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  • 'Soft spot' types

    I was thinking about conversations I've had over the years with pilots of various kinds of aircraft and it seems some types seem to find a soft spot in their pilots' hearts. You know the sort of thing, someone mentions a type and at least one pilot in the room gets a dreamy look on his face and starts describing the pleasure of flying it.

    Some aircraft are brilliant machines for a purpose, whether it's training or touring or bimbling or competing, but others seem to have in addition a soul beyond the mechanics. Many are classics (ie been more than once around the block but are still to be found flying), but that is not essential; newer types can evoke the reaction too.

    For me, there is the AX3 with its idiosyncratic yet safe handling charateristics and gossamer-like landings, whereas its equally idiosyncratic sibling the AX2000 has no place in my affections.

    So you pilots out there, what types hold a soft spot in your heart?
    The pilot formerly posting as MadamBreakneck
    R examiner and TST pilot.
    and now a Tai Chi instructor

  • #2
    In some respects I feel similarly about the Xair. The mark 1 is a delightful aeroplane and so many folks have owned one as their first aircraft. Delightful safe and easy handling to build experience and grow as s pilot. . The Xair falcon (or mark 2, with flaps) is a fine machine too, but lost something by being more sophisticated..
    Martin Watson
    Microlights in Norfolk
    Fixed Wing Instruction - Exams and GSTs - Revalidations
    07805 716407

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    • #3
      +1 for the Xair, loved mine and it looked after me well.

      Have an Easy Raider now which is also kind to me
      Sean McDonald

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      • #4
        No suprise to anyone who knows me, the trusty Thruster TST I hold in greater esteem than any of the many types that I've had the (mostly) good fortune to fly. The fantastic view, the delightful handling which is understandably lighter than the pleasent T600 series and the sheer simplicity of the whole pleases my soul. Although a little corner of my heart is reserved for the delightful, characterful AX3.

        That is not to say that I not thoroughly enjoyed other types, I have, but those two are very special.

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        • #5
          [QUOTE=Ginge Sunley;129535]No suprise to anyone who knows me, the trusty Thruster TST I hold in greater esteem than any of the many types that I've had the (mostly) good fortune to fly. The fantastic view, the delightful handling which is understandably lighter than the pleasent T600 series and the sheer simplicity of the whole pleases my soul.

          Did some circuits in a Thruster, but my favourite was the good old Mainair Flash One; however the rough air handling was rather shown up when Dave Smith landed in a Blade with student in charge on a thermic day, so upgraded soon after...;-)

          Cheers
          G-KEVA
          BMAA 5696

          "If anybody ever tells you anything about an aeroplane which is so bloody complicated you can't understand it, take it from me: it's all balls."

          R.J. Mitchell :- Designer of the Supermarine Spitfire

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          • #6
            My total microlight experience extends to two C42s, four Thrusters (all T600) and a passenger flight in a Quik.
            After starting training in a C42 (~20hrs) my first flight in a Thruster was like coming home. For my GST, I was back in a C42 and flying it just felt like a task (as opposed to a pleasure).
            Pete T.

            "A closed mouth gathers no feet".

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            • #7
              I've flown many types over the years. Trained in C42'S and Thruster T600N. But much preferred the Thruster T600N, and did the majority of my training in the Thruster. Most of the students wanted to train in the C42.
              When I qualified I bought an X-Air, and loved it. Major Soft Spot for X-Air's. I also have a Major Soft Spot for Pegasus XL and absolutely love my Quantum 503.

              I now believe that the simple, old school non-complicated machines are the ones which give the best pleasure. At one time I owned a Skyranger 912s and a Pegasus XL at the same time. If the weather was right there was no contest, I flew the XL.

              Damien


              PILOTS are just PLANE people with a special AIR about them

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              • #8
                Apart from the odd hour or two here and there, I have flown only four microlights, AX 2000, tail dragger Rans, Xair Falcon and my present aircraft Skyranger Swift. I trained in the AX 2000 and have great respect for it. I thought it an excellent training machine as you had to fly it all the time and use your feet. When I got my licence I flew the tail dragger Rans for a year but never really liked it. I then built the Xair and thought it was a great little plane, ideal for low hours flyers as it was easy to fly and the sprung undercarriage was very forgiving. I might still have it now but the high fuel consumption meant that longer distant trips were out unless fuel was available at the other end. I therefore made the decision to part with it and I built a Skyranger Swift 912s. I have had that now for 10 years and clocked up around 450 hours. I have no desire to part with it.

                So what holds a soft spot in my heart. I love the Skyranger but still think back to my lovely Xair. Perhaps they share an equal spot.

                Allan

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                • #9
                  I once had the good fortune to have a Shadow , beat up Chaser and very old Lazair in the shed all sitting and waiting to fly and don't think I can beat that but as to a favourite I cannot say but find the lighter end of things with the simple pure flying without the clutter whatever the machine rocks my boat.

                  Still looking ;-)
                  Mick Broom
                  Member 909
                  Shadow G-MWTN

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Martin Watson View Post
                    In some respects I feel similarly about the Xair. The mark 1 is a delightful aeroplane and so many folks have owned one as their first aircraft. Delightful safe and easy handling to build experience and grow as s pilot. . The Xair falcon (or mark 2, with flaps) is a fine machine too, but lost something by being more sophisticated..
                    Hi Martin,

                    I hope you are keeping well and surviving in deepest Norfolk. I’ve heard my former Xair Falcon referred to as many things in the past but never sophisticated!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Allan Gridley View Post
                      Hi Martin,

                      I hope you are keeping well and surviving in deepest Norfolk. I’ve heard my former Xair Falcon referred to as many things in the past but never sophisticated!
                      Believe me that as a TST pilot the Falcon is a pretty sophisicated beast . Indoors, flaps and those big soft seats

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                      • #12
                        A TST eh ..... even in these “enlightened” times masochism is still popular!!

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                        • #13
                          Haha well I'll let you know about that soon: I've just bought one (a few bits to fettle before it can take to the skies).
                          And Hi Allan. Yes, Norfolk treating me very well thanks.
                          Martin Watson
                          Microlights in Norfolk
                          Fixed Wing Instruction - Exams and GSTs - Revalidations
                          07805 716407

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Allan Gridley View Post
                            TST ... masochism...
                            No 'type wars' please. Unless you've flown one, don't believe everything you've read in Geoff Hill's editorials.

                            The TST, by the way, provides ample opportunity to carry appropriate bum cushioning for those with bony bottoms and one can adjust the seat position to accommodate a range of leg lengths.

                            I must admit that in comparison the Falcon seats do feel like well-stuffed armchairs :-)
                            Last edited by Joan Walsh; 9th August 2018, 12:04.
                            The pilot formerly posting as MadamBreakneck
                            R examiner and TST pilot.
                            and now a Tai Chi instructor

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Allan Gridley View Post
                              A TST eh ..... even in these “enlightened” times masochism is still popular!!
                              Ahh, but outdoors is the only way to fly , the only suffering I ever noted was the super hard seats Those are now well padded
                              Last edited by Ginge Sunley; 9th August 2018, 14:12. Reason: Grammer correction

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