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Home > Blog > Flexed Wing Microlights

What Flexed-Wing Microlights Are There?

Posted 13 Feb 2023

Flexed-Wing Microlights

In this guide, we will discuss the characteristics of flexed-wing microlights, how they are different, and the various types of flexed-wing aircraft.

If you have ever heard about flexed-wing microlights and want to learn what they are then this guide is just for you.

Flexed-wing microlights are part of the larger microlight family that is characterised by their compact size and lightweight body. Unlike fixed-wing microlights, flexed-wing microlights are designed with even lighter materials and typically have wings made from fabric that can flex depending on how strong the wind is, hence their name.

These aircraft are considered to be one of the best flying machines in the world due to their design and fight capabilities.

In this guide, we will discuss the characteristics of flexed-wing microlights, how they are different, and the various types of flexed-wing aircraft.


You might have seen most commercial aircraft with a dual-engine design, a large body, and various advanced systems. However, in the case of microlights, these aircraft are designed to be smaller, lighter, and relatively simpler than larger aircraft.

Microlights are an important part of aviation because they make much more economical sense for both private pilots and flight schools. They are easier to maintain and offer an excellent flying experience for inexperienced and veteran pilots.

Furthermore, microlights offer a range of onboard instruments for training and personal flying and they don’t have complex systems like automated controls and advanced monitoring instruments which makes them easier to maintain and simpler to fly for enthusiasts and private pilots.

There are primarily two types of microlights:

  • Fixed-Wing
  • Flexed-Wing

Fixed-wing microlights have a conventional design with rigid wings made from lightweight materials. These aircraft look and feel more like a miniaturised version of larger aircraft and they are the best choice for people who want to learn how to fly to build a career in aviation – or for recreational purposes.

Fixed-wing microlights are generally heavier than flexed-wing microlights. Despite being made from composite and lightweight materials, they generally have a range of complex systems and a larger cockpit which adds to the weight of the aircraft.

Although some fixed-wing aircraft have foldable wings and some even come in kit form, they typically require more storage space in comparison to flexed-wing microlights.

Flexed-wing aircraft are typically even lighter than fixed-wing aircraft. These aircraft usually have an open cockpit and a very compact body.

Flexed-wing microlights are powered using a powerful propellor that is usually located at the back of the aircraft and these aircraft are controlled using a control bar instead of a yoke that is typically found in most traditional aircraft.

These aircraft are designed for aerobatics and recreational flying but are also a great stepping stone for people who want to learn how to fly. Flexed-wing aircraft are available in many different styles, but most of them have a few defining characteristics that categorise them as flexed-wing microlights.

Here are some of their prominent characteristics:

Wing System

Flexed-wing aircraft have a simple overhead wing system that resembles that of a glider. The wings are typically made from ultra-lightweight fabric material which allows the aircraft to subtly flex its wings when it flies.

The wing system consists of the kingpost, control frame, control cables, and struts. The wing system is connected to a control bar that runs across the front seat of the cockpit. The control bar allows the pilot to perform navigation and simple aerobatics. The pilot can also shift their weight to influence the direction of the aircraft, just like you would on a moving bike.  


The fuselage hosts the fuel tank, engine, and cockpit. It can also have a range of different components depending on the type of flexed-wing microlight. The fuselage is made from lightweight composite materials to ensure stability and lift.

The cockpit of a flexed-wing microlight is probably the best feature of this aircraft. Unlike fixed-wing aircraft that have an enclosed and at times, claustrophobic cockpit, flexed-wing aircraft have an open cockpit!

This open cockpit style allows the pilot a greater field of view that is unmatched. While some microlights can have a windshield installed at the front, most simple flexed-wing microlights don’t have them which gives the pilot an unobstructed view.

Performance Capabilities

Naturally, since flexed-wing microlights have a smaller body and fuel tank, they can’t be used for long-distance training or general flying. They are best for thrill seekers that want to feel the skies as they fly!

Most flexed-wing microlights have an average top speed of around 50-80mph which is significantly less compared to fixed-wing microlights that can go up to 140mph. They are also typically limited to altitudes of about 12,000 to 15,000 feet. 

It is important to note, however, that speed and altitude aren’t everything and although these smaller aircraft are “slower” they provide far more benefits and a better flying experience for private pilots.

Flexed-wing aircraft are also susceptible to weather conditions and can be challenging to fly in particularly windy conditions. Since they have a simple and lightweight wing system made using fabric and composite material, they can be tricky to navigate in turbulence.

However, in most cases, they are easy to control and are considered to be a safe option for pilots who want to learn how to fly.


Flexed-wing microlights are relatively simple flying machines that are built for one purpose: to provide a thrilling flying experience. The front panel of most flexed-wing microlights doesn’t have a range of advanced instruments.

Instead, you will usually find simple gauges for speed, altitude, and fuel. Some varieties of flexed-wing microlights can also have a range of other instruments related to navigation as well.

Flying Experience

The main selling point for most flexed-wing microlights is that they are extremely fun to fly. There is just something about gliding in the open air versus in an enclosed cockpit! Flexed-wing microlights, although applicable for training, are primarily designed for enthusiasts who want to take to the skies for recreational reasons.

Their open cockpit design enables the pilot to feel the air and use all their senses for a refreshing and enthralling flying experience. If you are into aerobatics, then we can’t recommend flexed-wing microlights enough. Their speed, handling, and weight make them one of the best flying machines to practice various aerobatics.

