The Adrenalist

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What is a Microlight Aircraft? Flying For Weekend Warriors



If you have ever dreamed about flying like a bird for long distances, a microlight can you take you close to that sensation.

A microlight aircraft is a two-seater lightweight airplane that can handle one or two people and is deployed for joyrides or reconnaissance. Microlights – also called ultralight aircraft – have cool names like Pterodactyl Ascender and Outback Merlin. Essentially, each is a miniature airplane, only much more accessible to the everyday Adrenalist. deftly describes microlight flying as “aviation for ordinary people.”

Microlighting emerged during the late 70s and early 80s, inspired by the hang gliding movement rather than biplanes. This sport is an edgy, off-grid experience more about recreation than getting from A to B. The views – impeded by very little – are fantastic, and the vibe is intense.

Tempted to have a crack at becoming a microlight pilot? To qualify for a full, unrestricted microlight pilot’s licence, you must complete at least 25 flying hours, according to Micro Flights.

Microlight flying fans say that, after your first training session, you catch the microlight bug and never look back. How far you can go? It depends on the size of your fuel tank – 100 miles should be viable. It is even possible to cover 400 miles or more.

Ever tried a microlight or ultralight aircraft? Let us know in the comments below or @DegreeMen on Twitter.

Cover Photo Credit: stevecadman /

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