What is a Microlight?
The official definition of a microlight states that, with a few exceptions, a microlight is an aircraft that is not designed to carry more than two people and has a maximum take-off weight not exceeding 450kgs.
This means these aircraft have relatively short take off and landing capabilities making them ideal for use at smaller airfields. They also normally run on unleaded petrol so refuelling them is as easy as a trip to the garage. Flex wing microlights can be de-rigged at the end of the day meaning minimum hangerage requirements. All aircraft are given an annual inspection just like a car would get as well as being designed and tested to very stringent requirements laid down by the CAA.
Flex wing microlight
Fixed Wing Microlight
Types of Microlights
At Clearprop! Microlight School we fly two types of aircraft, both of which fall under the microlight category.
For Three-Axis training we use an Ikarus C42. This new aircraft is a conventional aircraft and is controlled using a centre mounted joystick and rudder pedals. The seating is side by side within an enclosed cockpit ensuring no frost bite in the winter! Powered by a four stroke 100hp Rotax engine the aircraft cruises at around 80mph and has a maximum fuel capacity of 65ltrs burning around 10ltrs per hour giving a very respectable range.
Our flex wing aircraft is a Pegasus 912. This aircraft stems from the early microlight designs where an engine was attached to a hang glider. Nowadays they have fantastic performance similar to that of the fixed wing microlight aircraft. The seating arrangement is front to back and the cockpit is open. Flying suits are worn for extra warmth as well as helmets and headsets. These aircraft are controlled in the same way as a hang glider using weight shift.
A good comparison to make between the two common types is that flex wings can be compared to three-axis microlights in the same way as motorbikes are compared to cars. The only difference is these machines fly!!