This post was inspired by watching a video of a 16 year old successfully completing her first solo flight in a Ikarus C42 at Popham Airfield, Hampshire, UK in early 2019.
Ultralights (USA) or microlights (UK) offer a much more affordable way for people to enjoy learning to fly and owning their own aircraft.
Ultralight flying is growing in popularity due to advances in materials and innovations in design. Microlight aircraft manufacturers all over the world offer a growing number of light aircraft with surprisingly good performance and comfort.
As well as lower costs than conventional general aviation aircraft microlights & ultralights offer an authentic ‘stick and rudder’ experience, often with the wind in your face, although there are many that offer the comfort of an enclosed cockpit.
Mention microlights to non-flyers and they probably think of flex wing microlights with a single or two seats in tandem suspended underneath.
But as all aviators know the world of microlights includes many types, including fixed wing aircraft that at first glance look like any other general aviation light aircraft.
The advantages of microlights are many; they are cheaper to buy and maintain, they can operate out of small airfields and farm strips, and they are much more fuel efficient.
This reduces the cost per hour of flying and makes them an ideal choice for recreational pilots, as well as for some flight training schools who want an ab initio training aircraft.
Microlights have flown all around the world (albeit with a lot of refueling stops), and it’s not unusal for UK owners to spend a few days flying south to visit European and Mediterranean countries.
These aircraft can be bought in kit form thus reducing the cost and giving you the satisfaction of building it yourself, or they can be bought ready to fly for those keen simply to get airborne.
The cost can be reduced still further by joining or forming a syndicate of owners. This method also brings the advantages of shared experiences, tips and advice, and the social side of it.
So if you are attracted to flying low and slow in VFR conditions, perhaps hoping from airfield to farm strip, then here are just three examples of aircraft for sale.
1. The Ikarus C42.
The German built Ikarus C42 ultralight or microlight is a best-seller. It first flew in 1996 and quickly became a popular choice among flying schools and private pilots owners.
Continued in the video…
For more information about microlight flying in the UK visit the British Microlight Association’s website at https://www.bmaa.org.
For more information about microlight flying in the USA visit the United States Ultralight Association’s website at https://www.usua.org.
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