Most people that fly a flexed-wing microlight agree that it makes for an extremely fun flying experience and many private pilots prefer it over fixed-wing microlights, especially for short-distance training or flying.


If you are looking to learn how to fly an aircraft, then we highly recommend that you start with flexed-wing aircraft. They are highly accessible and easier to approach when it comes to training.

Flexed-wing microlights require a National Private Pilot's Licence (NPPL). You would also have to successfully pass theoretical and practical exams to be able to fly microlights. The minimum flight time requirement for flexed-wing aircraft is 15 hours which includes 5 hours of solo flight.

You will also need to pass medical tests and obtain a valid medical licence to be able to fly private aircraft and fulfil any additional requirements stated by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Flexed-wing aircraft are readily available at many flight schools. When looking for the right flight school, we recommend going with one that not only offers a great airfield and fleet but also highly capable flight instructors with years of experience in the field.

Flight schools like Sherburn Aero Club offer dedicated microlight training via Breeze Aviation, a separate facility located within Sherburn that can help you learn the basics and advanced techniques required to fly flexed-wing aircraft.

Since these aircraft have a unique control system that requires you to shift your weight to change the centre of gravity of the aircraft, you should go for highly-qualified personnel to learn how to fly them.

Once you get a hang of flying flexed-wing aircraft, you can also explore other, larger aircraft like fixed-wing aircraft that are designed to train pilots for commercial purposes. Sherburn also has its own fleet of well-maintained fixed-wing aircraft that are regularly used for recreational and flight training purposes.


As we mentioned above, there are several subtypes of flexed-wing microlights. Some have a different design while others have a range of added instruments and features, but all of them will have similar characteristics like an ultra-lightweight fuselage and a simple wing system.

Here are all the popular types of flexed-wing microlights:

Albatross VT-GSG

If you are looking for a classic flexed-wing aircraft then we can’t recommend the VT-GSG enough. It has a 2-seat design with a back-to-back configuration. This microlight is fitted with a powerful engine that can get you to reasonable speeds to perform various aerobatics.

Air Creation TrikeBuggy

The TrikeBuggy is as simple as it gets. This open-cockpit style microlight is designed with ultralight composite materials that ensure a smooth flight. It has a single seat which makes it perfect for pilots who want to explore the skies alone.

This design features a tricycle undercarriage with a simple instrument cluster. The TrikeBuggy is built for cruising and arrives disassembled. However, thanks to its simple design and included detailed instructions, the aircraft can be assembled within 15-20 minutes by just one person.

Aviator PPG

What makes this flexed-wing microlight so great is its lightweight body design and powerful motor combo. The PPG is very easy to assemble and thanks to its low weight, it can be transported easily too.

Built for two people, it’s the perfect way to experience the skies. The PPG has an open cockpit that offers a full field of view. This model is also available with an electric motor which makes it a great flying machine for the carbon-conscious pilot.

GT450 Microlight

The QUIK GT 450 is the quintessential flexed-wing microlight that is built with appearance, performance, and stability in mind. It also happens to be one of the most iconic microlights to train on due to its capabilities.

It’s a single-seater microlight that is fitted with a powerful single propellor at the back. The best thing about this microlight is its sleek design and striking yellow colour. The GT450 is made with lightweight composite materials that make it an ideal and portable flying machine.


The GTR G has a body of a mini helicopter but is fitted with a lightweight fabric wing system that is designed for added stability and control.

Unlike the other microlights on this list, the GTR G has a semi-enclosed cockpit with a windshield that makes it ideal for people who want to learn how to fly and perform aerobatics.

This aircraft is fitted with a powerful engine that can help you soar across the skies while you enjoy the open air – it truly offers an experience like no other aircraft.

Mainair Blade

The Mainair Blade hosts several iconic flexed-wing microlights that have been part of the aviation scene for decades. Even though this aircraft is no longer in production, it can still be built on special request.

Featuring a single-seat design, the Mainair Blade is made using high-quality composite materials and can be configured using several types of engines depending on your specifications. This aircraft is designed for stability and offers a smooth and memorable flying experience for both inexperienced and veteran pilots.

HypeR 912S

The 912S is built to provide better comfort and more room for the pilot. This aircraft is specifically built for fuel efficiency which makes it the ideal choice for flight training or general flying. The 912 features a high-powered propellor that can output up to 100hp.

With a sleek body and an eye-catching colour theme, the 912 is guaranteed to become an instant favourite of anyone who flies it.

QuikR 912S

The QuikR 912S is designed in the same way as the HyperR, but with a more open cockpit that offers a better view and an arguably better flying experience. Fitted with a 100hp propellor, the QuikR 912S lives up to its name and offers an extremely fun flying experience.


Whether it's flex or fixed-wing, Sherburn Aero Club is the best place for all your aviation needs. Breeze Aviation, our microlight training facility, is based at Sherburn in Elmet and has a unique training environment based at a licenced airfield.

With an extremely special aircraft fleet that consists of brand-new, high-performance microlights such as the latest factory-built Eurofox 3K, Breeze Aviation is one of only two microlight flight schools in the UK to offer training on the amazing Eurofox.

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.

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 flightdesk@sherburnaeroclub.com, or message us via our online contact form for more information on learning how to fly microlights or any type of aircraft!



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