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  1. #11
    Captain MadamBreakneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randombloke View Post
    ...

    How many 3 axis microlights can legally carry 2 people and a full tank of fuel?
    Any that was designed to the original BCAR section S.



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  2. #12
    Training Captain Gentreau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadamBreakneck View Post
    Any that was designed to the original BCAR section S.
    Assuming those people are no heavier than the "standard" ....
    The three most useless things in aviation:
    • The air above you.
    • The runway behind you.
    • The fuel in the bowser.


    Rule #1: Always tie your aircraft to the largest heaviest object available. The planet Earth meets these requirements and is readily available in all locations.
    Rule #2: The great thing about twin engined aircraft is, if one engine fails, the other engine always has just enough power to get you to the scene of the crash.

    Semper specto in clara parte vitae.

    .


  3. #13
    Captain MadamBreakneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gentreau View Post
    Assuming those people are no heavier than the "standard" ....
    That would apply wherever you set the 'standard' crew weight limit. My point is that the change to allow mass trade-off between fuel and crew was not inteneded to extend to full tanks and maximum crew weight. Crew weight limits are set by the designer based on structural integrity criteria - BCAR S only set the boundaries that the designer had to work within: minimum pilot/pax weight no higher than 55kg, and maximumpilot/pax weight no lower than 90kg.

    It wasn't BCAR S that mandated the old 90 (then 86)kg crew limits it was the designers for a myriad of reasons, some technical and some commercial.



    Back to just bimbling in the TST.

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  4. #14
    Captain Randombloke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadamBreakneck View Post
    Any that was designed to the original BCAR section S.
    Yes, we'll all get hot and sticky over an AX3 with a 27 litre tank running a 503.

    Better off without an engine unless you're very keen to fly in that first 50 hours.

    At that point I can walk away from three axis microlight and go back to paragliding. Longest flight, over 6 hours.

    I know progress is a dirty word but some of us like the rewards progress has brought.

    I personally can walk away from the microlight equivalent of the Monty Python "Shoe box in the middle of the road/pure luxury" philosophy that some microlight pilots pursue like the Aesthetics in "Patience".

    Progress will offer up to a 320kg payload. Like the Czech Ellipse...
    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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  6. #15
    Co-Pilot Martin Watson's Avatar
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    Progress? Spending ridiculous amounts of money, you mean. Which is why the manufacturers and importers are so keen on 600kg.
    Martin
    BMAA 5370

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  8. #16
    Captain MadamBreakneck's Avatar
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    I know we'll never resolve an online discussion this way. We seem to be trading simple facts with emotional responses; you asked a question, I answered it. Gentreau responded further and I answered that... but "we'll all get hot and sticky over an AX3 with a 27 litre tank running a 503"; come on RandomBloke, you're better than that.

    I have no problem with people owning and flying sub-600kg high tech touring machines - many do already on an NPPL(SSEA), but I do balk at people disparaging simple old-school stuff by comparison as you appear to be doing. They are different horses for different courses. Personally, I think that a microlight-equivalent class for 450(+) to 600kg aircraft with higher legal payload and longer range 2-up would be a beneficial addition to the available fleet BUT it's not an either/or.

    Maybe it's time to resurrect the 'SLA' classification for sub-600kg 2-seaters, but wherever the line is drawn, someone will say it's not in the right place.



    Back to just bimbling in the TST.

    No longer instructing - just pontificating..

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  10. #17
    Captain Randombloke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadamBreakneck View Post
    I have no problem with people owning and flying sub-600kg high tech touring machines - many do already on an NPPL(SSEA), but I do balk at people disparaging simple old-school stuff by comparison as you appear to be doing.
    I could make the same generalisation about disparaging progress in this thread, looking at some of the posts...

    Costs will go up, fact is that a lot of the older aircraft are now getting to the end of their support life, engine and airframe wise, and things move on.

    Having done a fair few hours in AX & X-Air fuse tube designs, being of a certain height, and finding it uncomfortable, I'm pointing out the problems of not making progress.

    People wonder why microlighting is losing numbers, it's because there are easier, more comfortable ways of flying with more rewards. I can sit in a PG harness for six hours, and walk afterwards. I can't sit in a fuse tube cockpit for six hours. 1 hour is enough.

    If you want the only true way to be 390 fuse tube aircraft, then the sport is for those with the technical expertise to fix them and the desire to fly them.

    People vote with their feet. There is no mainstream market for 503s, AX3s or similar. Most people have a nostalgic memories for the Mk3 Cortinas, but they're not wanting to own them now.

