In this guide, we will specifically look at the types of fixed-wing microlights and how they are different from one another.
Fixed-wing microlights are an excellent option for people who want to learn how to fly. They offer a flight experience that is akin to flying larger aircraft and they come in many different specifications too!
Microlights are defined as low-weight aircraft that are compacter and usually have a single but powerful propellor for power. Within the microlight family, there are two main types of microlights: flex-wing and fixed-wing aircraft.
In this guide, we will specifically look at the types of fixed-wing microlights and how they are different from one another.
WHAT ARE FIXED-WING MICROLIGHTS?
Fixed-wing microlights are aircraft that have a rigid wing, usually made from lightweight composite materials. Their wing design is in contrast to flex-wing aircraft that have a fabric-based wing that can subtly flex depending on wind conditions.
These aircraft are designed for responsive handling and can be a complete joy to fly due to their speed and overall performance during flights.
Compared to traditional large aircraft, fixed wings can be thought of as miniature flying machines that can either be used by pilots who want to learn how to fly or by enthusiasts who want to experience the thrill of aviation.
Unlike flex-wing aircraft, fixed-wing has a 3-axis control, meaning that they can move up and down, bank left and right, and they can even move side to side using the rudder at the back.
The anatomy of fixed-wing aircraft is different from both flex-wing and larger aircraft in many ways.
Here is how they differ:
- Fixed-wing aircraft have a compact cockpit that can usually host 2 people.
- They have a single high-powered propellor at the front.
- They have rigid wings with flaps and ailerons.
- Their performance and speed are better than flex-wing aircraft.
- Some fixed-wing models also feature foldable wings which makes them easy to store.
- They also have a rudder at the back that makes it possible for the aircraft to move sideways.
- They typically have a larger fuel tank than flex-wing aircraft which makes it possible for them to fly great distances.
- Fixed wings also have a complex cockpit that mimics the controls of larger aircraft.
BENEFITS OF FIXED-WING MICROLIGHTS
Fixed-wing microlights are designed with fun and training in mind. They offer a thrilling ride and are ideal for training purposes due to the presence of various onboard instruments, a factor that isn’t available in most flex-wing microlights.
These aircraft can also be cost-effective compared to larger aircraft due to their relatively less complicated systems. They also require less storage space and some fixed-wing models also offer foldable wings which makes them a great choice for private pilots.
Fixed-wing aircraft are also available in kit form, meaning that they can be shipped disassembled, and then assembled at any location using highly detailed plans and instructions.
Most microlights also have STOL (Short Take Off and Landing) capabilities which means that they won’t require as much distance to take off which is excellent for pilots that don’t have access to traditional runways.
Finally, despite their compact size and lightweight design, fixed-wing aircraft are highly capable flying machines that offer impressive performance. Their design allows for highly responsive handling which makes them extremely fun to fly for training and recreational purposes!
THE MOST POPULAR FIXED-WING MICROLIGHTS
Here is a list of the most in-demand fixed-wing microlights that are designed for serious flight training and recreational fun as well!
RANS S-7 Courier
By Benchill - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7753659
The RANS S-7 courier is designed for enthusiasts and pilots that want to further their understanding of flying aircraft. This aircraft is a single-seat fixed-wing microlight that is designed with a powerful 50hp engine that is suitable for various flying situations.
With a cruising speed of about 90hp, the S-7 is a great fixed-wing aircraft that you can take cross-country or try aerobatics with full confidence.
BRM Aero Bristell NG5
By Bidgee, CC BY-SA 3.0 au, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=71720308
This aircraft is a popular microlight that is also known as the Bristell Classic. It has a 2-person seating capacity with a side-by-side configuration. It is probably one of the best aircraft to practice on – and it is also great for enthusiasts who want to try aerobatics!
The NG5 is fitted with a highly capable Rotax 912 engine that allows the aircraft to reach a cruising top speed of up to 120mph. It’s especially great for advanced training due to the inclusion of complex onboard systems.
By FlugKerl2 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27491771
The RV-12 is a low-weight fixed-wing aircraft that is available as a fully-built aircraft, and it can also be bought in kit form which adds to the fun of owning this extremely capable aircraft for private pilots.
