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When are the 600 kg microlights coming?

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When are the 600 kg microlights coming?

Old 29th Dec 2020, 21:28
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When are the 600 kg microlights coming?

After the CAA June announcement that sub 600kg microlights would be nationally regulated, I was wondering how close we are to a flood of them coming on to the UK market. I notice for example that the Ikarus C42C, which was approved on Dec 19th, is 560 kg-ready (a bit like HD TV-ready), but not yet approved for that weight. Just wondering, in case I need to keep dieting to make the 450kg MTOW...
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Old 30th Dec 2020, 14:09
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It is a pity there seem to be no potential suppliers in the UK. There are some on the continent, but, err, perhaps they are holding their breath until it becomes clear what exactly will be the procedure of approval, and the cost thereof? The market will not be for hundreds of planes, meseemeth. Would it be worth the wager?

On a side-note, if I were a potential supplier from the continent, I would also hold my breath until it becomes clear the Brits have any money left to buy luxury goods such as recreational aeroplanes - as far as I understand, their economy is in for a serious decline due to Brexit, on top of the Corona misery. Also, I would wait a bit until it is clear what level of import duty will be levied; though I seem to understand the recent agreement steers clear of that horror, at least.

And by the way, all those 80-HP Rotax-powered two-seaters can easily operate with 500-600 kg take-off weight, they were only certified for 450 kg because that was the magical rule in those days. It is not a technical limit.
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Old 30th Dec 2020, 15:18
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I am not sure that is correct. We have a C42 in our Aeroclub and have looked into this carefully. Our understanding is that there is a substantial cost to upgrade involving for example a stronger undercarriage. I know this was also the case with autogyros which were an earlier case. It was definitely more than just a paperwork exercise.
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Old 30th Dec 2020, 15:59
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Lederhosen is correct. It will be important that the original manufacturer provides the upgrade modification scheme if any. Modifications and/or paperwork, if required, is best done by a manufacturer. Then use an approved organization in order to forestall any future difficulties across national borders. It is not easy to re-register Ultralite aircraft across national borders. There are currently no standards agreed by the EU nor between other states for microlite/ ultralite call them what you will. Each country approves these aircraft types wholly on its own terms. Usually the original manufacturer design standards are acceptable but this cannot be assured.
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Old 30th Dec 2020, 16:56
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And where is that aeroclub, and that C42? If in Germany, yes of course, rules must be adhered to, and they are forbidden to be simple and straightforward. Otherwise, the mileage may vary, and there are lots of unknowns in today's Britain - as in tomorrow's, like as not.

@Fl1ingfrog above: I particularly like the "if any" bit - most appropriate !
"Ultralight aircraft" is even a contradictio in terminis, strictly speaking: no aircraft can be an ultralight and no ultralight can be an aircraft. But I fully agree that switching sub-EASA craft between national registers can be difficult: my own pride and beauty took a full 3 months to pass from HU to BE. The key to success was that the type had been approved "as a type" by the BE CAA, but it took its time to convince the civil servants.

Also, may I be forgiven for suspecting certain manufacturers of earning money as they see opportunity, for example by requiring strengthened landing gear. For one example, I see the Eurofox https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeropro_Eurofox being marketed as a 1200 lbs LSA in the USA, with no mention of technical differences with the European ultralight version of 450/472,5 kg MTOW.

Meaning that this Eurofox can obviously be operated at 600 kg with no modifications. There can of course be other manufacturers who started out with a less sturdy construction.

Last edited by Jan Olieslagers; 31st Dec 2020 at 06:22.
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Old 31st Dec 2020, 10:35
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Originally Posted by PR0PWASH View Post
Its a daft developement pushed largely by the influence of a single UK Business on the BMAA who then put pressure on the CAA.
That’s pure internet forum nonsense based, I assume, on an opinion - which is wrong.

a 600kg aeroplane that can top 120 knots but be flown on an NPPL with a microlight rating is a bliddy joke, if you want or need a larger MAUW, the appropriate Licence an permit aircraft where already available
450kg aeroplanes that top 120kt have been flown very successfully on an NPPL(m) for over 15 years.
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Old 31st Dec 2020, 10:45
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Originally Posted by Jan Olieslagers View Post
It is a pity there seem to be no potential suppliers in the UK. There are some on the continent, but, err, perhaps they are holding their breath until it becomes clear what exactly will be the procedure of approval, and the cost thereof? The market will not be for hundreds of planes, meseemeth.
Jan, you will be pleased to hear that there are quite a few UK suppliers, some of whom are just waiting for the final CAA sign-off before submitting (re-)designs. This will hopefully be in February if CAA stick to their original time estimate.

Some have produced 600kg versions in anticipation or are preparing their current super-472kg variants for this market. One example is Flylight who manufacture the Skyranger and heavier than 472kg variants of that aeroplane exist today. There are many other UK suppliers and even some manufacturers taking active steps.

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Old 31st Dec 2020, 11:13
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That sounds like good news indeed, for the UK flying community at least. Still, excuse me for having some reserve: the Skyranger is not manufactured by Flylight, they are merely the importers. So says en.wikipedia.org, at least:
Originally Posted by wikipedia
The company also acts as importer for several lines of aircraft including the Best Off Skyranger
Still, if Messrs. Flylight will go to the cost and trouble of re-certifying the craft for 600 kg (or a bit less, perhaps) it will make an excellent offer. I have one of these for a hangar neighbour, and see it as generally solid and reliable; the pilot-owner has only good things to report about it.
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Old 31st Dec 2020, 17:44
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Flylight have been the design owner and manufacturer of the Skyranger family for about three years now.

