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600kg Microlights

What is this new breed of 600kg Light Sport Microlights?
We look at the aircraft that may be coming to the UK (or not…)

There’s a revolution coming to light aviation and it’s known as the Light Sport Microlight. Yes, the new category of microlights with a max weight of 600kg brings the possibility of factory-built aircraft at reasonable prices (well, some anyway) with much lower operating costs and simpler operation than most certified aircraft. We understand the CAA is about to release for consultation the revised  British Civil Airworthiness Requirements (BCAR) Section S Issue 8, which will give the detail on the new category, but the BMAA has been able to clear some existing aircraft, with others in the pipeline. However, it’s not transparent, for now, which of all the hotships we’ve been seeing at shows such as AERO Friedrichshafen over the years will eventually come to the UK. This list is our best guess on what will… and what’s unlikely.

Alpi P300

Italian company Alpi has just had its first 600kg microlight approved in Italy, the Pioneer 300. Alpi combines wood with composite materials for the airframe with features such as retractable undercarriage. In the UK, Alpi aircraft are available as kits and can be fitted with Rotax engines from 100hp to 141hp with your choice of avionics. UK agent is Cavendish Aviation at Earls Colne Airfield. Cruise 135kt Price From £60,100

Bristell NG5

Czech manufacturer Bristell has a range of low-wing and high-wing aircraft, renowned for their solid construction, wide cockpits and safe handling, with a choice of Rotax engines and fixed or retractable gear. In the UK though, only the NG5 Speedwing is currently available as a kit, though the UK agent says this may change in the future. Cruise 115kt From £42k

Eurofox

The Slovakian made Aeropro Eurofox is one of the first factory-built Light Sport Microlights to be approved with a max weight of 560kg, and is proving highly popular with private owners, and also with gliding clubs which use it as a tow tug for launching gliders. No longer available in kit form. Cruise 92kt Price From £72k

SkyRanger Nynja LS

The bestselling Skyranger is also one of the early BMAA approved LSMs, with the latest Nynja LS cleared for 600kg max weight given an incredible 300kg payload. The Nynja is similar to the Swift but has a smooth composite skin on the fuselage covering a steel tube frame. Built in the UK by Flightlight at Sywell. Cruise 88kt Price From £51,600

Foxbat A32 Vixen

he Foxbat A32 Vixxen is a development of the original A22 (which is still available) with a smoother fuselage design and slightly shorter wing span to give a faster speed without harming the aircraft’s impressive short take-off and landing performance. Only available as a well-engineered kit. Cruise 115kt Price £90k

Flight Design CTLS

The 600kg microlight version of the popular Flight Design CT is based on the Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) with the same high spec as the Sport Edition, updated in 2020. Last year, a more powerful version with the turbocharged 115hp Rotax 914 was introduced. UK agent Airmasters is expecting to bring in factory-built aircraft. Cruise 115kt Price From £105k

Ikarus C42C

A thorough reworking on the ever-popular Ikarus C42 with new wing shape and shorter wings, and stronger airframe, has resulted in the C42C being cleared with a max weight of 560kg. Payload is now a whopping 281kg. Standard engine is a 80hp Rotax  but the 100hp 912iS and 914T can also be fitted. The C42C is available from TLAC. Cruise 84kt Price From £72k

Pipistrel Velis

Pipistrel UK agent Fly About Aviation is waiting for the final BCAR Section S to be approved by the CAA before announcing the final spec of Pipistrel’s entry into the LSMs. It will be based on the Velis Club, which is itself based on the certified VSW121, so a proven airframe with the proven Rotax engine choices.  Cruise 132kt Price n/a

Sting TL-2000

The Sting has been a good-seller for TL Sting, the UK agent for Czech company TL Ultralights, but mostly as a kitplane. Now TL Sting is concentrating on factory-built aircraft and the carbon-fibre Sting TL-2000 offers comfortable fast touring and still able to operate from grass strips. There’s also the high-wing Sirius available. Cruise 120kt Price From £114k

TL Stream

 

For a fighter-like experience, the TL Stream offers two seats in tandem configuration and sparkling performance. Construction is carbon fibre with Kevlar shielding in the passenger cell. The Stream’s speed range is from stall at 35kt to a Vne of  181kt. Features include retractable gear, leather seats and Garmin G3X Touch avionics. Cruise 135kt Price From £217k

Tecnam P92 Echo

Tecnam’s P92 Echo has been around since the early 1990s with more than 1,000 delivered worldwide but, like much of the Italian company’s range, recently had a thorough reworking. The MkII has a roomier cockpit with wider seats, more streamlined and modern appearance, more performance, latest Garmin avionics and BRS, plus, of course, it’s from a major manufacturer. Cruise 115kt Estimate £160k

Blackshape

The Italian Blackshape Prime has wowed crowds at shows such as AERO Friedrichshafen with its sensational design that just yells ‘speed’. Two seats in tandem configuration give optimum handling and speed, plus it’s also limited to +4/-2 g and strip capable. Like to fly one? Try Air Combat Europe. Cruise 148kt Price From £161k

Breezer B400-6

Unlike many of the 600kg microlights, the German Breezer is constructed from sheet aluminium rather than composite and offers a sturdy two-seater. The B400-6 is very similar to the EASA type certified B600, with shorter wings and other weight saving measures to come in at 275kg empty. Cruise 108kt Price n/a

Funk FK-9

German company Funk Aircraft has a range of light aircraft including the Bucker-Funk BF131 Jungmann replica and retro-styled BF139. However, its contender in the 600kg microlight class will be the long-running FK-9 high-wing now on its MkVI version. Comfortable and beautifully finished, unlikely to come to the UK. Cruise 105kt Price n/a

JMB VL3

There’s a spat going on between Belgian company JMB and Italian company Risen as to which has the fastest 600kg microlight, but one thing’s for sure, the VL3 is fast no matter which Rotax engine you choose – 100, 115 or 141hp. Short strip capable, the VL3 has a claimed max speed of almost 200kt and a climb rate of 2,000fpm. Cruise 140kt Price From £152k

Junkers A50

Dieter Morszeck, the man behind the Junkers F13 replica, is at it again with the Junkers Junior A50, based on an open-cockpit 1930s design. It looks delightful and is beautifully engineered and constructed. It is powered by a modern Rotax 912iS, has modern Garmin avionics, BRS, and is due to go on sale in April 2022. We’ll take two, bitte. Cruise 100kt Price £151k

Remos GXiS

Remos has had a chequered history but now looks to be settled with its new owner since June 2020, Stemme, the motor glider manufacturer. The GXiS is the current model, based on the long-running GX model, now powered by a Rotax 912iS and certified in the 600kg category in Germany. Cruise 100kt Price (est) £155k

Risen 915iS SuperVeloce

For Alberto Porto, designer of the Risen 915iS SuperVeloce, it’s all about speed – and his aircraft is officially the fastest microlight with an FAI record of 400km/h – an astonishing 216kt. But it’s also a roomy aircraft with all mod cons, including Dynon glass cockpit, BRS, retractable gear. The SuperVeloce has shorter wings than other models. Cruise 181kt Range 702nm

Shark UL

Now famous as the microlight that Zara Rutherford flew around the world, the Shark UL is a high performance aircraft with two seats in tandem, retractable gear, composite airframe, and achieving excellent performance on a standard Rotax 912ULS. Empty weight is from 295 to 325kg depending on options, with a max cruise speed of 162kt though the optimum is lower. Cruise 135kt Price (est) £138k


Got questions? Check out our Q&A with experts from the British Microlight Aircraft Association (BMAA) here


 

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