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When is a microlight not a microlight..?

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When is a microlight not a microlight..?

Old 5th Jul 2020, 07:21
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When is a microlight not a microlight..?

We all know that weight shift microlights have to meet strict criteria on stall speeds, max gross weight etc... But what if you made one that didn't? Let's say you knock up a 800kg 3-seat trike. It can't be a microlight, so what would it 'be'?
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Old 5th Jul 2020, 07:30
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US-Experimental?
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Old 5th Jul 2020, 08:32
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so what would it 'be'?
Uncertifiable?
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Old 5th Jul 2020, 08:45
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Originally Posted by rudestuff View Post
It can't be a microlight, so what would it 'be'?
In the UK, wouldn't it be Group A or Permit light aircraft depending on how it was built and sold? i.e. Group A for a complete aeroplane, and Permit for a kit or plans?

Microlight is only the category of aircraft, not the shape, so doesn't automatically mean "flexwing."

So your 800 kg beauty would be a Group A flexwing. A light aircraft that happens to look like a stereotypical microlight.

Interesting question!
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Old 5th Jul 2020, 08:58
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Originally Posted by Capn Bug Smasher View Post
So your 800 kg beauty would be a Group A flexwing. A light aircraft that happens to look like a stereotypical microlight.

Interesting question!
That's what I was thinking. In the old days the difference was obvious, but now we have microlights that look like airplanes, so why not the opposite? Which leads to the obvious question: If aircraft can be made lighter to allow operation with a microlight licence, why can't they be made heavier to 'force' operation with a PPL? Could you recertify a flex wing microlight 1kg heavier and call it an SEP? I believe some 3 axis microlights can be certified either way.

Last edited by rudestuff; 5th Jul 2020 at 09:12.
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Old 5th Jul 2020, 10:33
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My Streak Shadow is on the LAA register because the shorter wings meant that the Streak did not meet stall speed specification so they were group A. It is now a microlight thanks to a simple modification of fitting gap seals to the elevators which reduces the stall speed to (just) within spec. It can therefore be registered as either group A or Microlight provided that the gap seals are fitted.

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Old 5th Jul 2020, 11:28
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Could you recertify a flex wing microlight 1kg heavier and call it an SEP
To be called an "SEP", it would have to be type certified, I should think? By EASA, until further notice? "Experimental" might well be the easier option, depending on what exactly is to be achieved.
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Old 5th Jul 2020, 11:34
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There are EASA and non-EASA types, so I'm assuming it would be a national issue?
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Old 5th Jul 2020, 15:39
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Originally Posted by rudestuff View Post
We all know that weight shift microlights have to meet strict criteria on stall speeds, max gross weight etc... But what if you made one that didn't? Let's say you knock up a 800kg 3-seat trike. It can't be a microlight, so what would it 'be'?
It would be certified under CS.23 or FAR-23 plus special conditions. The special conditions would have to be negotiated with the relevant authority, but is likely to look like some bits ported in from BCAR Section S or BFU-UL-95 as those are the two most mature design codes for handling flexwing powered aircraft.

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Old 7th Jul 2020, 22:06
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Thanks. Presumably that's a lot of hoops to jump through and no one's bothered to do it?
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Old 8th Jul 2020, 12:06
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Basically, yes.

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