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  1. #1
    New Member SafetyThird's Avatar
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    Hello all

    Just joined the forum as I'm considering microlight flying. I have both a UK and FAA PPL with a total of about 150 hours although I haven't flown since 2005 due to costs and the things life throws at you. I flew the usual spam cans and then did my tailwheel conversion while living in the US in a citabria and then had a few days flying a super cub which was just the most fun ever.

    I've started looking at options to get back into flying as I now live down in Devon with a grass strip a mile from my house. One of my best friends who is moving from London to the other side of Devon and who flew in the air cadets at school has recently said he'd love to learn to fly. Over a few drinks we came up with the idea of buying a microlight between us to go and have adventures as neither of our wives are particularly interested in flying. He'll need to get his licence and I'm investigating what it would take to revisit my flying skills and get a microlight license.

    Money, as always, is tight and, while we'd love something like a Skyranger Swift, finances suggest something like a Thruster is more feasible. We probably have a budget of about 10k max.

    The sort of flying we'd like to do is local sightseeing but would love the option to throw some camping gear in the back and go cross country, sleeping on airfields or at grass strips and just pottering around. We both weight 70-80kg so a useful load of 180kg plus fuel seems reasonable and, as we don't know the microlight world very well, please feel free to throw suggestions at us.


  2. #2
    Trainee Pilot Trev C's Avatar
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    Welcome
    Would think this would be sub 10k
    https://afors.com/aircraftView/47861
    No idea what they are like mind you


  3. #3
    Captain kawasakiinit's Avatar
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    welcome mate that rans looks good to me ..maybe you could both join a syndicate with a skyranger? good luck what ever ..
    The more people I meet the more I love my cat..


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    Training Captain Gentreau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trev C View Post
    Welcome
    Would think this would be sub 10k
    https://afors.com/aircraftView/47861
    No idea what they are like mind you
    And has the conversion to fly inverted, if the photos are anything to go by ....
    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.

    .


  5. #5
    Training Captain Gentreau's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum and thanks for introducing yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by SafetyThird View Post

    ........ We both weight 70-80kg so a useful load of 180kg plus fuel seems reasonable and, as we don't know the microlight world very well, please feel free to throw suggestions at us.
    Average empty weight of a basic 3-axis microlight with a 450kg MTOW is around 250kg.
    That doesn't leave a lot of spare for fuel ..... ( app. 28 ltrs or 2 hours flying without reserve)
    Not saying it's impossible, but you'll have to shop around carefully for a lightweight machine.
    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.

    .


  6. #6
    Captain MadamBreakneck's Avatar
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    Welcome to microlighting.

    You mention Thruster. There are many variants of the Thruster marque from the Thruster TST to the Thruster T600N Sprint or even T600T Sprint if you can find one. There are four-stroke (Jabiru) models which come in a bit heavier than the Rotax 582 version which is thirstier on fuel.

    Microlights were not originally conceived as 2-seat touring machines though that capability has been squeezed out by some by 'liberal' interpretaition of the W&CG criteria - a factor which the BMAA seem to think would be resoved by a proposed max weight increase for 'microlights' to 600kg. Normally if you want to cover ground and camp, it's better to travel solo and pack your luggage securely on the passenger seat.



    Back to just bimbling in the TST.

    No longer instructing - just pontificating..
    and now a Tai Chi instructor


  7. #7
    New Member SafetyThird's Avatar
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    Thank you, that's very useful to know. Of the thruster models, I'm looking at something like a T600T as I'd like to have a tailwheel version and most likely with the 582 engine. Coming from a lifetime of riding motorbikes, I still have the fear of two stroke engines suddenly seizing, born of it unexpectedly happening while riding, you become so very use to riding with fingers on the clutch constantly but, reading around the subject, it seems that they're probably more reliable these days and, at least you have a bit more time to deal with it in the air than hooning down a country lane

    I'm used to getting my camping gear down to very light levels, I usually backpack with gear for me and my dog at under 10kg so hopefully if we do decide to go on longer trips I can keep the weight within reasonable limits but, to be honest, the first couple of years at least are unlikely to be more than local trips around the area as my friend learns to fly and I learn to get used to microlights. Who knows, we may even be able to save enough to upgrade to a more suitable aircraft for travelling longer distances by the end of that.

    For now, it's just about figuring out how to get flying cheaply in a way we'll both enjoy. We're hoping to have the project underway during spring/summer next year.


  8. #8
    Wannabe Pilot _Red_'s Avatar
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    ST, last time I was at Clench Common a couple months ago there was a tailwheel thruster with a a Jabiru engine for sale, might be worth a look
    the guys at GS Aviation will be able to tell you the details

    https://www.gsaviation.co.uk/


  9. #9
    Captain MadamBreakneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SafetyThird View Post
    ... engines suddenly seizing...
    Maintenance, mechanical sensitivity in engine management, and keeping the possibility at the back of your mind whilst flying. Even the fabled Rotax 4-strokes have been known to stop in flight. It's not without reason that the microlight syllabus puts so much store on forced landing practice.

    Intermediate landings at airfields en route are, of course, part of the adventure of touring (I'm told - I'm a local bimbler by preference). Thruster Sprints have been used successfully for such flying. If you want something significantly faster you'd really be saving up for one of the fibreglass tadpoles.



    Back to just bimbling in the TST.

    No longer instructing - just pontificating..
    and now a Tai Chi instructor


  10. #10
    Trainee Pilot tomshep's Avatar
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    Two strokes do stop without warning but those used in aircraft are much less likely to do so because firstly, they are in a much lower state of tune than a motorcycle engine.
    Secondly they are run at fairly constant (and very much lower) speeds so temperatures are not varying so much and lastly, not only is the fuel filtered and tested before use but the maintenance regimes are rigorous and (usually) rigidly adhered to. Plugs for example are discarded after 25 hours - no argument. Many of the two strokes also have twin ignition systems, further improving reliability.
    Forty years ago, my old aircooled RD250 put out 30 BHP at a million RPM and if it wasn't running flat out, it was parked. Despite that, it always got me home.
    A twin spark engine putting out 50 BHP on more than twice the capacity at 6800 RPM (and operated 1000 below that) is probably quite a good bet.
    Underpaid but overhead.


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