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Thread: 3 Axis options

  1. #1
    Wannabe Pilot Superseven's Avatar
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    3 Axis options

    Hi folks,

    Looking at buying my own aircraft once I get me licence and would be grateful for any advise. Criteria listed below.

    - Budget of around 8K
    - Must by 3-axis with a fully enclosed cockpit.
    - 2 seats preferred although would consider single seat.

    Options so far include Rans S4, Rans S5, Rans S6, X-air.

    Anything else I've missed?

    A bit concerned about having a two stroke but there are no 4 strokes within budget.

    thanks and all the best.


  2. #2
    Trainee Pilot kevgreen36's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
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    Aviasud Mistral

    Then I would say that, great airplane

  3. #3
    Co-Pilot TREV BAILEY's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
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    Shadow, one of the easiest planes to fly and an impeccable safety record.

    Trev good luck, get yourself along to some clubs and cadge a ride before deciding to part with the cash.

  4. #4
    Guest GA AVIATOR's Avatar

    There are quite a few microlights available within your price range, so you do have a choice

    As a newcomer I would say the X-Air with a 582 would be a good starting point, but the prices of 582 X-Air’s seem to be at the upper end of your budget for a reasonable hours example. I have noticed that there is a Verner 133M X-Air for sale at £7000.00 (Verner 133M is a Four Stroke )

    Many people will tell you to avoid any Verner engined Microlight, but having flown an X-Air that had the Verner 133M I was pleasantly surprised by the smoothness of the engine and also the performance ( 65kts cruise / 72kts fast cruise ) I flew it from North Wales to Northern Ireland and compared to the 582 X-Air’s it outperformed them in everything.

    There is also a Simonini V2 engined X-Air for sale at £4000.00
    taking that 582 X-Airs are priced at nearly £8000 this one is a very good buy, but if I was in the market for an X-Air I think the Verner would be my purchase.

    You should also consider the CFM Shadow (assuming you are less than 90kg) as they are good value for money, a few are available for sale at reasonable money.

    The micro lights I have flown within your budget are the X-Air (582 & Verner ) AX3 (503) Thruster T600N (503) Spectrum (503) Aviasud Mistral (532)

    My opinions on each are :

    X-Air 582 Nice entry level microlight for a low time pilot, the aircraft has no real vices and will return a cruise of 45-50kts (51-58mph ) and will be a good stepping stone to your next aircraft.

    X-Air 133M Again a nice entry level microlight for a new low time pilot, this is a vast improvement in terms of being a 4 stroke engined X-Air with a cruise of 65-72kts ( 75-82mph ) * there is a technique to obtain these speeds* I would recommend anyone to buy a Verner version now.

    AX3 503 This is a good entry level microlight for the new pilot who wants to have a micro light that he/she can bimble around the skies in, it isn’t a tourer by any stretch of the imagination and has a very slow cruise speed of about 40-45kts (46-52mph) but this is a very rugged microlight that will absorb some pretty atrocious landings gracefully.

    Thruster T600N 503 The T600N is the most spacious of all these flown by me and was also the most comfortable in terms of seating. The cruise speed was 45kts (51mph) and would be ideal if you are wanting to tour around the country in relative comfort (albeit slowly) I would actually put the T600N as my recommendation if someone was looking to tour as their primary use of a microlight in the price range you are looking in.

    Spectrum 503 Now I have included the Spectrum into the listing because I found it utterly exhilarating to fly (yes it is open cockpit) and whilst it has the slowest cruise speed of anything I have ever flown (39kts = 45mph) I was pleased to have flown one…. It has 2 seats in tandem and is ‘real open air’ flying at it’s best ( I actually suffered sunstroke whilst flying this machine from North Coates to Cardiff via Otherton)

    *Many Pilots like these types so much that they fly them for hundreds of hours*

    Aviasud Mistral 532 I have left this one until last because to be honest I don’t consider it as a ‘Entry Level’ microlight. I flew the example that belongs to Kevin Green and it is certainly the most challenging of the microlights listed within this post, My opinion on the Mistral is that it is a microlight that is above ‘entry level’ but would be a microlight that would improve your piloting skills considerably better than any of the others listed. The Mistral is a ‘hands on ‘ micro light which commands your full attention in all modes of flight, I found that I had a smile on my face every time I did my out of cockpit scan and noticed those all moving biplane wings. I still reminisce about my flight in Kevin’s Mistral and I was impressed by the speed it returned (60kts /70mph at a very economical cruise setting)
    The Mistral is something of a rarity in the UK and will always get attention at any airfield you land at. The same cannot be said about the X-Air or the Thruster T600N

    I suppose it really does depend on whether you intend to be flying distance or just bimbling round locally ? Also it seems everyone is assuming you are looking at Nosewheel aircraft… for all we know you might fancy a tail dragger ?

