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Weight Shift Control Trike

 

Flying Trikes

Weight-Shift Control Aircraft Information and More!

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Weight-Shift Control (WSC) Aircraft, often referred to as Trikes, are quickly becoming popular, and for good reason!

A weight-shift control (WSC) aircraft is a powered aircraft with a framed pivoting wing and a fuselage controllable only in pitch and roll by the pilot's ability to change the Center of Gravity (CG) with respect to the wing. The wing has no control surfaces, and control of the aircraft is done by the pilot physically changing where the trike frame is in relation to the wing during flight.

Chad and Irene

Leonardo Da Vinci designed flying machines to carry humans in the middle ages, and in 1891, a German mechanical engineer named Otto Lilienthal made flights of over 100 feet in distance on various weight-shift control gliders he designed. In 1903, the Wright brothers' gliders became powered, and the airplane was born! In 1948, Frances Rogallo patented the first flexible-wing design which became the blueprint for both military applications and the future of Sport Pilot/Ultralight recreational flying.

Click here to view larger imageThe ultra-portable and foldable structure of weight-shift control trikes make them an extremely popular choice for sport flying enthusiasts. These remarkable aircraft can be transported to the airfield in a truck or trailer, and assembled in a matter of minutes. The Weight-Shift Trike is a personal aircraft, designed for individual enjoyment of the joy and exhilaration of flight.

Ultralight single-place versions require no license to operate, and a light soaring trike can be launched from flat ground and flown to an altitude where the motor can be switched off, allowing the craft to glide back to the ground or to follow warm air currents (thermals) upwards with the birds. Sport Pilot licensed pilots can share this form of flying with friends with a two-place flight in their N-numbered, registered aircraft. Sport Pilot CFI's (Certified Flight Instructors) teach this wonderful skill to new pilots, using FAA standards set forth for operating small aircraft at airports all across America.

Some of the pilots that are are joining the ranks of flying trikes are general aviation (GA) pilots that no longer want the trouble and expense of flying an airplane. Because there is no medical required for Sport Pilot, and operational costs per hour are so much less, this form of aviation is an attractive alternative that keeps individuals with a love of flying in the air!

Pat

Others are drawn to the largely unregulated segment of Ultralight trike flying where the craft can be loaded into the back of an SUV and the wing folded and carried on a rack on the roof. Single-place microlight trikes are one of the most popular ways to enjoy the magic of flight with minimal cost and maximum benefit. These light trikes can be flown in the calm air of the early part of the day for cross-country flights, or in the more active thermic part of the day if the pilot is interested in soaring flight.

Jim

 

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