Installing the Miniplane safety netting
by Had Robinson
updated February 2019
This procedure can be used for installing the netting that comes with a new Miniplane paramotor or a replacement netting. The netting with a new paramotor is already assembled with the inner and outer tension-lines, measured, cut, installed, and the fittings tied at the right places. All replacement netting must have the inner and outer tension-lines measured, cut, and the fittings installed. If you have an assembled netting you can ignore the steps below that explain how to measure, cut, and then tie the fittings onto the inner and outer tension-lines.
The netting is tightened in (3) different ways. The outer circumference is tightened by firmly pulling the netting to the end of the holes in the frame where the fiberglass rods go. The inner circumference of the netting is tightened by pulling on the tension-line that is threaded around the inner circumference of the netting. The inner tension line can be further adjusted (tightened) by stretching the line towards the front of the frame using the ends of the inner tension-line. Everything stretches and loosens after the paramotor is used a bit. This is why you want to be sure you initially install the netting tightly.
1. To reduce netting wear, put black electrical tape on the surface of the cage sticks where they contact the inner tension-line.
2. Remove the old netting. Unclip the rings and carabiners at the base of the cage so that the inside tension-line is completely free at both ends. Disconnect the side sticks from the rod holders. To free them from the rods, smack the rod holders as it you are driving them further onto the rods. Now squeeze the black ring on the rod holder towards the outside of the holder. This release the tension grip on the end of the rod. At the same time, pull the rod holder off the rod. The rod holder should slide off. If it does not, smack the rod holder again and repeat the above step. Remove the (4) rods. You may have to drill out the rivet that holds the netting to the fitting on top of the upper sticks.
3. Place the center of the new netting on top of the upper sticks fitting. The center hole in the cloth rim of the netting has the netting sown on one side. This is the side that faces forward. The upper rods are the ones with a bare end and the metal sleeved end. They go into each side of the upper cage fitting. Insert the rod in the second rod fitting hole in the netting (away from the center). Thread the rod towards upper cage fitting. Put a rod fitting in the first rod fitting hole (about 26 1/2" from the center of the netting) in the cloth rim and thread the rod through it. Make sure the rod is fully seated in the upper cage fitting. Do the same for the upper rod on the other side
4. Take the lower rod (the one with a bare end and a thicker end of fiberglass material) and thread it into the open end of the netting. As you slip it in, put another rod fitting in the second hole and thread the lower rod through it and into the metal sleeve of the upper rod. Make certain the rod is fully seated in the sleeve.
5. Bring down each of the rods and insert them firmly in the holes at the bottom of the frame. The outer circumference of the netting will be ready to be secured at the base of the frame.
6. Screw in the (4) cage side sticks so that the net is on the front side of the side sticks. Use a bit of black electrical tape to wrap around the stick joint so that it does not unscrew (it will do this when the engine is run if the rods are not secured). DO NOT USE THREADLOCK ON THE STICK. Attach them to the plastic rod fittings by pushing the rod ends into the holes gently and then giving the rod holder a gentle smack so that it goes home on the rod.
7. At each end of the outer circumference of the netting, a double loop of line is required. See the photo below. This is what tightens the outer circumference of the netting. Cut a piece of line 50cm (20") long. Make a double loop through the cloth loop and run a single loop over the raised rivet on the frame. Pull the cloth loop to the end of the hole in the frame where the rods are inserted by pulling on the end of the second loop. Tie a knot in the end of the two lines. Now you can pull things tight and make a second knot about 1.5" away from the first knot at the end. Do the same for the other end of the netting. The inner second knots at both ends of the netting are what tighten the outer circumference of the netting.
Measure the distance of the line from the outer circumference end of the netting to the ring on the inner circumference end of the netting. It should be 25cm (9 3/4"). Tie a double half hitch to secure the ring. The ring is usually in place in replacement netting kits but it may not be at the correct distance.
8. There are (2) rings (or a ring and a small carabiner) that will be spaced 20cm (8") apart that need to be attached to ends of the line that goes around the inner circumference of the netting, (4) rings total. Attach a ring 36cm (14") from the end of the long piece of net line with a double half hitch. Loop the line two times around the ring. Attach the ring to the hook on the RIGHT side of the frame. Thread the string to the left, through both rings attached to the netting, through the inside loops of the netting, and completely around the netting to the right side.
Put a ring on the hook on the LEFT side of the frame and double loop the line through this ring. Tighten up the netting and put a double half hitch in it (you will have to adjust this knot so don't make it tight yet). Work the netting around the inner tension-line so that the tension-line is tight. The tension-line and the netting stretches over time and loosens so you want to be sure it is tight at this time. Now put a double half hitch knot in the line at the ring. If you make a mistake, you can loosen the knots and redo things. You want the inner tension-line tight all the way around the netting. This is a SAFETY issue.
9. Attach the last pair of rings (or carabiners) to end of the inner tension-line so that they are 9.5cm (7") from the rings attached to the hooks. Wrap the end of the line that has the ring (or carabiner) attached around the inner-tension line as shown below. Wrap the line enough times to tighten the netting. If you make the inner tension-line too tight, the netting will wear more quickly where it contacts the cage sticks (applying electrical tape at this junction will help reduce wear). When you are done, the hooks will each have (2) rings attached (or a ring and a carabiner), as shown below.
10. Work the netting again so that it is tight. You may have to adjust the knots. Once you are certain that everything is correct (and looks correct), put some Superglue on each knot to prevent it from undoing. That's it. Someday I will get a video which would make it easier.