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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Types Of Microlight

Microlights come in two basic types:
1. Flexwing known also as weight shift or trike
2. 3-Axis known also as fixed wing
Flex wings consist of a tricycle pod which carries the passengers hung under a hang glider type wing and are controlled by the pilot pushing on an “A” frame to move the wing relative to the tricycle. 3-Axis craft are more like conventional aircraft in that they have a fixed wing and are controlled by stick and rudder operating on conventional control surfaces.

Pegasus Quantum
a popular 88mph flex-wing microlight
Pegasus AX-2000
a basic tube and fabric 75mph 3-axis microlight
From these 3 examples it can be seen that microlights are available in a wide range of types, each with their own strengths and price tags!

Dyn Aero Banbi
an advanced 165mph carbon fibre 3-axis microlight!


Which Is Best?

This comes down to personal choice and there are those who prefer the flex wings, seeing them as the motorcycles of the sky. Flex wings have the advantage of being cheaper to buy and being smaller are easier to store and transport by trailer. Others prefer the idea of a real aeroplane and opt for the 3-axis machines. These machines come in both open and closed cockpit forms but are usually a little more expensive and there are fewer available second hand compared with flex wings. However some types can still be trailered after folding or removing the wings.

Engine Types

When it comes to power plants this usually involves a choice between 2-stroke or 4-stroke piston engines, (although the BMAA project registration document does mention diesel, rotary and jet types!) 2-stroke engines are cheaper to buy initially and are lighter in weight, but require more maintenance, use more fuel, need expensive 2-stroke oil and are less reliable. If you fly a lot then the extra cost involved in the purchase of a 4-stroke will be recovered with cash to spare over the life of the engine, due to savings in maintenance and fuel. It is for this reason, together with the increased reliability that flying schools tend to opt for 4-strokes. On the other hand if you fly only a little then you will not recover the extra cost.