World Record Attempt

Newsletter- World Record Attempt

On the 15th June 2018 David Broom successfully flew 34.54km engine-off in the Airplay Aircraft EuroFly Snake/Grif 3DC nanolight sub-70 flexwing.

If ratified by the FAI this should become a new British and World Record. No previous record has been set in the solo flexwing class.

If the above video doesn’t show, click here.

David says “I wanted to show hang/paraglider pilots that their core flying experience can be enhanced by flying a nanolight trike. After self-launching from Sandy, Bedfordshire I used only thermals to fly back to near my home airfield. I even landed out in a small farmer’s field to demonstrate that this is still perfectly feasible with a trike unit, before restarting the engine to fly home and avoid a prolonged retrieve.

The Grif 3DC and Snake combination offers glide performance broadly similar to a good intermediate hang-glider. The supine seating position is very comfortable for long periods and makes keeping an adequate lookout much easier than with a prone harness. Aside from using the engine to self-launch, it’s much more fun flying to/from your favourite site than driving there!

The claim now needs to be ratified by the FAI to become a world record; a process that often takes months or even years. There can be no doubt that the flight took place as claimed; I carried 3 separate GPS trackers and filmed the entire flight in addition to arranging the required official observers. However, the approval document hasn’t been updated for years and doesn’t contain any procedures for video evidence. The quickest way for me to force the point was to do a flight and make a record claim!

34km is actually quite a modest distance and the aircraft is capable of much more. I was a bit late taking off and was racing to keep ahead of some overdevelopment. If I’d been a bit earlier I’m confident I could have easily reached the coast.I’m hoping that the FAI will now update their record procedures and this will make it easier for pilots in all classes to show what they are capable of.”–
Phone: +44(0)7773 253454

April 2018

Newsletter- April 2018

I have some exciting news for the hang-glider pilots among you! Airplay Aircraft are pleased to announce that the Snake trike is now available with the Avian Fly & Rio wings. The intention is to provide a wing that can be both free-flown and used on the Snake trike without modification.

Avian hang-gliders are designed and manufactured in Britain, and exhibit an excellent attention to detail with quality fittings. Avian also have an enthusiastic following of pilots using their wings in a supine (seated) position, and have created a specific geometry to suit. This setup promises to be a great match for the Snake trike.

The Fly is a single-surface wing which shares the same frame as the Rio, allowing later upgrades to the higher performance double-surfaced wing. Both wings are available in 15m² (suitable for pilots up to 80kg) and 17m² versions (100kg pilot weight). Variable geometry and laminate material options are available. Prices start from £3,675 (inc VAT), which drops the total price of a brand new aircraft below the £9K mark!

The first customer unit has just been completed and we await some good weather for final flight testing. A full report will follow, and the website will be updated with details as soon as possible.

A Pilot Operating Handbook for the Snake/3DC has recently been completed, which can be downloaded from our website.

I would be glad of any feedback or suggestions for improvements you may have. Hopefully it will be of use to pilots of other nanotrikes also.

The Adventure luggage bag option for the Snake is now in production, priced at £252 including VAT. Made of water-resistant fabric (which also neatly doubles up as a front mudguard), the Adventure bag provides cavernous storage space accessible from both sides of the trike via two large zips. Especially when flown with the Grif 3DC wing (which features a huge 190kg MTOW), this will allow serious bivouac-style touring trips and also makes an ideal mounting point for a reserve parachute if required.

Finally, we will be exhibiting both the Snake and Minifox aircraft at the Popham Microlight Rally on the 5th and 6th of May. Hopefully we’ll see you there!

Kind Regards,
Dave Broom.–
Phone: +44(0)7773 253454

February 2018

Newsletter- February 2018

Special one-time offer for a discounted Snake- see below for details!

Hopefully by now all of you that are BMAA members will have read the excellent review of the Snake sub-70kg/SSDR flexwing microlight in the latest Microlight Flying magazine. Reviewer Steve Uzochukwu gave a glowing appraisal of the Snake, and was particularly impressed with the handling and performance of the Grif 3DC wing.

Microlight Flying Front cover Feb 2018

Steve has also flown the Aeros Fox13T wing, so was well-placed to give an objective comparison. His opinion (which is mirrored by my own), is that the Fox makes an ideal beginner wing with high levels of stability. It also has a relatively steep glide angle that makes judging an approach into a short field particularly easy.

By comparison the 3DC wing has a far greater glide performance at higher speeds, as well as a slightly lighter, more sporty feeling to the handling. As such, it would be better suited to the pilot wanting more efficiency in the cruise or capability when engine-off soaring. It also suits hooligans who want to get their wing-over picture on the front cover of a magazine!

If you’ve missed the article, all BMAA members can view it for free at

I also came fourth in the photo competition using my homemade parachute drogue. It’s a good job my niece likes the taste of Fanta!

Homemade GoPro drogue

I mentioned in the last newsletter that our current “Trofeo” branded 3DC demonstrator wing will be available for sale when my replacement wing arrives next month. This is an all-white Grif 3DC with the PX20 leading edge and vortex generator options. The wing was specially built for last year’s European Microlight Championships (“Trofeo” is Italian for Trophy), and has done approximately 35hrs flying time since new. These hours may increase in the meantime as it is used for product demonstration. This wing can be yours for £3,980 (inc VAT), which represents a total saving of around £790 over a new wing in this spec.

