There are 3 organisations involved in your questions - the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), the Irish Microlight Association (IMA) and the Society for Amatuer Aircraft Constructors (SAAC).
Sorry to amend your answer, but it is incorrect:
Microlights in the Republic of Ireland are looked after by the NMAI
, the National microlight association of Ireland, see http://www.nmai.ie
" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; and not by any other body. I am an inspector & check pilot for the NMAI.
YoYo wrote: Microlights and ultralights with a MAUW (maximum all up weight) of 450kg are looked after by the IMA in a similar way to permit aircraft being looked after by SAAC except that the IMA don't issue the permit. I think they submit their paperwork to the IAA who issue a CofA. No doubt someone will correct me if I'm wrong
Again, its the NMAI,
The weight of a microlight in Ireland is indeed 450KGS, however there is older versions that are 390KGS MAUW.
But there is more, a microlight can go to 472.5KGS MAUW if it is fitted with a ballistic recovery system, and the BRS can weigh as little as 5KGS, so there is a worthwhile weight gain.
Regarding the permit issue, the NMAI permit system has changed recently to a new 3 year cycle, 2 of the 3 years the NMAI issue the permit and the 3rd year the IAA issues it.
Regarding the touring ability, yes they are VFR only but dont let that put you off. I have flown a C42 all over Ireland, the UK and Europe too.... burning 12 litres unleaded fuel per hour and can slip the plane in and out of 200 metres without issue. Couple that to performance that trances a lot of older spam can types, the ability to base it on a short farm strip and all the benefits of the permit system makes microlights a very very attractive propitiation. Some of the modern VLA's are absolutely astounding, take the Bambi MCRo1, 150 knot cruise, 12 litres per hour, and can operate from 300 metres......
The downside of those types are the purchase price.... +50K sterling in most cases.
Hope that helps, any questions then drop me a PM, or if you want a joyride we could organise that too.