G
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Old 31st Dec 2020, 19:46
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Ah, that is new to me, and apparently wikipedia are lagging behind, too, then. Thanks for the update!
And kudos and best wishes for success to Flylight.
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Old 31st Dec 2020, 19:53
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Having dealt with them over some 20 years now (and still working with them on a project at the moment) - they earned it. Flylight are a very robust, honest, hardworking, and competent company. We can all learn from their ways of doing business.

I also know that they are well on the way to a 600kg Skyranger being ready pretty much as soon as the 600kg version of BCAR Section S is.

G

Last edited by Genghis the Engineer; 31st Dec 2020 at 20:13.
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Old 3rd Jan 2021, 16:12
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Thanks all - that was a useful thread! I might hold on a couple of months for a new 600 kg Skyranger Nynja ; or if it doesn't appear, then just go for first C42, Eurostar or Eurofox that I can afford on AFORS...
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Old 28th Jul 2021, 15:26
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BMAA and LAA have announced the change is before Parliament and expected to become law on 19th August.
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Old 28th Jul 2021, 18:12
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The Air Navigation (Amendment) Order 2021 - S.I No. 879

The Air Navigation (Amendment) Order 2021
UK Statutory Instruments 2021 No. 879
https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/.../contents/made

Made: 21st July 2021
Laid before Parliament: 28th July 2021
Coming into force: Articles 8 and 12(b), 6th September 2021
Remainder: 19th August 2021

Explanatory Memorandum
https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/...0210879_en.pdf

2. Purpose of the instrument
2.1 This instrument amends the Air Navigation Order 2016 (S.I. 2016/765) (“the Order”)
to:
(ii) introduce a new category of microlight aircraft with a maximum take-off
mass of 600kg (650kg for an amphibian or floatplane) by amending the
definition of microlight aeroplane to include aeroplanes currently within the
scope of Regulation (EU) 2018/1139 of the European Parliament and of the
Council of 4th July 2018 on common rules in the field of civil aviation
(EUR 2018/1139) ("the Basic Regulation"), and by making consequential
changes;
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Old 30th Jul 2021, 07:54
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The "still to be answered" question about re-certification of existing 450kg microlights to the new limit will be interesting. I'm not convinced that this will be a simple paperwork job for many of the existing types - the latest versions of the Eurofox may be the easiest but I sense the UK authorities are pitching this towards new builds.
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Old 30th Jul 2021, 08:11
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Originally Posted by ETOPS View Post
The "still to be answered" question about re-certification of existing 450kg microlights to the new limit will be interesting. I'm not convinced that this will be a simple paperwork job for many of the existing types - the latest versions of the Eurofox may be the easiest but I sense the UK authorities are pitching this towards new builds.
It's not 'still to be answered' and CAA were quite clear on what they wanted:

See the BMAA website / Information Library / 600kg and then about half way down. (Pprune says I haven't written enough posts to be allowed to include URLs...)
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Old 30th Jul 2021, 08:29
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Thanks sportflying
Can existing aircraft within the BMAA fleet, which have higher MTOM in other countries, automatically fly at higher weights in the UK?
No. To fly an existing aircraft at a higher MTOM the design will have to be re-certified by the BMAA following a submission by the manufacturer or kit supplier. An individual could apply for re-certification if there is no support from the manufacturer or kit supplier.

Some types, such as the Eurofox, are certified in the UK as both microlights and light aircraft. If the owner of a microlight certified by the BMAA wants to take advantage of the higher MTOM allowed for the light aircraft version the aircraft will have to be re-certified. Assuming the manufacturer can provide the BMAA with copies of the certification submission at the higher weight we will make it as simple as possible to re-certify the aircraft at the higher weight. It is not just an automatic process.
Looks like I was right
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Old 30th Jul 2021, 14:58
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No, not automatically but some will and some won't with a paperwork exercise. It depends on whether the same airframe has been approved under Section S and flown at higher weights e.g. EV97 Eurostar is rated at 480kg as a "Fixed wing land plane" so the microlight upgrade should be a paper exercise supported by the manufacturer/importing agent.
Same applies to any approved for 472.5kg with a BRS should be able to go to 472.5kg without.

The C42 B/C is a likely candidate for the paper upgrade as the same airframe is already tested to 540/560 by the manufacturer. Model A may be only 500kg.

Other and older airframes such as X Air or Thruster etc will not be very likely to be rated higher due to the cost of testing required by the manufacturer with no benefit to themselves.

The Skyranger looks to be an early contender as the Swift 2 and Nynja have been built with the higher MTOM in mind.

Disclaimer, this is what I've gathered from some in the know. Happy to be corrected. It'll all come out in the wash.
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Old 30th Jul 2021, 15:30
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600kg will come with a new form of BCAR Section S. No aeroplane will be able to become a 600kg microlight, in either direction, without at-least a paperwork exercise to evaluate the available evidence and determine whether the aeroplane, at the new MTOM, complies with the microlight safety regulations. In most cases, at the very least, there will be some changes to the operating documentation.

It may be simple and pain-free, but it will never be automatic.

G
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Old 19th Aug 2021, 20:02
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600 Kg are now legal
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