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A Nanolight Trike (Fly Products Trike Delta)

A nanolight is an Australian class of ultralight powered aircraft. It was originally defined as a powered hang glider with an empty weight, including both wing and power system, of less than 70 kg (154 lb). A nanolight may be launched on foot or using a wheeled undercarriage.[1]

The term was coined in about 1998 by Australian John Reynoldson to differentiate this class of aircraft in Australia from the better-known "microlight" class of weight-shift ultralights, which weigh up to 450 kg (992 lb) and must be registered in that country.

Nanolights are somewhat slower than purpose-built microlights. Because they are so light, they are often used for thermal soaring. The engine is used to launch the aircraft to a safe altitude and to find a thermal. It is then turned off and the pilot uses thermal lift alone to gain altitude.[1]

Nanolights are popular with hang glider pilots who use them to get flying time, without the logistical problems attendant with finding a suitable hill and risking not finding a thermal after launch.


  1. ^ a b Raptor Designs Pty Ltd (December 2004). "Nanolight Trike FAQ". Retrieved 29 October 2010.