How good are microlights?

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19 years 9 months

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I've been contemplating learning to fly for a few years, and I suppose the dream is to one day to have my very own flying machine. Now I've seen a fair few microlights knocking around and some of the newer ones look remarkably like 'real' aircraft (no offence to any microlight owners intended;) ), the question is are they any good? Does anyone here own one?
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19 years 9 months

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Have a read of 'Propellerhead' by Antony Woodward (HarperCollins). This is an extremely funny and poignant biography of a Londoner who longs to fly and discovers microlighting as the only affordable method. It underlines both the joys and drawbacks of coming into the microlight world from scratch, and is written in the same sort of style as the novels of Nick Hornby. Very readable and great fun, you should find it at your local Waterstones etc for about £5.99, or if not, certainly on Amazon. Steve PS - Woodward learns to fly in Norfolk so you might even recognise some of the locations
Profile picture for user Simmer

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19 years 9 months

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Thanks Steve, I'll trawl through Amazon. PS. noticed you're into 'loud' music, are you the same BeeBee who wrote Head Bangers' Ball perchance?

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16 years 7 months

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You'd be surprised at what they call a microlight nowadays. It aint just a case of a hang glider and a flymo any more! Look at the Jabiru or the Pegasus CT - they look like real aeroplanes and from what I'm told they fly pretty good too.

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19 years 9 months

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Originally posted by Simmer Thanks Steve, I'll trawl through Amazon. PS. noticed you're into 'loud' music, are you the same BeeBee who wrote Head Bangers' Ball perchance?
Yes Simmer, I am the self-same Steve Beebee of 'Kerrang!' and 'MTV Headbangers Ball' infamy. The latter is no more, but 'Kerrang!' continues to go from strength to strength, and I still write for them on a regular basis. Cheers, Steve
Profile picture for user EwenT

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Simmer Whatever some people say, microlites are real aircraft. Please don't get the "them and us" syndrome:D there is enough of that at the moment on another forum. Some of the latest ones can be built as microlite or Class 'A' aircraft and I know someone with a Kitfox that is Class 'A' only because of the wing differences. Many will out-perform my old class 'A'. What type of flying do you want to do?
Profile picture for user Simmer

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19 years 9 months

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Sorry EwenT, I wasn't trying to create divides. Its just that a few years ago a microlight was seen as a hang glider with an engine. Yet I've seen over the months a few microlights that actually look like their larger fixed wing cousins, I was just wandering wether they were any good. I just assume they are cheaper to learn on and that running costs would also be lower. I was interested if anyone here might own one or has flown a few. Flying wise I guess I'm looking at just recreational now and again, I'm not planning to do tours of Europe or anything. It would be nice to see my homeland from a bird's perspective :D
Profile picture for user EGNM

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Simmer, another point for you is that East Anglia must surely be the place for microlights, and the CFM factory is somewhere in Suffolk (my grandparents live near Ipswich). Just a point your not a Naaaaaaaarwich fan are you?
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No not a Norwich fan really, I prefer Rugby actually. So in people's opinions what is the best micro out there? Or probably a better question would be if you were going to buy one for yourself, which one would you part with your hard earned cash for? I quite like the look of the Samba that was reviewed in TP a while back :)

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Simmer, if you want to find out about microlights the place to go is Popham on May 3rd and 4th. The Microlight trade fair has all of new and old designs - you might even bum yourself a ride. My personal favourite - the Foxbat. Lurverly looking aeroplane, looks like a real aeroplane, has good performance and excellent viz (loadsa glass down the side). PLUS. as its made in the Ukraine (or somewhere) you can say that you fly a Russian Foxbat!! Someone mentioned CFM aircraft, didn't they go bust?
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Seagull, have you got a picture of the Foxbat you can post up here? Or the manufacturers website maybe?? Thanks
Profile picture for user Nikumba

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Originally posted by Simmer Seagull, have you got a picture of the Foxbat you can post up here? Or the manufacturers website maybe?? Thanks
Try using google Simmer, like most people do. The URL is www.google.co.uk just incase you didnt know :) Nikumba
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19 years 9 months

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Nikumba, I'm afraid I can't use Google at work, as its been on the 'banned' list for a while :( We can only use the medical based search engines across the Internet.
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Simmer Try the British Microlite Aircraft Association (BMAA) on http://www.avnet.co.uk/bmaa/, but don't foget to come back here:)
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I am not quite aware of the regulations in the UK but in Germany those nice looking 3-axis microlights have one big problem and that is weight. A German microlight must have a BRS system and its MTOW must not exceed 472,5 kg (recently upped from 450 kg to compensate for the BRS). One of those modern and sleek 3-axs microlights with a radio, transponder and a few other extra goodies here and there will easy weigh 300 kg - empty! Then add two passengers at a conservative 80 kgs each and that leaves you with 12,5 kg for fuel, which is less than an hours flying! This is in my opinion the main problem these aircraft have. Otherwise, for economy and fun they are hard to beat.

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Simmer, Take a look at www.foxbat.co.uk Seagull

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You got to go a long way to beat the fleet of modern day microlight aircraft. You can get a flexwing that will do over 100mph or one that will bimble along at 50mph. You can spend over £40 grand or you can spend £2 grand and with both end up with a brilliant and safe flying machine. Training is sound. The machines are sound. The people and parties are happening. These machine are as safe as the pilot and as with any aviation activity - danger is natures way of ridding the gean pool of idiots. Training will cost from around £65 an hour and you can be solo in as little as 15 hours. Choose your school and instructor wisely - you will find good ones and better ones.. www.bmaa.org has links - other good sites are www.flylight.co.uk www.mainairsports.co.uk enjoy!!