These days there are two different types of microlight lessons; namely fixed wing and flex wing flying. And the difference? Well, a latest generation fix-winged microlight can look to the untrained eye just like a traditional light aircraft, while flex-winged flying is the one with the cockpit that is open, giving you that 'at one with nature' feel. We offer great-value experiences all over the country in both types of microlight. Time to try microlighting! Microlight experiences FAQs...
• One voucher, valid for many airfields nationwide • All British Microlight Aircraft Association clubs • Insulated flying suits available for cold weather • Fixed & flexwing microlights offered by many clubs
• An owner-operated airstrip near Lichfield/Tamworth • Fly with Mike, Sandie & Dave at this friendly club • Relaxed atmosphere, empty skies and great views • Open and closed cockpit microlights available
• Strathaven Airfield, your Scottish microlight base • Owners Colin & Marta featured on Grand Designs • See West Scotland from the air in your microlight • Choose flex or fixed wing aircraft when booking in
• Microlight flights from Halfpenny Green Airport • Choose between flex and fixed wing microlights • Formation flying option on an 'Air Experience for Two' • Long-established school with a great reputation
• Lights sport aircraft flights from Abingdon • A brilliant range of flight itineraries for lessons • Stay local, head to France or the Isle of Wight • Plenty of chance to get hands on with the controls
Flex-wing microlighting is great for adventurous types, as it takes you back to those pioneering days of aviation, giving you a taste of open-cockpit flying, where you can feel the wind on your face and experience the sensation of flight that is completely open to the elements. If you’re not brave enough for that, try fixed wing microlighting, where you’ll fly in a closed cockpit ultra light aircraft.
Who it's not for
Remember, if you don’t like the idea of the open sides on the flex-wing microlight, try fixed wing microlighting instead. If you’re scared of flying full stop, these microlight flights probably won’t be for you, so perhaps something from our driving experiences section will catch your eye instead?
What’s the difference between a flex wing and a fixed wing microlight?
The fuselage of a flex wing microlight looks like a trike (and to look at it, you'd think it'd never get off the ground!) with a hang glider-style horizontal bar and the huge wingspan of the foldable wing above your head. A fixed-wing microlight has a fully enclosed cockpit and the pilot uses the rudder, ailerons and elevator to control pitch, yaw and roll using a control stick.
Do fixed wing microlights look like planes?
They look just like your typical light aircraft (the sort of ones you go in on a trial flying lesson), with the difference being they are much lighter.
How is an aircraft classed as a microlight?
To be a microlight, the aircraft (if it’s a two seater) has to be no more than 450kg.
Where’s the engine on a flex wing microlight?
The engine is behind the pilot on your typical flex wing microlight like the Quik from P&M aviation. That means you get incredible all-round vision in an open-cockpit microlight, as there’s no engine or propellor blade to get in the way. On a fixed wing, the engine is in front of you, with the propellor on the nose of the plane.
Where will I be sitting in the microlight?
If you go on a flex-wing microlight experience you will be up front, sitting in front of your instructor in a tandem configuration. In the fixed-wing closed cockpit microlights, the seating is side-by-side, so you’ll be sitting next to your instructor.
Will my microlight experience actually be a lesson?
Yes! All microlight flights are offered as trial lessons. You can be as hands-on as you like, or if you prefer, sit back and enjoy the views. It’s your flight time, so it’s up to you, but most people do like to have at least a little go at the controls!
Are there any restrictions for microlight flights?
Each operator has its own rules, but in general, you need to be at least 14 years old, maximum height of 6ft and maximum weight is 15 stone. Please see each individual page under the ‘Suitable for’ tab for full details, or get in touch with us by email, chat or 01959 578100.
Can I talk to the instructor during the flight?
You’ll be kitted out with a headset and microphone so you can communicate. This is especially useful in the open cockpit microlights, as you can’t hear each other over the wind noise!
Is it windy and cold up there in a microlight?
There’s no doubting it’s a unique sensation being high up in the air in an open cockpit, so you will certainly feel ‘at one’ with the elements that’s for sure. In a fixed wing microlight you’ll be tucked up nice and snug inside the closed cockpit.
What should I wear to go microlighting?
If you’re in a fixed wing microlight, wear comfortable casual clothing. High heels are not recommended, nor are open-toed shoes. For flex wing experiences you’ll be given a flight suit to wear.
Is microlighting dangerous?
Flying in a microlight is no more or less dangerous than other forms of general aviation. All the aircraft used for these experiences are meticulously maintained and you’ll only be taken up by the most experienced of pilot instructors.
How far can a microlight fly?
Back in the day, open cockpit microlights had a range of around 250 miles at best. Modern microlights can fly as far as 1000miles, as they are built with more high-tech material and have become more efficient.
How fast can a microlight fly?
To be a microlight the aircraft has to have a slow cruising speed of 35knots or less. Having said that, maximum speeds are constantly on the increase, with some of the newest fixed wing models like the Ikarus capable of 150mph. On average, a flexi wing can fly between 50 and 80mph.
Will my microlight lesson be cancelled in bad weather?
In essence, yes, but don’t worry, the flight operator will reschedule your microlight experience for another suitable date. Microlights need wind speeds of less than 15knots to take off, with no cloud cover or rain.
Can you fly a microlight at night?
Nope. The microlights aren’t equipped to be able to fly at night.
Do you need a licence to fly a microlight?
If you want to fly a microlight solo yes, you have to have a pilot’s licence. For microlighters it’s called the National Private Pilot’s Licence Microlight rating - or the NPPL(M). For these experiences there is no need for a licence or for you to be enrolled on a training programme as it is a taster lesson. If you carry on with microlighting lessons, these experiences may count to your flying time log book.
Are your schools members of a microlight association?
Yes. Nearly all are part of the British Microlight Aircraft Association (BMAA). The association promotes microlighting in the UK and is the voice of the sport in this country. All pilot instructors operating these trial lessons are highly experienced pilots with lots of hours of microlight teaching under their belts.
Where can I go on a microlight experience near me?
As you don’t need a huge tarmac runway to take off in a microlight (a small grass air strip will do!) we have lots of small, independent microlight operators around the country who are more than ready to give you your first taste of microlighting, be it in a fixed or flex wing aircraft. Current locations include: