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This is 600kg

Updated: May 24, 2022


We were recently lucky enough to take a look at one of the first 600kg microlights in the UK. This TL-3000 Sirius was imported to the UK earlier this year and is currently awaiting its first permit from the BMAA.


The Sirius has been flying in the UK as an amateur-build, Group A, LAA aircraft for a number of years, but following the changes to the microlight class, this type is now available in the UK as a factory-built microlight. The BMAA have coined the phrase “Light Sport” or “Light Sport Microlight (LSM)” for this new generation of aircraft that sit between 450kg and 600kg. This is reminiscent of the Light Sport Aircraft category used in the United States.


The owner of this Sirius was one of the first UK customers to place an order for a 600kg microlight. It took just over four months to be assembled and shipped to the UK. The distributor has sold several microlights across the country since they became available late last year, but none of the airframes have received their initial Permit to Fly due to various delays. This aircraft is due to receive its permit in the next few weeks and we hope to test fly it shortly afterwards.


In the meantime, we’d like to share our initial thoughts on the first 600kg LSM that we have come across. The first thing I noticed about the Sirius is that it is quite large and has presence. It does not look like a microlight at all. I am sure that this is the only microlight that has a yoke rather than a stick and the size of the cockpit both in terms of width and and length is very good.

We were able to see the aircraft as it was delivered and assembled by the distributor.
We were able to see the aircraft as it was delivered and assembled by the distributor (Sting Aircraft)

The classic high-wing style with a yoke is reminiscent of a Cessna and whilst this may not be to some microlighters taste, others will appreciate the heavier look and feel. It doesn’t feel like the manufacturers have had to slim it down to fit into a category. It feels like a flourishing microlight that has all the bells and whistles without compromising to meet strict empty weight regulations. I think this is what many hoped for when the weight increase was announced.


Some purists will say, “This is not what a microlight is meant to be,” but the category is now a broad church and caters for everything from single-seat deregulated flex-wings to LSM hot ships like this.

I was genuinely impressed by the build quality as an engineer walked me around the aircraft. TL-Ultralights have made clever use of the space in the cockpit, placing cubby holes in useful places and USB sockets below the seats so both occupants have access to them. The Rotax 912ULS is well forward of the firewall creating ample space to work at the back of the engine without removing it. This is certainly beneficial from a maintenance point of view - many microlights have the engine placed close to the firewall meaning it has to be removed for jobs such as replacing the sprag clutch or the stator.


The owner of this aircraft chose not to fit a glass cockpit. His preference is for analogue gauges, although it is equipped with a Garmin G5 attitude indicator. There is a Garmin autopilot in the overhead panel that is connected to the G5 providing a flight director and access to various modes.

The Garmin autopilot
The Garmin autopilot

Readers may recall a recent debate on forums regarding the use of autopilots in a microlight. In the case of this aircraft specifically, it seems to be a valid option. After all, it is a fast touring aircraft capable of cruising at just a touch under 120KIAS and the 120 litre tanks make long trips viable. Many Group A aircraft of similar performance are equipped with autopilots and it is reasonable for the type of flying this owner will do.



Some purists will say, “This is not what a microlight is meant to be,” but the category is now a broad church and caters for everything from single-seat deregulated flex-wings to LSM hot ships like this.


Other features include adjustable seats, adjustable rudder pedals, a ballistic recovery system and electric flaps.

The TL-3000 panel and cockpit
The TL-3000 panel and cockpit

Considering this aircraft’s mission, it wants for nothing. It is a testament to what can be achieved with an extra 150kg to have a microlight that comes with all the features a pilot may desire. The TL-3000 is not cheap; a new model of this specification would likely cost around £140,000 (inc. VAT), but it is targeted towards those who are looking at the top of the LSM category. We look forward to flying it soon and sharing our thoughts.


What do you think of the new Light Sport Microlight category? Let us know your thoughts below.


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