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Popham Microlight Trade Fair

PUBLISHED: 11:26 11 May 2012 | UPDATED: 14:14 10 October 2012

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Despite the typically dreary Bank Holiday weekend weather, this year’s Microlight Trade Fair at Popham had a real buzz - and it wasn’t just all the two-stroke engines.

Despite the typically dreary Bank Holiday weekend weather, this year’s Microlight Trade Fair at Popham had a real buzz - and it wasn’t just all the two-stroke engines.



In spite of the parlous state of the economy, the impending Olympics and probably the wettest drought in living memory, it would seem that the lighter side of UK GA continues to thrive.

There were about 30 different engine and airframe manufacturers, plus 60 other types of traders, including aero and auto jumblers. SSDR aircraft were generating a lot of interest, and the Airbike, GSAL Eindecker and Reality Aircraft Kid all appeared attractive options for the cost-conscious fun-flyer. We plan to be featuring flight tests on all of these aircraft in future issues.

Autogyros were out in force, while a sight I’d never seen at Popham before was a glider on tow. A Eurofox demonstrated just what a capable tug it is by towing a Pilatus B-4, and as an experienced tug pilot myself, I must say that the climb rate looked impressive. I was also interested to see the part-finished fuselage of a Groppo Trail, which was fitted with a Sauer S2200UL engine. This 85hp air-cooled flat-four is based on the ubiquitous VW ‘Beetle’ engine, and is almost half the price of an 80hp 912S.

Despite the rather inclement weather there were over 1,000 movements during the three day event, with around 325 different types of aircraft flying in. Around 2,000 people came through the gates on each of the first two days, while Monday saw this rise to over 3,000. Not the busiest its ever been, but bearing in mind the poor weather (and poorer forecast) still a great little show.

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