Updated: Aug 2, 2019
Have you ever thought about becoming an aircraft dealer? It takes a lot of time to put an aircraft through the UK microlight requirements detailed in BCAR Section S and it could potentially be expensive, but it appears that the rewards are worth it if you have the right aeroplane.
There are many beautiful aeroplanes available in Europe as we know, but many of them would never fly in the UK due to their empty weight.
However, there is one aircraft in particular that caught my eye in 2015 at the Aero Friedrichshafen expo. That is the Air-lony Skylane UL. I wanted to share my thoughts on it.
This aircraft looks absolutely fantastic up close. I suspect it is based on the Cessna 182 due to its name and looks. Like many ultralights, it is manufactured in Czech Republic with a mainly composite structure and the Rotax 912UL engine. It is certified in a few European countries including Germany as a 472.5Kg microlight.
The best thing about this aircraft is that the empty weight, when equipped with a Ballistic Recovery System, is around 280Kg which means it would meet the UK weight requirements under BCAR Section S. Of course I can't say whether it would meet all of the other requirements laid out in BCAR Section S, but it certainly passes the first hurdle which discounts most other aircraft.
Max cruise speed: 113kts
Stall speed : 34kts
Max climb rate : 984fpm
Range : 894nm
Fuel tanks: 2x 42litre
An acquaintance of mine has flown the aircraft and when I asked him how it flies, he kissed his fingers like an Italian chef and described it as "perfect". He said it was very quiet and quick and it felt more stable than most other aircraft in this category. This is perhaps because it is equipped with yokes rather than a stick like traditional fixed wing microlights. He owned the aircraft and used it in his flying school
I suspect this aircraft would be extremely popular with flying schools in the UK. Students would be attracted to it because it has a yoke and the typical "Cessna" look. It also flies extremely well (allegedly) and is roomy in the cockpit. I can't remember the price, but I remember that it was significantly cheaper than the competition at the time in 2015.
What do you think? Do you think this aircraft would be successful in the UK?
Are you learning to fly microlights? Take a look at our online ground school, radio course and practice exams. We also have products for light aircraft, helicopter and sailplane students. Click here for more information.