Do you need a clutch?
Many people believe that a clutch increases safety. I am not that sure.
It truly can prevent getting your lines caught into the prop when preparing to launch. This is not a dangerous accident but will damage your paramotor and probably lines too. The engine on idle has surprisingly lot of power. I have seen the lines cut through aluminum tubes like it was butter. If you had a clutch this would not happen because the prop would not spin.
Anyway, it is pretty easy to prevent lines from going into prop at pre-launch manipulation> be carefull. Yes, thats it.
Build this habit and you are safe even without clutch>
1. prepare your wing
2. pre-heat the engine on ground or on your back
3. kill the engine and come to the glider. connect the carabiners
4. now turn 180 degrees to face the glider, let the lines go around your legs. step a little sideways and back 5. to keep the lines tensioned around your legs
6. now start the motor,
7. with motor on idle turn around and launch
On the other hand, at landings a motor without clutch is an advantage. You kill your engine few meters above ground and land with a prop not spinning. Should the glider fall down on you after landing you are safe. If you had a clutch, the prop is still spinning fast and has plenty of energy.
You will definitely need the clutch if your frame is flimsy and flexible (like Miniplane). At forward launches, especially into a little more wind, the lines put a lot of pressure on the cage and squeeze it. The cage will flex backwards and get elliptical. It may easily happen that a spinning prop wouldhit the cage and you are done> both the cage and prop will be damaged.
Thermalling XC pilots will prefer a motor without clutch. Even with motor shut off, the prop on clutch will spin and rotate as a windmill. A rotating prop has higher drag than a prop that is not moving.
Now you will know if you need a clutch or not. But do you know if aerodynamics of paramotors are important? to find out more click here>