Snake with 3DC Trofeo wing

If you’d like a trike to go with it, I can sell our current demonstrator Snake trike for a total package price of £9,400 (inc VAT). This green-coloured trike is fitted with the Cisco C-Max 175 recoil start engine, wooden Cisco prop, generator coil, Microavionics strobe and FlyElectronics MotoMonitor instrument system. This represents a total saving of over £1,100. The engine is barely run-in at 8hrs currently, and is running sweet as a nut!

These prices are based on today’s exchange rate and may fluctuate slightly. As a special reward for email subscribers I will not publicise this on any other social media etc for a few days to give you first dibs. The first person to commit to buying will get the deal! Please note this special price will not qualify for our free training offer (although of course training is still available for converting pilots).

If you’d like any more information or pictures please get in touch.

Kind Regards,
Dave Broom.–
Phone: +44(0)7773 253454

January 2018

Newsletter- January 2018

Look out for the excellent review of the Minifox in this month’s Microlight Flying magazine (free to BMAA members) by David Bremner. Dave Unwin has also carried out a flight test for Pilot magazine, which should be available in newsagents very soon. Both reviewers were very impressed with the handling and quality of the Minifox and were left with big silly grins after flying it!

David Bremner reviewing the Minifox for Microlight Flying

There should be magazine reviews of the Snake flexwing in the next issues of Microlight Flying, Skywings (the BHPA magazine) and an upcoming issue of Cross-Country magazine. Again, the reviewers had a great time and have written very positive reports.

If the above video fails to load simply click here.

These flight tests were carried out with the 2017 version of the Grif 3DC wing. There are a couple of minor design tweaks and a planned higher MTOW test set for the 2018 wings, so I have another demonstrator (in fetching green & black colour scheme) due for delivery in the spring. Our current white demonstrator with “Trofeo” branding (the wing was flown in last years European championships) will then be available for sale at a good discount. Please contact me if you’d like more details.

3DC Trofeo wing

The 3DC is a double-surface kingposted wing, capable of being rigged flat or on the A-frame in approximately 6-8 minutes. Compared with our other popular wing option, the Aeros Fox13T, the 3DC gives a slightly lighter more sporty feel, as well as significantly more glide performance. Both wings fly hands-off in the 30-35mph speed range, although Grif wings feature a ground-adjustable hang-point that can be adjusted in minutes if a higher trim speed is desired.

A range of dacron colours are available with the undersurface cut in one or two panels. Other options include PX20 trilaminate leading edge (non-porous and wipe-clean), wingtip fairings and LED strobes, and vortex generators (which help delay the onset of the stall and are strongly recommended for sub-70 operation). Powder-coating the A-frame and kingpost is also possible (the aluminium is anodised as standard) to create your perfect colour scheme.

Vortex generators on the Trofeo 3DC wing

With a 6-8 week lead time for Aeros wings (a little less for Grif wings) now is the time to place an order if you want a full season of thermal fun!

Kind Regards,
Dave Broom.

Phone: +44(0)7773 253454

November 2017

Newsletter- November 2017

Fox13 landing

Last week we carried out the first ever UK flight of a Snake nanolight trike as a flight test to confirm the suitability of the Aeros Fox13T wing.

I’m pleased (and I have to admit a little surprised!) to report that the geometry of the Fox13T was an absolutely perfect match for the Snake. I’ve flown plenty of single-make flexwings that have spent months in testing and failed to achieve so good a result.

Fox13T wing coupled to a Snake trike

The very gentle mush stall is achieved precisely as the bar touches the front strut, leaving plenty of rearward bar movement for high speed flight. All the controls are light, but stable, and I was able to reverse a 30° bank in a touch under 1.5 seconds. I was flying without instruments, but I would estimate a stall speed in the region of 20mph and hands-off cruise somewhere closer to 30mph.

The single-surface design promises a low sink rate and Flylight (the UK Aeros importers) claim a glide ratio approaching 10:1, although that figure drops significantly when flown at higher airspeeds. This would make the Fox the ideal choice where short-field operation is a priority.

Fox13T wing hobbled

Despite being a kingposted wing the Fox13T retains the ability to be folded whilst on the trike, although I suspect most pilots will simply detach the wing for derigging. This remains a very simple process taking seconds to achieve as (unlike some nanolights) the basebar of the wing comfortably clears the nosewheel, allowing the bar to sit flat on the ground.

The Fox13T retails at €3600 with a £150 shipping charge (both +VAT). It’s available in a full range of Dacron colours, or with the optional ODL6 Technora covering (as shown in the pictures) as a €430 option. The wing weighs only 25.5kg, allowing the greatest flexibility of engine options or fuel capacity for sub-70kg operation. Lead time is generally 6-8 weeks.

Cisco C-Max warming up

The flight test was carried out using the Cisco C-Max 175 engine, which provides more than ample power. Cisco claim 27Hp, and with a 5-10knot headwind I’d estimate the total ground roll for takeoff was in the region of 25 metres.

I’ve conducted flight tests with both a Helix carbon-fibre propellor and a wooden prop provided by Cisco. Early tests indicate the wooden prop appears to produce slightly more thrust and a nicer sound, although the carbon prop should prove more hard-wearing. Prices for the Cisco wooden prop will be on the website following confirmation, but promise to be even lower than the Helix.

Snake folded up in the boot of an estate car

Even without removing the prop the folded Snake still comfortably took less than half the boot of my car.

I also have some news for those hungry for more information on the Minifox fixed-wing microlight. Pilot magazine have recently carried out a flight test of the aircraft; look out for the review in an upcoming issue!

Our demonstrator Minifox and Snake aircraft remain available; please call me if you’d like to arrange an appointment.

Kind Regards,
Dave Broom.–
Phone: +44(0)7773 253454