Licence-free flexwing flying on a sub70 nanolight trike



The Snake flexwing nanolight trike is designed to take advantage of the CAA Exemption E4455, allowing powered, wheeled aircraft to be flown solo without a formal licence. The aircraft needs to weigh sub-70kg with full fuel (75kg with a parachute), stall at less than 20knots and carry adequate third party insurance. However, it can still be registered as a microlight if you already have a licence.

Just because something is legal doesn’t necessarily mean it is safe! For a limited time only all Snake packages (trike+engine+wing) sold will be eligible for 5 hours of dual flexwing training at our Cambridgeshire base. This usually costs £600, but is available to Snake customers absolutely FREE!
Please contact us for more details, or view our training site. This offer may be withdrawn at any time, but will be honoured for all existing orders.

Primarily constructed of 6082 T6 alloy with twin Ergal 7075 undercarriage legs, the Snake has been load tested to an amazing +6G with a 100kg pilot without any permanent deformation of the structure. Despite this, the trike still weighs less than a remarkable 17kg!

Snake folded up in the boot of an estate carThe Snake folds up in minutes for easy transport in the average family car. Simply remove the detachable fuel tank and 3 pins to fold the trike and remove the undercarriage legs. Furthermore, the trike geometry allows the wing basebar to be laid flat on the ground, simplifying the rigging process dramatically. A genuine 15 minute rigging time including both the trike and wing is easily achievable.

Fox13T wing hobbled

The Snake comes with a nosewheel brake as standard. Solid main undercarriage legs eliminate the need for draggy bracing wires and also provide effective suspension on rough ground. The foam-core tyres are essentially puncture-proof. The trike features ample ground clearance; useful when taxiing over long grass, and creating room for an under-slung luggage bag.

The Snake comes with the chromoly steel sections powder coated in your choice of Red, Green or Blue. Special colour orders are available.

Wing options

Due to the extremely light weight of the Snake trike we can offer all of the wings listed below and still remain within the SPHG 70kg weight limit with full fuel. If you are planning to operate the Snake as an SSDR microlight there is an even greater range of wing options available; please contact us for details.


Fox13T wing coupled to a Snake trikeOur most affordable wing option is the Aeros Fox13T single-surface wing, specifically designed for nanolight sub-70kg aircraft. The excellent stability and docile handling make this a perfect wing for beginners. It’s the lightest wing we offer, at 25.5kg with the optional ODL Technora wing fabric. A range of Dacron colours are available as a no-cost option.

A wing-fold kit can be incorporated into this kingposted wing if trailering the Snake is preferred. This can reduce the rigging time to around 5 minutes.

Hands-off cruise speeds are in the region of 30mph, with a 20mph extremely gentle mush stall. The best glide ratio approaches 10:1, although this drops dramatically at higher speeds. This characteristic makes the Fox13T an ideal choice for short-field operation. Maximum Take-Off Weight is 170kg.


The 3DC is a 13.5m² double-surface nanolight wing. As such, it offers a much higher level of soaring efficiency whilst still retaining a comfortable 35mph cruise speed. The stall speed is in the region of 20-25mph depending on weight and if the optional vortex generators are installed (which also have the effect of making the stall even more gentle and benign than standard).

The wing handling is wonderfully light and sporty at all speeds, and offers predictable behaviour for short field operation. MTOW is 190kg.

All Grif wings offer various ways to reduce the packaged length (useful if storage space is at a premium, or for transporting the wing on airlines). The quick short-pack reduces the packed length of the 3DC from 5.32m to 4.58m. A further reduction is possible to only 3.57m length. Neither of these short-pack options require any tools and can be completed in minutes.

A PX20 trilaminate leading edge is available as an option, as are a range of undersurface colour combinations. Grif can also powder-coat the A-frame and kingpost any RAL colour in order to create your ideal colour scheme.

Another option is a LED strobe system built into streamlined fibreglass wingtip fairings. These are ideal for improving visibility in low-light conditions as well as improving the aesthetics further.

Grif also offer the HS14 & HS16  (14 and 16m²) wings for a more traditional hang-glider experience.

Engine options

We recommend the Cisco range of paramotor engines for the Snake, although we are happy to advise if you wish to fit your own existing engine to the trike.

Cisco are an Italian engine manufacturer and are represented in the UK by Skydrive Ltd. The Skydrive name is synonymous with microlight engines, having been the UK Rotax dealer for decades. Skydrive now stock a large quantity of Cisco engines and spares, and provide a full UK warranty and advice.

Cisco C-Max 175 engine mounted on Airplay Snake

The most suitable engines for the Snake are the C-Max 175cc (rated at 27Hp) and Bull Max 230cc (rated at 33Hp). Both feature internal counter-balance shafts for smooth operation and are available with both recoil manual and electric start systems. A centrifugal clutch is optional, but not recommended for trike operation.

Both engines are available with a wooden propeller by Cisco, or the Helix carbon fibre prop. The Cisco prop produces slightly more thrust and a smoother sound, whereas the Helix is more hard-wearing and has the ability to be folded in half when removed from the engine.

Airplay Snake with C-Max 175 and Helix prop fitted

Have a look at our price calculator to weigh up the various options.