article 1d. revision date 17.04.07

Microlight Aircraft

Defined as aircraft that weigh no more than a total of 450 kgs; Microlight aviation is an inexpensive, exhilarating and safe method of getting airborne.

Microlight aircraft come in variety of designs but typically fall within two distinct categories :-

FLEX WING (Weight Shift)

Flex-wing Microlights are powered aircraft with the majority of the airframe suspended beneath a flexible fabric wing. Flight is controlled by pilot input to the engine throttle and a crossbar that effectively alters the aspect of the suspended weight in relation to the wing.

In principal these machines perform aerial maneuvers in the same way as a hang glider with, of course, the additional component of engine power.


Fixed-wing Microlight aircraft have a ridged wing and share the same design principals and methods of flight control as conventional aircraft using power, ailerons, elevators and rudder to effect the 3-axis components of lateral attitude, pitch and yaw.

Unlike it's flex-wing counterpart many fixed wing microlight designs have an enclosed cockpit and can be easily mistaken for traditional light aircraft. See photos for examples of open and enclosed cockpit designs.

It's only human nature that both designs have their advocates, however, we know that whichever Microlight type you choose to take to the skies in, you will be in for an exciting and memorable flying experience.

Microlights in both categories share a number of advantages in comparison to their larger brothers, for example, a much reduced cost of ownership, cheaper club hire rates and a shorter learning process for those that wish to obtain a pilots licence. In addition, many of the flex wing models are not restricted to airfield locations and can be flown from private fields with prior permission from the landowner. Some Microlight models can also be disassembled and easily transported by road for assembly at the take-off location.

Enclosed Cockpit Fixed Wing Microlight

Flex Wing Microlight

Open Cockpit Fixed Wing Microlight