    Regulation costs mean that there is minimum price and profit margin for a two seater that makes the jumping through hoops financially viable. That viability doesn't exist at 15k for a fuse tube two seat design. It does, however, exist at that level for a SSDR.

    I'd say that 600kg represents an opportunity. I'd also say that if you don't want the opportunity, it isn't being forced on you, so don't deny it to others....
    Steve U.
    PG, HG & microlights
    "Weekend bimbler, day to day car driver & genuinely undeserving Southern oik who has never done anything of any worth"


  11. #18
    Co-Pilot Martin Watson's Avatar
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    Steve - all opportunities come with costs. Sure if you don't want to, you don't have to own or fly a 600kg machine, but what a lot of folk are concerned about are the compromises that may have to be made - there is a real risk that in getting this through there will be ristrictions applied to all microlights (more training required for example).

    You make it sound like it's a binary choice between "progress" at 600kg and 390kg 503 powered aircraft. What happened to Eurostars, C42s and CTs? Hugely comfortable and capable, all of them. As Joan says, the NPPL - SSEA is there if you want more.

    Though in fact I'm more comfortable spending all day instructing in an Xair than I am a Eurostar. Maybe I'm a funny shape?
    Last edited by Martin Watson; 25-10-19 at 12:52 PM.
    Martin
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  13. #19
    Co-Pilot paultheparaglider's Avatar
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    I don't have much of a vested interest here as I haven't flown for a few years now. However, history has shown that once a higher weight category is introduced, then aircraft weight - and performance - goes up to utilise the new limit.

    Now, that has good and bad consequences. I have nothing against higher performance aircraft. I held a current SEP rating for over 20 years, and enjoyed flying all over the world in light singles. My flying in 4 seat aircraft in New Zealand was particularly memorable, as was aeros in Slingsby Fireflies and even in a Pitts as a passenger a few times. I've even flown a Partenavia twin. So, I'm certainly not anti higher weight or higher performance.

    However, these were all higher cost and higher regulation activities. I also enjoyed flying my flexwings - including for many happy years with my wife as passenger from home. This was a lower cost and lighter regulation activity, but equally, or even more, enjoyable in many ways. My most recent two seater was a 390kg Blade 912, which I grew to really like. However, when the weight category went up to 450kg, manufacturers started building Quiks, GTRs, and the like. Highly desirable flexies from my point of view, but a new performance category that mean my own personal wish to see a light two seat deregulation category became much less likely - something I still believe would give a shot in the arm to UK microlights, as did ssdr to single seaters. You could still buy a new Blade or a Quantum in theory, but when the price would have been similar nobody did.

    The same will happen with 600kgs. There is a very real risk that the SkyRangers and the like that so many fly happily today will gradually die out, as has happened to many Blades and Quantums. It won't just be a case of utilising the new weight limit to fly legally with full fuel and two people on board - designs will evolve and performance will go up. That will suit some - maybe many - but it will further polarise our flying. A light single deregulated type, or a high performance two seater will probably be the result. The in between types will slowly die out.

    For many who can't afford the new class, affordable flying with a passenger will gradually get further out of reach, and people will drop out of flying. And, then, hopefully, my dream of a basic dsdr category will - probably driven forward by the BHPA - arise phoenix like from the ashes when the manufacturers finally wake up to the financial realities of an ever shrinking market, and we will have come full circle. But, in the meantime, a future under a 600kg LAA guided regulation framework will kill off a type of flying that has given many of us much pleasure. And the BMAA will be something nostalgic old farts like myself reminisce about over a pint in the pub.

    And, motorbike sales will go from strength to strength.

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  15. #20
    Co-Pilot Peter Twissell's Avatar
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    From an engineering perspective, an increase in MTOW could be taken as an increase in payload or an increase in airframe weight, or any mix of the two.
    If a manufacturer chose to take it as an increase in airframe weight, it could potentially make the airframe cheaper and simpler to manufacture and/or permit use of an engine which would presently be considered too heavy. The future of microlight flying might be a range from 200kt. carbon fibre monocoques to rag and tube designs with modified automotive engines, with price tags to match.
    As referenced by Madam B., one of the main drivers to increasing costs is the requirement for certification. This applies equally to both of the above examples, so from the manufacturers point of view, it is more easily amortised over a run of 100k+ aircraft than of 15k aircraft.
    I suspect that an overhaul of the certification process has much greater potential for changing the microlight market than the proposed change in MTOW.
    G-BZNP Still not dead, but resting following engine failure.

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