microlight weights

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jimbors250
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microlight weights

Post by jimbors250 » Thu Dec 04, 2008 8:00 pm

Hi !
does any one know if there is a minim weight for a 3 axis micro light land plane ,the max take off weight is 450kg is there any minim weight when empty .
thanks for help

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Post by buggyB » Thu Dec 04, 2008 8:30 pm

The empty weight is given on the weight schedule for the aircraft, this is the basic weight of the airframe and engine with any fluids such as coolant and oil and a certain amount of unusable fuel trapped in the tanks and fuel lines.

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Post by Nanolight » Sun Dec 07, 2008 2:53 pm

There'd be a minimum cockpit weight as well Jim. And if you are under that weight and want to fly solo you'd have to bring ballast with you to keep the aircraft centre of gravity within limits.
Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast.

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Post by jonkil » Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:05 pm

Rules are different for UK reg and Irish reg'd microlights:

Irish Reg Microlight:

No minimum empty weight, must not be more than 450KG all up, inc fuel,pilot/passenger e.t.c

UK Registered Microlight:
Must not be more than 450KG all up,(472.5KGS with BRS fitted) inc fuel,pilot/passenger e.t.c
but must adhere to a max empty weight.
Max empty weight is calculated like this.
450KGS (MAOW) or (472.5KGS if fitted with a BRS) less 2x 86KG pilot/passenger and less enough fuel for 1 hour sustained flight at max permitted continuous power !
This in effect equates to 264KG to 268KGS empty weight (without BRS)

Nanolight's explanation of solo flight and ballast is almost right !
You only need to have ballast when solo when the cockpit loading alters the aircraft CG past it's forward or past it's aft datum point.... In real terms this is rarely an issue... and more of an issue in flex wing than 3 axis.

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Post by stovepipe » Sun Dec 07, 2008 7:05 pm

Hi Jonkil
Given that the Irish system, for want of another word, is based on meeting the requirements of the BMAA and BCAR Section S, then I'd be reluctant to differ between us and the UK.When I was an inspector for the NMAI, we used Section S as the minimum standard any potential entrant to the Register had to meet.
regards
Stovepipe

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Post by jonkil » Sun Dec 07, 2008 9:10 pm

stovepipe wrote:Hi Jonkil
Given that the Irish system, for want of another word, is based on meeting the requirements of the BMAA and BCAR Section S, then I'd be reluctant to differ between us and the UK.When I was an inspector for the NMAI, we used Section S as the minimum standard any potential entrant to the Register had to meet.
regards
Stovepipe


Hi Stovepipe,
yes indeed some microlights within the Irish system must meet Section S.
There is an increasing number that do not meet section S operating on the EI register, Samba, Lambada, Land Africa, to name a few.
What I stated is the definition of the weight limits, and the Irish system differs from the UK system in that respect. Even a section S aircraft placed on the Irish Register need not meet the empty weight criteria it is subjected to in the UK!... for what it's worth, I believe that the Irish system is excellent in that respect... it leaves the MAOW entirely up to the pilot.
The UK section S is no longer a benchmark for new types as an acceptance standard here in Ireland.

Regards,
Jon

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Post by stovepipe » Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:12 pm

Hi there
I'd rather not leave the max weight to be determined by each individual pilot, thanks very much....so what criteria are the NMAI using, if not Section S? Is there a JAA microlight standard?...........I remember when micros were limited to around 215 kgs, so the refrain started that 450 kgs was the desired weight and these days, I hear of muttering for 600 kgs, because so much more kit is being fitted to microlights and getting away from the original concept of cheap flying.
regards
Stovepipe

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Post by jonkil » Mon Dec 08, 2008 6:02 pm

stovepipe wrote:I remember when micros were limited to around 215 kgs, so the refrain started that 450 kgs was the desired weight and these days, I hear of muttering for 600 kgs, because so much more kit is being fitted to microlights and getting away from the original concept of cheap flying.
regards
Stovepipe

Cannot argue with the point of affordability at the upper end of the market and it is definitely not in the ethos of microlighting. Many types are now in excess of 60K euro.... however, there is a nice niche of aircraft around the 10k to 15k bracket that is 450KGS all up..... aircraft like the X-Air, the Thruster, Rans S6, and a few others. These aircraft are very capable and I have many hours flying them..... this is, I believe where the "upper end" of microlighting should rest.... the hotships are VLA's in all but name and maybe they will become a part of the new EASA regime.
As far as cheap flying is concerned then for less than 5K there is aircraft available, Rans S4 & S5, Sluka and many many flex wings.... so affordability is really not an issue and in my opinion it has never been cheaper to purchase an aircraft. It has been the more expensive end of the market that has had the most growth over the past few years but now with the "credit crunch" this end of the market will take a dive and older models will now see a resurgence.

As far as acceptance standards are concerned:
Aircraft may become a microlight on the Irish register if they have type acceptance in another EU state and meet design criteria as laid out in the states airworthiness programme.

Regards,
Jon

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Post by buggyB » Mon Dec 08, 2008 6:21 pm

Is there a JAA microlight standard?...

The JAA, or EASA now, spec is contained in ED/2003/18/RM or CS-VLA (Certification Specifications for Very Light Aeroplanes) which is for 2-seat,single engine prop,MTOW <750kg with Vso <45kts.
http://www.easa.europa.eu/ws_prod/g/doc/Agency_Mesures/Certification_Spec/decision_ED_2003_18_RM.pdf

The minimum weight is referenced in section 25 (b)
The minimum weight (the lowest weight at which compliance with
each applicable requirement of this CS-VLA is shown) must be
established so that it is not more than the sum of –
(1) The empty weight determined under CS-VLA 29;
(2) The weight of the pilot (assumed as 55 kg);
and
(3) The fuel necessary for one half hour of operation at maximum
continuous power.

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Post by jonkil » Mon Dec 08, 2008 6:30 pm

buggyB wrote:
(2) The weight of the pilot (assumed as 55 kg);


What sort of an anorexic pilot would that be !!
If he fell out of a tree he would hardly snap a rat trap !!

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thanks to all

Post by jimbors250 » Mon Dec 08, 2008 6:45 pm

Hi Guys ! thanks for taking the trouble to respond , its all good advice
thanks again
jim

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Post by buggyB » Mon Dec 08, 2008 6:58 pm

jonkil wrote:
buggyB wrote:
(2) The weight of the pilot (assumed as 55 kg);


What sort of an anorexic pilot would that be !!
If he fell out of a tree he would hardly snap a rat trap !!
Because it is a minimum weight they take the lowest average weight of a female pilot on the basis that anyone else will be heavier. It is really just a spec for the designer to work with for CG calculations.
In the unlikely event of a lighter pilot actually flying the aircraft he (or more likely she) would have to carry ballast in the pilot seat position to stay with the certification limits.

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Post by jonkil » Mon Dec 08, 2008 9:12 pm

Indeed BuggB,
I was having a laugh..... The rules and regulations are a minefield.
Its hard to know if EASA will be a good thing or a bad thing, but a transparent system would be a good start.

Regards,
Jon

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