This aircraft has a variety of onboard avionics which makes it very suitable for training and recreational purposes. It is also fitted with a Rotax 912 engine which makes it extremely fun to fly.
Czech Sport Aircraft SportCruiser
By Chris Happel - http://picasaweb.google.com/chris.happel/SportCruiser#5379282819256064722, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7924408
Built using high-grade composite materials and designed for smooth flights, the SZAW SportsCruiser is an excellent aircraft for aerobatics and general cruising. It has a 2-seat configuration with a Rotax engine along with a tricycle undercarriage for smooth landings.
With a top speed of 120mph, the SportsCruiser is perhaps one of the best-designed fixed wings microlights out there.
Flight Design CT
By KGG1951 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15419700
Want a more traditional flying experience? Then the FD CT is a great option. It has a high-powered single-engine propellor with a high cruising speed that will fulfil the needs of enthusiasts and trainees.
Like the SportsCruiser, the FD CT also has a 2-seat set-up with a spacious cockpit. However, the flight control is slightly different for this aircraft as it features a control stick rather than a yoke. With a variety of flight instruments onboard, we think that the CT is a great lightweight aircraft to learn on.
By Ahunt at English Wikipedia - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Common Good using CommonsHelper., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8090409
Looking for a truly ultralight aircraft for training and recreational needs? Then the SkyRanger is a truly iconic fixed-wing microlight that is well-suited for aviation fans.
Equipped with a Rotax engine and a tricycle undercarriage, it is perhaps one of the lightest aircraft with a weight of around 250kg. It can soar across the skies with ease and also has a panel of instruments necessary for flight training.
TL Ultralight TL-2000 Sting
By FlugKerl2 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20760045
Made from composite materials like carbon fibre. This aircraft has an excellent body-to-weight ratio and a sleek and aerodynamic body that makes it a fast and highly capable fixed-wing microlight.
It has a top speed of 140mph and can be used for aerobatics, general flight training, and even for recreational flying.
Ace Flightcraft Sparrow
The Ace Sparrow is a classic fixed-wing microlight with a compact body and a powerful engine. It can seat 2 people and is designed for general training and recreational flying. Like the Van’s RV-12, the Sparrow is also available in kit form, making it a great choice for enthusiasts who want to build the aircraft from scratch.
Even though it has a low top speed (114mph) it ticks all the boxes when it comes to flight training and aerobatics.
Comco Ikarus C42
By Adrian Pingstone - Photographed by Adrian Pingstone in September 2008 and placed in the public domain., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4896505
The Ikarus is a classic fixed-wing aircraft that is designed with both, speed and economy in mind. It offers a tricycle undercarriage and a spacious cockpit for 2 people. It is perhaps one of the best fixed-wing microlights out there due to its design and fuel capacity which makes it suitable for long-distance flights.
By John1million - On my Nokia N8 mobile phone., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38163933
The EV97 is as popular as the Ikarus C42. It has a low-wing design meaning that the wings are positioned below the cockpit.
The best thing about the EV97 is its sleek design which enables it to soar across the skies with ease. With a 65-litre tank, this fixed-wing microlight can easily perform long-distance flights and thanks to its high-powered engine, it can output top speeds up to 124mph.
By Myself (Adrian Pingstone). - My own photo, taken with a Nikon D5300 DSLR and Nikon 28-200 mm lens, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61810880
Just like the S7, the Rans S6 is an equally capable fixed-wing microlight with a fabric covering. The aircraft can be purchased in kit form making it the ideal choice for enthusiasts and even pilots who want to learn how to fly.
The aircraft comes equipped with a three-wheel base and a reliable engine that can output up to 100hp depending on the model.
By No machine-readable author provided. RuthAS assumed (based on copyright claims). - No machine-readable source provided. Own work assumed (based on copyright claims)., CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7625158
If you love meticulously designed aircraft then we can’t recommend the Eurofox enough. Not only does this aircraft have a sleek and highly aerodynamic body, but it is also one of the best fixed-wings microlights to train on.
It’s fitted with a Rotax 912 engine that can output up to 100hp and even though it has a spacious cabin with a seating capacity for 2, it provides an impressive fuel economy which makes it ideal for long-distance flight training.
