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  1. #1
    New Member Positive Climb's Avatar
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    x air 582 five years old and less

    Been flying C42s now at the club for the last 4 years after getting the licence. Looking to invest shortly in my own aircraft. Ideally a x air 582, no more than 5 years old with less than 100 hours AF and engine. Seem to be very few newer x air's on afors for what ever reason?

    Dec


  2. #2
    Captain Roger Mole's Avatar
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    The fact that they're out of production may have something to do with it

    Sorry, couldn't resist that so perhaps I'd better explain.

    The reality is that outside the sceptred isles that are to the north of the English Channel, the days of the first generation rag-and-tube microlight (I prefer the term ULM, sorry) are strictly numbered. There are various reasons for this, and not just generational creep or old age, the main one being that of weight limits.

    For donkeys years now, most of the new 450kg ULMs manufactured and sold in Europe have been overweight eg if you take something like a Guepard that is widely used for training, as soon as you load two people on board, there is no room left for ANY fuel if you want to stay within the 450kg limit.

    This hasn't stopped manufacturers making them though, and ULM schools using them so instead of just turning a blind eye, almost the whole of Europe is now saying OK, let's make these aircraft legal by upping the weight limit (to 550/600kg).

    Schools and private owners will and do love this where it's already happened because it puts yet another nail in the GA two-seater coffin by creating aircraft that are highly capable due to their speed and weight-carrying capacity but yet still have a low cost of ownership.

    So given this scenario, who in an increasingly more wealthy Europe wants to buy an X-Air or an AX3? Answer, nobody.

    As usual, the UK will ignore such trends though and sit on the sidelines while UK microlighting dies a slow and agonising death, as it has been doing now for some time. In the meantime, ULM owners and pilots elsewhere will just get on with doing what they enjoy leaving the UK to its battered old 1st generation fleet that will keep on flying all the while the BMAA (and the LAA to an extent) continues to preside over them in the way that they do and always have done.

    Funnily enough, the main ULM 'authority' digging its heels in over increasing the 450kg is here in France. That's because they have other fish to fry and are worried that by pursuing the increase they/we pilots will lose the traditional freedoms we enjoy as a result of the extremely relaxed and laid-back regime of oversight that prevails here.

    What they seem to have lost sight of, though, is that they are in a position to argue very strongly for the status quo and no regime change even if the 450kg limit is increased, the reason being that the aircraft concerned have been flying for years and years under the current regime without major incident.
    Last edited by Roger Mole; 25-01-18 at 22:03 PM.

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  4. #3
    F-UK FLYER
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    Roger,
    From time to time you speak a bit of sense Most of time it is childish drivel but cie la vie eh ?

    I agree the UK Microlight Scene is dying on it's **** & I think your summary sums up the reasons succinctly.

    The AX3 / AX2000 / X-Air 'examples' will be flying in the UK well into the 2020's & even possibly the 2030's.... not sure they will see the 2040's but then by then I couldn't give a flying fig what the microlighters are doing.

    As Ultralighting is getting bigger & bigger in Europe it is diminishing in Blighty, seems to be the way everything British ends up.

    Thank God I am doing well in Europe because if you had to rely on UK Trade it would be a very sporadic way of life.

    Bigger things happen in Europe & I doubt the BMAA or the LAA will ever catch up again


  5. #4
    Co-Pilot Martin Watson's Avatar
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    The original "vanilla" Xair is still in production. And spares are well catered for.
    Martin
    BMAA 5370


  6. #5
    Co-Pilot Peter Twissell's Avatar
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    "This hasn't stopped manufacturers making them though, and ULM schools using them so instead of just turning a blind eye, almost the whole of Europe is now saying OK, let's make these aircraft legal by upping the weight limit (to 550/600kg)"

    Roger, are you suggesting that aircraft designed, built and currently registered as 450kg will be re-qualified at a higher MTOW?
    G-BZNP Still not dead


  7. #6
    F-UK FLYER
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    I think the microlights that have a VLA 'Bigger Brother' that is cleared to 600kg already shouldn't be too much of an issue to up the microlight MTOW to parity of the VLA version, what I hope doesn't happen is that they 'Carte Blanche' every microlight that has current 450kg status up to a higher MTOW.

    I think it would be lunacy to allow a 390kg microlight to be upped to a far higher MTOW..... I certainly don't think it would be wise to have AX3's buzzing around at 500kg or whatever they set the weights at.

    That said, I have always been amazed that a 582 POWERED Skyranger has a 450kg MTOW & the 912S POWERED Skyranger has the same 450kg MTOW ( I am sure whilst the 912 version would happily operate at 550kg, the 582 might well struggle? ) so I think if the MTOW limits do get increased, it should be on a microlight by microlight basis where someone with significant aeronautical knowledge makes a calculated decision ( this person cannot have a vested interest in any microlight )

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Twissell View Post
    "This hasn't stopped manufacturers making them though, and ULM schools using them so instead of just turning a blind eye, almost the whole of Europe is now saying OK, let's make these aircraft legal by upping the weight limit (to 550/600kg)"

    Roger, are you suggesting that aircraft designed, built and currently registered as 450kg will be re-qualified at a higher MTOW?


  8. #7
    Co-Pilot Martin Watson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by F-UK FLYER View Post
    ...what I hope doesn't happen is that they 'Carte Blanche' every microlight that has current 450kg status up to a higher MTOW.

