Technical Matters

The Design

The trike, engine and wing are standard production items.

The Alize trike is a honey. The base tubes are aluminium, while the rear tubes which support the enging are steel. G-CFDZ has no brakes and only a hand throlle. Newer Alize trikes have a brake on the front wheel and a foot throttle fitted as standard and 30cm wheels (G-CFDZ has only 26cm wheels).

The 2-stroke Solo 210, which was fitted to the Alize trike provided only just sufficient power. It was rated at 14.5hp and despite my efforts to improve the performance by fitting a tuned exhaust system was never totally satisfactory. In April 2010, it was replaced with a 4-stroke Bailey 4V-200 paramotor engine.

The Exxtacy wing has an aluminium keel tube and control frame but the wing is entirely composite with a carbon fibre D box section leading edge and carbon fibre ribs.

Weight shift is used for pitch control while turning is effected by the use of spoilers.

The Build

The build was fairly straight forward. A hang block was machined from a block of nylon and is split horizontally to facilitate fitting around the base tube of the Exxtacy's keel. The bracket and hang block from the original Ellipse Fuji wing were used for patterns. This square hang block touched against the inside of the sail and was replaced in 2012 with a new U-shaped hang-block.

New rigging wires were made up to reposition the control bar within reach of the pilot. Without these, the pilot would have had to sit bolt upright, rather than adopting the recumbent position that is a feature of the Alize trike. It was also necessary to lengthen the cord rigging to the spoilers.

The battery is a YTX4L-BS, rated at 4AHr, 50A cca.


The engine is equipped with a small digital tachometer, otherwise there is only what the pilot chooses to carry.

Assembling wing on trike

On a conventional flex-wing microlight the wing and trike are attached by standing the wing on it's nose and bringing the trike, without the front strut in place and the pylon lowered, in from the rear to attach the pylon to the hang block. On G-CFDZ I found this impractical to do as it was not possible to lift the wing and insert the front strut while keeping the trike on the ground. I stand the wing on it's tail and bring the fully assembled trike in from the front. In order to attach the hang-block it is necessary to tip the trike back until the propellor is almost flat on the ground the slip the hand bolt in place. To right the assembled aircraft, I use a rope to stop the trike rolling forward as I push the wing up and over the trike from behind.


Nanolight Regulations Worldwide

In the UK an aircraft under 115Kg without pilot or fuel may qualify for the Single Seat De-Regulated catagory. The regulations are still being developed through the issue of exemption notices, the latest of which removed the requirement for a noise certificate. Aircraft in this classification are required to be registered with the CAA.

In the USA the Part 103 - Ultralight Vehicles regulation covers single seat aircraft up to 254 pounds (115Kg) empty wieght.

In Australia, where the term "nanolight" was coined, aircraft below 70Kg empty weight do not require registration. Arial Pursuits , based in Victoria, Australia, have a website dedicated to nanolights with some very useful information and further links.

In France the classication is know as PULMA (Planeurs Ultra Legers`a Motorisation Auxiliaire). Single seat aircraft up to 300Kg MTOW or 315Kg if fitted with a parachute do not require registration. The Appulma Association Francais provide detailed information about the regulation and many good links to some of the lightweight aricraft available.

The Alize Trike

The Alize trike is available in the UK from Airmasters (uk) Ltd.

The French manufacturer Ellipse make the Fuji & Titan wings often fitted to the Alize trike. Their web has a page featuring the Alize, in French of course.

DTA (Delta Trikes Aviation) are the french manufacturer who make the trikes under licence. They do not feature the trike on their website.

The Exxtacy Wing

The Exxtacy wing was designed by Felix Ruehle and built by Flight Design in Germany. The company is still in business but no longer make hang glider wings, having opted to concentrat on light aircraft. Their Exxtacy brochure invited the reader to "fly their dreams".

I found some details for tuning the exxtacy wing in a repair manual published by Vulture Squadron Productions in 2004.

Felix Ruehle further developed his design in creating the Atos family of gliders for A.I.R.

The OZ Report 2.57 carried an interview with Felix Ruehle talking about the ATOS as the sucessor to the Exxtacy. (Unfortunately the web page has gone, I'll try to find another copy)

Other Rigid-Wing Trikes

G-CFDZ is not the only Rigid-Wing sub-115 microlight.

The trike that first got me really excited about the concept was "Thistledown", built by Arial Pursuits in Australia. It has a Solo 210 engine and is currently using an ATOS wing.

World wide there are about 40 other rigid wing trikes built and flown by enthusiasts. A list of these aircraft and known manufacturers can be found in The World Directory of Rigid Wing Trikes.

SSDR Discussion Groups

Yahoo Group: NanolightTrikers
Yahoo Group: Rigid wing trikes
BMAA Forum: Single-Seat Deregulated

Other Resources used to publish a comprehensive database of microlights past and present, but webpage is not currently available.

This French site gives an excellent list of lightweight engines suitable for SSDR aircraft


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