The Skyranger Swift is the Chief Flying Instructors favourite aircraft! Its microlight design heritage is more obvious than the Eurostar or C42. It is in fact a kit built aircraft and G-GRLS was constructed over an 18 month period as a ‘build a plane project’ by girls at Beneden School in Kent - hence the registration!
This type of aircraft is currently not allowed to be used for training unless the student is a part owner but the rules have been so relaxed you can buy a share for just £1.00! We would not normally use this aircraft for introductory flights but if it is of real interest we can take you for a flight on what is called a ‘cost sharing’ basis. The only real difference is that this flight time is not allowable towards the grant of a flying licence wheras subsequent flights, once you are a £1 shareholder, are allowable.
In the case of aircraft overseen by the British Microlight Aircraft Association it is their Inspectors who monitor the build of amateur constructed aircraft and they are responsible for checking everything and signing the aircraft off for flight. It is these same inspectors who are responsible for signing off Type Approved manufactured aircraft for their first flight so it does seem like nonsence and the CAA are currently consulting on this matter.
The Swift, or of course ‘girls’, as our aircraft has inevitably become called, will cruise very happily at 97mph but for training we fly mostly at 80 mph. The visibility is fantastic for a high wing aircraft and the handling delightful although more rudder is required at different power settings - you soon get used to this. The aircraft does not require constant re-trimming like some others, the flaps work in the correct sense and have a limitation speed of 91mph which is much higher than the C42 or Eurostar. The aicraft is really stable and has a cross wind limit of 15kts which is as good as most light aircraft.