What is a microlight

Types of Microlight

How much does it cost

How do I start

Building your own microlight

My Skyranger

Skyranger Kit

The Build


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How Much Will It Cost?

This will depend on how you go about it. One major cost will be that of obtaining your licence. Even microlight flying lessons do not come cheap and are usually in the region of £70 to £80 per hour for dual lessons on a school aircraft. This can usually be reduced to £40 to £50 per hour if you use your own aircraft. The actual number of hours required will vary from person to person and be dependent on age, aptitude and previous experience. But do not be over optimistic in estimating how long you will need before going solo. It will take as long as it takes and you will not be allowed to go solo until you are ready. Unless you have some previous flying experience it is unlikely that you will go solo in much less than 20 hours and it could take far longer. Once you do go solo you will need to do more training under supervision and pass some exams and finally your general flying test before obtaining your licence. If you budget £3000 for lessons etc. you should be in the right sort of area, if you do it for less consider this a bonus. This may seem expensive but remember that it is a one off cost.

If you learn in a school aircraft you will not need your own at first, but be aware that some schools do not allow you to use their aircraft for other than dual lessons. This will mean that you will need your own aircraft before you can go solo. There are various routes open to you for “owning” your own aircraft, depending on your preferences and budget. You could buy second-hand, an airworthy flex-wing can be bought for £2000 - £3000 and you could reduce this if you can persuade one or more friends to share the cost and buy a share. You could join a syndicate, shares are often offered in new aircraft and you could buy a one tenth share in a £20,000 machine for £2000. You could buy a share in a second-hand aircraft, these are occasionally offered on the notice boards of flying clubs or in classified adds in aviation magazines etc. The cost of such a share will be dependent on the age type and condition of the particular aircraft. Finally and most expensive, there is always the option of buying new this can be either a factory built or kit form aircraft. Costs for these covers a wide range, from around £13000 to over £40000 depending on type and specification.

So you’ve got your licence and your aircraft but unfortunately that is not the end of it. Where are you going to keep and use it? The cheapest option is to keep it in your garage at home and trailer it to the airfield when you want to fly. But this may not be practicable, especially for a 3-axis machine. Many people keep their aircraft in a hangar at the airfield but this can cost in excess of £1000 per year. You will want insurance to cover third party risks and probably want to insure against loss through fire theft or accident. You will also need to maintain it and an allowance must be made for this. The actual cost of maintenance will depend on whether you carry out the work yourself or have to pay someone to do it for you. The engine type will also influence costs, 2-strokes needing more work than 4 strokes. Don’t forget that sail material typically “Dacron” is degraded by U.V. radiation and unless protected from sunlight could fail the annual inspection after only 3 or so years. If it does need to be replaced it is likely to cost a couple of thousand pounds or more. The fixed cost elements of insurance; hangarage; re-permitting etc. are usually taken care of on a syndicate aircraft by the levying of a fixed monthly charge while the variable elements such as maintenance are covered by a per hour charge for usage.

Fuel consumption is dependent on engine type (2-strokes using more than 4-strokes) and power output, but will be heavily influenced on how hard you work it. Like a car if you go everywhere at full throttle you use a lot more fuel, it takes a lot more power to get the last few mph. Consumptions can range from 5 to 20+ litres per hour dependant on the above.