    I think it would be lunacy to allow a 390kg microlight to be upped to a far higher MTOW..... I certainly don't think it would be wise to have AX3's buzzing around at 500kg or whatever they set the weights at.
    What? No of course that's not going to happen. It's the definition of what counts as a microlight that might change, not how much extra weight you can shove into an existing design that was produced to the current microlight definition. You can't change the laws of physics just cos a committee says so.
    Martin
    BMAA 5370


  9. #8
    Captain Roger Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Twissell View Post
    "This hasn't stopped manufacturers making them though, and ULM schools using them so instead of just turning a blind eye, almost the whole of Europe is now saying OK, let's make these aircraft legal by upping the weight limit (to 550/600kg)"

    Roger, are you suggesting that aircraft designed, built and currently registered as 450kg will be re-qualified at a higher MTOW?
    No, but out there in the real world there is a 'new breed' of microlight that has failed to see the light of day in the UK.

    Take my Savannah 912S, manufactured, registered and used in France, elsewhere in Europe and in other parts of the world for not far short of 20 years. You can't have a 912S Savannah in the UK because of the arcane rules relating to empty weight plus two 'average' souls OB plus one hour of fuel at 'normal' cruise RPM. This is avidly applied in the UK such that you can only have Jabiru Savannahs whereas, let's say, the real world is much more pragmatic and has an eye to the direction in which the wind is blowing.

    And don't forget, the more attractive you can make capable 2-seat microlights with their low cost of ownership, the more owners and pilots you can grab into the microlight fold from the GA sector who appreciate such advantages.

    Such a strategy is apparently lost on the UK authorities who see the way forward as remaining crystallised like aspic and keeping a fleet of aircraft flying that were designed (and often manufactured) 20 or 30 years ago - and you wonder why UK microlighting is dying on its feet.

    But the Savannah is only one of many of this 'new breed' most of which, of course, will be totally unknown within the UK.

    From the same stable is the 582 powered Bingo, then you have the Citius, the Guepy, the Guepard, the Zenairs, copies such as the Trophy and others... the list goes on and on. These are all, obviously, much more recent designs than the venerable old AX3s, X-Airs and Thrusters that one is accustomed to seeing chugging around the UK skies and although I don't know for sure, I suspect that they were designed with the LS category in mind which, so far as I'm aware, has never been implemented in Europe.

    So there was every incentive for manufacturers to sneek them into the ULM class and, because of their attractiveness, for owners to buy them and that's what's caused the drift. To their credit, the more enlightened authorities overseeing microlighting in Europe have understood this and recognised that turning a blind eye cannot go on, so steps are afoot to reclassify these newer, heavier designs. This does NOT mean that existing older 450kg designs will be reclassified - they won't. Some countries have already implemented the change - from memory although I may be wrong, the first I think was Finland who went immediately for a 600kg limit. Others are still 'in the process' although I'm a bit out of touch for now as I've been out of the loop since last spring for health reasons (but on my way back now).

    The man who is the authority on this is, of course, Paul Dewhurst and it would be great if he could drop in and bring us all up to date with what's going on.

    By way of an aside, my old French AX3 has always, a far as I'm aware, been classified as a 450kg 'multiaxes' ULM whether fitted with a 582 engine (as it was) or a 503 (as it is now), as are X-Airs with 503 engines over here. Interestingly, before it was allowed to be imported into the UK, certain changes to specification were required (as usual). These involved fitting a heavier main axle beam (with torsion cables) and 'dampers' which aren't and, as far as I can see, a heavier pod (I say this because my French machine's pod is considerably lighter than either of the two that I had fitted at various times on my old UK AX3). So the changes added weight to the original French design.

    So then what did the UK authorities do, in their wisdom? They classified it as a 390kg machine. Is it any wonder that AX3 weights quoted in the UK are a joke (to those in the know...).
    Last edited by Roger Mole; 26-01-18 at 20:09 PM.

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  11. #9
    Captain Randombloke's Avatar
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    I think Roger more or less nails it, despite the pontificating from other quarters, is that yet another "new leaf turned over"? PMSL...

    Another thing to factor in is the home build - an X-Air only gets built when someone is both keen and does the job, and given that a 582 alone is about 7,500, that's about 1/3 of your second hand Skyranger Classic.

    By the time you've bought the kit, you could go halves with someone on the same aircraft.

    I'm dying to flog the X-Air Falcon and go 1/3rds with someone on a Skyranger.

    Added to which there's a fair few second hand X-Airs, it's a tough aircraft, the only issue with mounting hours is how close that 582 crank is to its expensive end.

    Very few other engines in X-Airs, there is the odd 912 powered one, but I doubt that would get built now, as you'd put the same into a more expensive kit.

    And just to add that the home build thing is sort of a dodge to prevent the outside UK factory having to have a full CAA inspection, leaving a UK importer to certify the design which we then build in sheds.

    It's a bit of a farce because as one French manufacturer said to me: "Apparently, according to UK rules, it's safe and legal for me to send you a pile of bits to assemble in your shed but if the aircraft is built here by professionals, and check flown by the same, that's neither legal nor safe. WTF?"

    Since I started on this Roger has posted yet another missive that not so much nails it as gives you the whole map, in minute detail. Not nice reading but true.
    Steve U.
    PG, HG & microlights
    "Weekend bimbler, day to day car driver & genuinely undeserving Southern oik who has never done anything of any worth"

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  13. #10
    Job_CF
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    Raj Hamsa in Bangalore still produce the X-Air
    rajhamsa.in/html/products.htm

    Distributed in the UK by
    Gordon Salter
    The Wessex Light Aeroplane Co Ltd, Somerset.
    xairuk.com/page/Xair/

    They sell all 3 Xair kits. New and secondhand.
    Also second hand ready built Xairs.
    Give Christine a call on 0123256258

    Draggy compared to sleek composite designs but prices are low.
    With more than 1300 flying, X-Air is tried and tested aircraft.


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