Sunday, August 19, 2007

The microlight saga continues

No pictures in this post - sorry.
We have now made the decision on which model of microlight to buy. We only want a flexwing and won't consider a 3 axis. For those that don't know, a 3 axis looks like a small aeroplane with an enclosed cockpit.
Our choice was narrowed down to an Air Creation Tanarg or a Pegasus Quik. Here in France there are many new and second hand Air Creation microlights, as they are built in France, but very few British Pegasus machines. The local fliers call the Tanarg the Bentley of flexwings but the Quik is known as the Porsche. Both aircraft have the Rotax 912, 4 stroke engine, but with 100 bhp the Quik lives up to its name with a cruise speed reported to be around 90 mph, we'll see.
We will be visiting England in September and while Jude is horse riding in Canada with her sister Lib, I will look at secondhand Quiks. The plan is to buy one and bring it back to France on a trailer, park it at Daves airfield fist of all, and then bring it the last 120 miles home when I have had some training with Dave.
I am getting the towbar for the car this week and sorting out a medical for my license too. We also need to buy a GPS, probably a Garmin 296. I have GPS on the bike and in the car, but they are very different to those designed for aviation.
Jude and I have decided that we will have a holiday next year and fly down Italy to Malta. If we time it right then Dave and Amanda will be with us in their Quik.
This really is a cheap way of flying, once you have a microlight, the main cost is fuel. I expect around 12 to 14 liters of petrol per hour, which will cover a distance of around 90 miles in still conditions. With a tailwind one can obviously get much further. A flexwing microlight can be bought for as little as £3000.
For those interested in learning then have a look at Daves website on He is a UK qualified flying instructor and owns a wonderful airfield, (see previous post). The main reason why people come from the UK to train with Dave is the weather, in the UK there are many times when students turn up to fly and find the weather not suitable for training, here we don't have that problem.
Just as an afterthought, Jude was looking into microlight numbers in the UK and France. She came up with rough figures of around 3000 in the UK and 15000 in France. That must say something about the weather!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Microlights in France - The English way

As some of my regular readers will know, I used to fly microlights. Jude and I have decided that we should look into getting another one as we live in the perfect place for this sort of hobby.
After a search of the internet, I found this website:
We made a phone call to Dave and Amanda and yesterday, my birthday, we took the bikes out to visit. These are the pictures that we took. Click on any picture to see more detail.

The bikes on arrival at Dave and Amandas Farm.
There is plenty of room for accommodation for students wanting to spend time here and learn to fly, and also for visiting microlight pilots. There is also an area for camping if needed.
Daves Skyranger, not my kind of microlight, but with the Rotax 912 engine, I'll bet that it is nice to fly.
Typical French farm with loads of buildings and space to park aircraft.
This barn is to be the hangar, Dave has plans to open the doorway up to allow better access.
A view inside the barn with a resident Pegasus Quik.
The man himself, Dave getting his Quik 912s ready to take me for a flight.
Dave and me trying the headset for size, at this point I couldn't hear a thing that he was saying!
Off we go. Notice the smooth well kept taxiway out to the airfield at the back of the farm.
I find it good that despite this three or four hundred year old farm being used for such a modern sport, there is still room for the wildlife and the natural flora.
Another view of how Dave and Amanda have built a nice smooth taxiway, but kept the feel of the farm.
The runway. It is big and wide. In this picture you can just see the top of the wing at the far end as we warmed the engine for take off.
And we are up! Jude had got bored waiting and was taking pictures of flowers and grass at this stage, so she missed the takeoff.
After 10 minutes or so we were back.
Along the runway to a very nice cup of tea supplied by Amanda.
As Dave is a UK flying instructor, people can come here and not only train in fantastic flying weather, but there is also accommodation on site.
I was so impressed with the Pegasus Quik 912s, that I have decided that it is the microlight for us. It is one of the fastest flexwings on the market and is very well equipped.
For further information about microlight flying with Dave, please have a look at his website.