By Airjuice Photography - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=106571675
The Velis has a very interesting design, it has a body that is shaped like a helicopter, but with extended lightweight wings and a long tail. The Velis can seat 2 people and is designed to be highly efficient with cross-country flight capabilities.
Owing to the success of the Velis and Explorer aircraft, Pipestrel has also launched an electric version of the Velis, which is the first of its kind!
WHO ARE FIXED-WING MICROLIGHTS BEST FOR?
Fixed-wing microlights are relatively easier to fly than larger aircraft which makes them highly accessible for a wide variety of pilots. Whether it's for recreation or flight training, microlights are the perfect way to being your aviation journey.
Here are a few types of pilots that microlights will be great for:
If you are someone who loves the rush of adrenaline, then we highly recommend that you try your hand at flying fixed-wing microlights. Not only is this a great hobby, but it is an excellent way to explore your surroundings and get a new perspective of familiar places from the skies!
Since microlights are designed for short-distance travel, they are immensely suitable for people who want to fly locally without worrying about fatigue or other challenges associated with long-distance flights.
Hobbyists find microlights to be a total joy to fly due to being highly approachable, unlike larger aircraft that require serious training.
Although flying fixed-wing aircraft requires a similar level of discipline, many pilots will agree that microlights are way more fun to fly than larger aircraft that aren’t necessarily as responsive to your inputs while in the air.
Furthermore, there are numerous types of microlights that you can train on and many people try to fly as many aircraft as they can to develop the right feel for each type of microlight. This allows them to not only advance in their training but also gives them serious bragging rights.
Pilots with Limitations
Can’t qualify for a CPL due to a medical condition? Don’t worry, you can easily train and apply for a PPL to fly microlights! Since these aircraft can be flown with a class-2 medical certificate that isn’t as restrictive, even pilots with certain non-serious medical conditions can also soar through the skies.
Not only this, but you can also hone your skills and train on fixed-wing microlights and become an instructor too! The sky is the limit with microlights, and if you are someone who has always wanted to fly, then you should check out your eligibility for these smaller aircraft.
The best way to learn how to fly is to practice, and microlights make for the perfect way for you to expand your skills and close your skill gap!
Younger pilots will also find microlights to be the perfect stepping stone for their dreams in aviation. If you are the parent of a highly curious and ambitious future pilot then we highly recommend that you start training them young so that they can unlock their full potential as they grow to become highly experienced pilots.
Flight schools offer a range of programmes dedicated to younger pilots, some even offer discounts for young candidates that want to learn how to fly microlights!
WHY CHOOSE SHERBURN AERO CLUB?
With a large fleet of new aircraft and an airfield refurbishment with new runways, hangars, and an extended clubhouse, Sherburn caters to brand-new flyers who have just started their journey to the skies, as well as seasoned flyers who have been operating aircraft for decades.
Whether it's flex or fixed-wing, Sherburn Aero Club provides dedicated microlight training via Breeze Aviation, a separate facility located at Sherburn in Elmet, with highly experienced microlight pilots. For those who wish to experience the thrill of a flight for fun or to help fuel their aviation dreams, Sherburn offers experience flights for the newbie, as well as the veteran.
If you don’t know where to start then you need a flight school like Sherburn to guide you through the entire process of any type of flight programme.
With us, you can begin your career in aviation or even take to the skies as a hobby. Sherburn’s flight training school offers private and commercial licences, along with pilot medicals to ensure a smooth journey going forward.
Sherburn Aero Club, which has been operational since 1964, is the ideal place for most of your training and flying needs. It is one of the largest flying clubs in the North of England and also one of the largest in the country.
The flight experience option is also available for people who wish to take to the skies for special occasions, even if they aren’t into aviation in the long run.
Sherburn also offers a dedicated day-long Flight Radiotelephony Operator’s Licence (FRTOL) course for those wishing to get the certification, running the first Sunday of every month.
In addition to that, if you are looking for a hangarage for your own aircraft, need servicing or repairs, want to buy a new aircraft or aviation equipment, or are just looking to enjoy and watch the aircraft, Sherburn Aero Club is the place to be.
Call us on 01977 682 674, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or message us via our online contact form for more information on learning how to fly fixed-wing microlights or any type of aircraft!