What is a Microlight aircraft?

A microlight aircraft is a category of aeroplane which by definition:

  • Has a maximum take off weight not exceeding 450kg
  • Has either; a wing loading not exceeding 25kg per sq M, or a stalling speed not more than 65Kph (41Mph)
  • Can carry a maximum of 2 persons

The advantages of this formula over conventional aircraft are many and include:

  • Economy of operation and purchase
  • Easily transportable and some types can be rigged and ready to fly in under 30 minutes
  • They can be flown safely from small fields
  • Maintenance is simple and can be done by the owner – subject to certain conditions

There are two general types of microlight aircraft

Flexwing

Flexwing

The Flexwing also known as a weightshift or trike, has a wing reminiscent of a hang glider with a trike unit suspended below containing the engine, seats and landing gear.  Flexwings are the most common kind of Microlight. They are traditionally at the lower end of the price scale and if required can be towed on a simple trailer and stored in a garage. All Flexwings are open cockpit.

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Fixed Wing

The fixed wing also known as a Three Axis Microlight resembles a conventional light aircraft in both looks and control systems. They tend to be more expensive and require more space to store than their Flexwing counterparts but are not as weather restricted and have the option of a closed cockpit. A licence gained on a fixed wing Microlight can be cross-credited towards the grant of other Aviation licences.