights are completely carbon neutral and ‘literally powered by sunshine’.

The new engine is also much quieter, with no engine sound or vibration, Dan said the only thing you can hear is the propeller rotating.

He said: “At max power, the unit is around 30% quieter than petrol. Moreover, you do not have to run the engine in on the ground, simply turn on and fly - a bit like a drone.

“The absolute best part is that it is very quiet in the cruise.

“They are much more reliable than petrol engines and require very little maintenance, just pre-flight checks, giving me much more confidence to fly over water and mountain terrain.”

Unfortunately, electric systems do not yet have the same capacity as petrol engines, which could stay airborne for up to five hours. So far, battery technology only allows for 30-40 minute flights.

Dan said: “I have a huge amount of support from locals, all of whom seem very interested in the project. Many farmers have reached out to off land to fly from (and have even come out to watch the test flights).

“My intention is to continue my exploration of the Lake District, documenting my flights via video and narration from the air to share with others. I’m excited to be able to continue this journey in a much more sustainable way that works in synergy with the natural environment that I’m attempting to capture.”