exactly What is a Microlight?

There are three main types of microlight; the flexwing type which consists of a delta wing similar to a hang glider with a 'trike' unit suspended underneath it;  the 3-axis (or fixed wing) type which looks more like a conventional aeroplane;  powered parachutes which have a ram air canopy below which is suspended a wheeled power unit in which the pilot and passenger sit.

The legal definition of a Microlight recognised around the world is more detailed: 

A microlight aeroplane is one designed to carry not more than two persons which has a Maximum Total Weight Authorised (MTWA) not exceeding:

  • 300 kg for a single seat landplane.
  • 390 kg for an amateur built single seat landplane for which a UK Permit to Fly or Certificate of Airworthiness was in force prior to 1 January 2003
  • 450 kg for a two seat landplane
  • 330 kg for a single seat amphibian or floatplane
  • 495 kg for a two seat amphibian or floatplane
  • 315kg for a single seat landplane equipped with an airframe mounted total recovery parachute system
  • 472.5kg for a two-seat landplane equipped with an airframe mounted total recovery parachute system

A microlight must also have a stalling speed at the maximum weight authorised not exceeding 35 knots calibrated speed.

Whatever their size or shape all microlights are designed to be fun to fly and inexpensive to operate.