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Review Bailey V5

The new engine of the English factory aims to offer the advantages of 4-strokes with reduced weight and, therefore, only comes with manual starter. The V5 has the same design of crankcase of the V4 but it is narrower as it gets rid of the fan and the structure of the electric starter. It has an effective manual starting system. The engine works with two valves in head and delivers 20.5 HP at 8000rpm; it has a very pleasant touch of throttle, the operation is smooth and the engine literally "purrs", delivering 60 Kg of real thrust (manufacturer data) which allows a pilot of 100 kg -like myself- to fly with a reflex wing. The sense of maximum thrust is similar to that achieved with the current 100-125cc engines but with a more calm power delivery.

With the new design of crankcase, the exclusion of electrical starter, a new cylinder head and titanium exhaust system, the weight of the Bailey V5 is only 15.9 Kg. To this we must add half a litre of oil, the weight of the frame, harness and, of course, the fuel.
This engine mounted on the Bailey frame felt comfortable to carry on my back because the weight is compact and fairly close to the body of the pilot.
Empty and ready to operate, including the oil (without fuel), the V5 makes 27.5 Kg - a weight quite similar to "equivalent" 2-stroke paramotors, especially considering that we will fly with less fuel.
I flew with about 4 litres of gasoline, twice as much as I needed for my flight test.
The manual starter system only requires a strong and continuous pull to put the engine to work. In my test, it started at the second pull. The sound is different from what we are used to, low and deep. At idle we just hear something like a whisper.

In flight
After heating the engine and doing a short power test, I got ready to take off. I gave some gas while pushing the risers and once the wing was on my head I started the race squeezing the throttle at the same time.

The V5 offers good thrust. As soon as I got the necessary speed I was in the air, and after getting in the harness, helping me with one hand, I started to climb at a rate of +/-0.8 m/sec.; nothing remarkable but still enough to navigate with ease. My weight all dressed up for flying is about 100kg.

The touch of the throttle control is soft and very precise; the V5 revs up with less momentum than a 2-stroke but does so in a convincing way. Ground skimming is a pleasure; the degree of precision that we get with the throttle is simply amazing: the V5 lets you cruise smoothly only centimetres above the ground with a total control of the power.

Paul Bailey told us that the minimum consumption is around 3-3.5 lt/h, something that seems reasonable and similar to the consumption obtained with the V4, which I've flown many times. I could not measure the consumption myself for this review.

Depending on the type and size of glider, the V5 can suit foot-launched pilots with weight up to 100 kg. In order to get a good compromise of power I would recommend it for pilots up to 90 kilos. It can also be used to power a paratrike but in such case I would recommend a maximum pilot weight of about 75 kg. Heavier pilots would probably be underpowered.

A very nice feature, especially for amateur manufacturers, is that, unlike previous Bailey engines, the V5 includes all the elements necessary for operation in its body, i.e. the gasoline pump is fixed to the engine as well as the CDI and all the electronics, you just have to connect the fuel hose to the prime pump, connect the cable for the kill engine button, and it is ready to fly!

Bluenac 3000

Consumption and clean operation
Some 2-stroke engines, with special carburettors and working with a very rich mix, can obtain consumptions under 3 lt/h. This might be useful in competition but it is risky and impractical for everyday use. The great advantage of 4-stroke engines is that the difference of consumption between the best performance and flying at maximum gas is not very wide.

I had the V4 mounted on a paratrike (propeller of 130cm and 160 Kg of total load in flight) and with it the minimum consumption I got was about 3.4 - 3.8 lt/h. In training flights practicing "the 8", "clover leaf" and similar tasks, the maximum consumption rises to 6-7 lt/h, while on a "normal" flight doing a little bit of everything, consumption usually does not exceed 5 litres per hour. In comparison, the new V5 has a consumption and performance slightly lower.

In my case, I like to squeeze the throttle most of the time and I noticed a significant reduction in the fuel consumption compared to a 2-stroke of 200cc, I’d say even lower than with most 100 and 125cc motors I've flown. Besides, we no longer need to lubricate the cylinder with fuel so there’s no oil in it anymore, and this translates in a clean functioning, fewer emissions and less "dirt": the propeller is clean, the engine is clean and you are clean.

Video: what's new in Las Candelas 2011

Here you can watch and listen the Bailey V5 at work:

C-pilot pro

The V5 is a relatively light engine. Its 60 Kg of thrust are enough for most foot-launched PPG pilots.

A proud Paul Bailey showing us his creation

The set is balanced and the weight close to the pilot’s back makes it feel comfortable. The frame with simple ring is strong but still it's better to have a good take-off technique.

Little tendency to twist on the back.


The V5 features original details such as the titanium exhaust or the aluminium tank that has a "window" for checking the amount of remaining fuel.

The +:
Smooth and quiet operation, and reduced consumption. The machinery of the V5 is robust, supposedly more reliable and durable than any 2 stroke.

The -:
At equal power it is more expensive and revs up more slowly than a 2 stroke and it is therefore less exciting. No centrifugal clutch.

Report: Paramotor meeting Las Candelas 2011
Discover all the new equipments we saw this year


Review by Daniel Crespo
Daniel is a paragliding & paramotor pilot and competitor.
+Info on his blog (Spanish):

Posted: March 16th, 2011

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