Ultralight aircraft: anything but lightweights in the industry

Ultralight/microlight aircraft manufacturers with high innovation succession

Ultralight (microlight) and LSA aircraft are without doubt the most innovative segment of General Aviation. Manufacturers offer a wide range of types: From classic fixed-wing aircraft with smooth flight characteristics for use as training aircraft to fighter-like aircraft with tandem seating arrangements and gyrocopters to ultralight helicopters. The ultralight/microlight aircraft industry is in a constant state of flux and manages time and again to inspire with technical innovations that seemed unthinkable just a few years ago. The leading trade show AERO Friedrichshafen (April 19-22, 2023) is the ideal stage for manufacturers to share their new products and innovations with a knowledgeable audience.

Safety is also a top priority for these manufacturers. Despite their low mass, ultralight aircraft are usually equipped with whole-plane ballistic parachute recovery systems that safely bring the aircraft to the ground on a parachute in an emergency. Currently, manufacturers are working on additional safety elements for ULs such as autopilots.

AERO Show Director Tobias Bretzel says: "Ultralight aircraft have been a very important part of AERO from the very beginning. This has not changed. No other industry segment exhibits such a high succession of innovations and such dynamism. The performance of modern ultralight aircraft does not need to hide behind that of comparable powered aircraft. Together with the international trade audience, we are looking forward to the innovations and advances in developments that the manufacturers will present in Friedrichshafen."

Elektra Solar from Landsberg am Lech, Germany, will present its Elektra-Trainer, the first, two-seat side-by-side all-electric training and towing aircraft, at AERO 2023. It was certified by the DULV (German Ultralight Flying Association) on January 19 of this year. With its 2.5 hours of flight time (plus reserve flight time of at least 30 minutes), the Elektra trainer has already demonstrated its outstanding capabilities and suitability for everyday use during flight testing.

Belgian UL manufacturer JMB Aircraft had already caused a stir at AERO 2022 with its propeller turbine (turboprop engine) for ULs, developed in-house in collaboration with Turbo Tech. The company has further developed the engine and provided it with higher power and will present it to the public for the first time at AERO 2023.

Other ultralight manufacturers exhibiting in Friedrichshafen include Aeropilot, Aerospool, AutoGyro, Blackshape, BRM AERO, Breezer Aircraft, Comco Ikarus, Flight Design general aviation and TL-Ultralight, to name but a few. The fact that the ultralight/microlight industry is a heavyweight within General Aviation is proven not least by the fact that it occupies four halls at AERO.


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