Popham Microlight Show


Popham Microlight Trade Show 4-5 May 2024

Report by Peter and Kim Davison

This annual microlight event showcases the rapid development of this sector. Numerous new designs, often from the former Eastern Block nations, bring modern technology and lightweight materials combining with engine maturity. Those slightly lower down the income scale can inspire the young and increase aerial mobility to a level unheard of a few decades ago. The only shadow cast across the event was a planning proposal to build housing on the airfield without any mention of its present use.


With over two hundred visiting aircraft including a massive number of autogyros both tandem seats, two abreasts and single seats that seem far more realistic and controllable than the fantasy of door to door drones attempting to bi-pass regulations in operations and pilot training.


With the British winter and spring breaking records for rainfall it was a pleasant surprise that the weather dawned bright and clear across southern England attracting a wide variety of visitors keen to get updated on recent developments and taking the opportunity to meet with like-minded folk on the first National GA event of the year.


Among the plethora of UK based visitors were a few from overseas, France, Germany, Holland and Poland were all represented and an Irish MXP Savannah on floats became the centre of attention as it arrived on Saturday afternoon.


For those visitors of a certain age that recall this sector being dominated by flexwings resembling hang-gliders it was encouraging to see these compact lightweights still remaining popular. Improved fabrics and evolving engine technology has sustained this part of the sector rather than more modern types. It is interesting that the Tecnam and Vans ranges not only resemble conventional aircraft like Pipers and Jodels but the Tecnams also populate many flight schools offering a modern alternative to the highwing Cessna where even the later models are approaching forty years of age.

Peter Davison

About Peter Davison

Peter Davison is an aviation author and editor from the United Kingdom.