    You will get lots of varying opinions on the forum and really the end decision is yours, but if I was in your shoes I would be looking closely at the Simonini V2 X-Air or the Verner 133M X-Air as my starting point….this is only because I don’t think any Mistral’s are for sale at the moment.

  5. #5
    Trainee Pilot paulo's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
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    I wouldn't discount something like a Rans S6 503. Its a good starter plane, and despite being two stroke it has a reliable engine.

    I love my Rans, its a great sized plane with wing fold. Looks good in blue, white and red.

    It just so happens I am just about to put mine on the market so i can upgrade to a plastic hot ship!

  6. #6
    Co-Pilot geejay's Avatar
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    Peter, I almost agree with you regarding the Aviasud Mistral. I regularly fly in one with my pal Martin, it's probably the most comfortable of all the microlight aircraft up to the C42 and Eurostar types. I'm not so sure about it being more difficult to fly, I trained in a Thruster T600N Sprint and reckon it's not dissimilar to fly but as you say the moving wings are a delight to see, the view and comfort is so much better than the Thruster and you do get a lot of attention when flying in anywhere. They can be bought for around £7000 in nice condition. If I had the money right now I would be more than happy to put it into the Mistral, it's a very nice aircraft.
    If it ain't broke, I ain't used it.

  7. #7
    Co-Pilot bingoboy's Avatar
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    May 2009
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    Don't discount joining/forming a group on something 912/jab powered.

  8. #8
    Guest GA AVIATOR's Avatar
    I actually thought the T600N was more spacey and comfortable than the Aviasud Mistral, but I would still have a Mistral before a T600N
    I suppose both you & I are lucky to be able to say that we have Aviasud Mistral in our logbooks seeing as there are only 7 airworthy examples in the UK

    I must admit I am more proud of being able to say I have flown 1 out of the 2 remaining Airworthy UK registered Spectrum Microlights, I was unaware there were only 2 remaining that fly which was only really made clear when I landed at Otherton and was told the one I was flying was the best example seen.

    Now I suppose I should really start looking to try to fly something that there is only 1 airworthy example left to fly.

    I believe the list of 3 axis microlights that have only 1 AIRWORTHY example in the UK is very short, so my search is specific:

    Avid Flyer (G-OVID)
    Huntwing Pathfinder (G-MJWK)
    Kolb Firefly (presumably G-CEPN)
    Tiger Cub (G-MMFT)
    Escapade Kid (G-OKID)
    GSAL Fokker EIII (G-FOKR)

    I know G-OVID is based at Strathaven as I spoke to the owner whilst waiting to fly the Mistral out of there
    I know G-FOKR is Dave Stephens latest toy (excluding his new Vans) and that I am too large to fit in it so that is out. (just as well as I am sure he wouldn't let me fly it anyway )

    G-OKID is another microlight that I think is too tiny for me to fit in, so I can scrub that off the list as well.
    G-CEPN would be an interesting microlight to fly I reckon, so will keep my fingers crossed on that one.
    G-MMFT The Tiger Cub are supposedly quite a handful so I would probably not get the chance to fly that example
    The Huntwing Pathfinder G-MJWK really looks like the one of them all that I would most like to get to fly, so if anyone has a way of convincing the owner to let me have a go I would be all ears.

  9. #9
    Co-Pilot meggark's Avatar
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    The owner of G-OVID has just recently gained his instructor ticket so I'm not sure if he'll maybe be selling it to buy something factory built or keeping it and using one of the school aircraft to train people on.

  10. #10
    Guest GA AVIATOR's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by meggark View Post
    The owner of G-OVID has just recently gained his instructor ticket so I'm not sure if he'll maybe be selling it to buy something factory built or keeping it and using one of the school aircraft to train people on.
    Yes I heard that he got his Instructor Rating...... He told me he was going for it last time I was at Strathaven.

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