Skip to content Skip to footer

Learning To Fly


Microlight aircraft can trace their origins back to the late 1970’s when hang glider pilots took the seemingly logical step of fitting small engines to their craft.  Taking aviation into uncharted areas meant that knowledge and skill could only be learned “hands on” in the air. This meant that powered hang glider flying was certainly exciting – and sometimes downright dangerous! No design controls or licensing regulations whatsoever meant that the most unlikely craft became airborne.  With the pioneering days now over, today’s microlight aircraft are faster, safer, more comfortable and certainly easier to fly than ever before.

Costs range from as little as £3000 for a ‘first generation’ used aircraft to over £200,000 for a new fast, sophisticated model.  They can be flown from any suitable large open field, with of course the owner’s permission and within any existing planning constraints, or from one of the many club sites or general aviation airfields. With CAA Aircraft Permits, Instructor Ratings and a well-established pilot licensing system, microlighting has now come of age yet it still remains one of the most fun and exhilarating ways to fly.


Microlight Aviation Achievements

Although they have been used for crop spraying, photography and by the armed forces, microlights are principally designed for pleasure flying.  Being relatively inexpensive to purchase they have allowed people from all walks of life to operate their own aircraft at a much lower cost than may be associated with normal aeroplanes. Microlights have flown around the world and climbed to over 25,000 feet.  Even back in 1984, microlights flew for over 12 hours to claim the world non-stop two-seater duration and distance record of 550 miles! Today’s high-performance microlights fly regular cross-country flights of over 200 miles in less than 2 hours on 25 litres of unleaded petrol.

Microlight Aircraft Categories

A microlight is defined in the UK Air Navigation Order as follows:

  • It can carry a maximum of two people and the take-off weight must not exceeding 600kg
  • It has either; a wing loading not exceeding 25kg/m2, or a stalling speed not more than 65Kph (41Mph)
  • It has an unrestricted fuel capacity – within the constraints of its maximum weight and balance limits.

There are two categories of microlight aircraft:

Flex-Wing – Weight Shift Controlled Microlights

With a wing structure based on the hang glider design they have a tricycle undercarriage with seats, engine and propeller suspended below the wing. There is a braced triangular control bar that the pilot uses to pivot the wing around the ‘hang point’ assembly thereby achieving control in roll and pitch.

Fixed Wing – Three Axis Controlled Microlights

These aircraft look much more like conventional aeroplanes with fixed wings, tailplane and fin.  In some cases, they have a fully enclosed cockpit. They are controlled in all three axes (roll, pitch and yaw) using ailerons, elevator and rudder.


Fly365 uses the Ikarus C42 fixed wing and Pegasus Quantum 912 Flexwing microlights.


When trying to estimate the total cost of “Getting into the Air”, you need to consider two main steps towards achieving that goal. First, there are the training costs necessary for you to complete your NPPL (Microlight) Licence. Secondly, you will need to have access to an aircraft both for training and to be able to enjoy the privileges of your hard-earned Pilot’s licence. Fly365 can provide a solution to both these issues. Fly365 club members can train on school aircraft up to licence issue, including all solo flying, and can provide hire of aircraft after completion of your PPL.


With regards to training cost, you must consider that the minimum requirement to gain a NPPL (Microlight) is 25 hours training, of which 10 hours will be in solo command of the aircraft. Training with Fly365 Ltd starts from £105 per hour, depending on the aircraft type and number of hours purchased. But if you are asking how long it will take me to get solo, a reasonable rule of thumb is half your age in hours. i.e. if your 40 expect to take 20 hours to get solo, if 50, 25 hours and so on.  Any flying experience will usually shorten the hours required to get to solo standard. During this flying training phase, you also need passes in the following multiple-choice answer exams: Airplane Technical, Human Performance & Limitations, Air Law, Meteorology & Navigation. The cost of exams is £35 each.

Allowances for other flying experience or licences may be permissible and count towards the NPPL Microlight licence training requirements.

Leave a Comment

Mail Us

Drop a Line

Select your currency
× Book a session Available from 08:00 to 18:00 Available on SundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday