An ultralight trike, also known as a flex-wing trike, weight-shift control aircraft, microlight trike, deltatrike or motorized deltaplane, is a type of powered hang glider using a high performance Rogallo wing coupled to a propeller-powered three-wheeled undercarriage. While many powered aircraft have three-wheeled landing gear, the term "trike" refers specifically to the form of aircraft described here. The principles of this page can generally be applied to the single place ultralight trike and the two place weight-shift control light-sport aircraft.
This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (May 2008) Flight control in a trike is by weight-shift. This is similar to controlling a hang glider, in which the aviator or pilot is suspended from the wing made from high-strength aluminium and fabric. The pilot controls the attitude of the wing by holding onto and operating a triangular control bar (or triangular control frame) (TCF) that is rigidly attached to the wing. Pushing, pulling, and turning the TCF causes a corresponding shift in the aircraft's center of gravity. For instance, pushing the TCF's basebar forward causes the center of gravity to shift back. This, in turn, causes the nose of the aircraft to pitch up, causing the angle of attack to increase which causes the aircraft to fly more slowly. In contrast, pushing forward on the control stick of a traditional aircraft would cause that aircraft to dive.
Detail of a Mainair Blade ultralight trike (in 2009)
Turns are accomplished by rolling the wing in the direction of the intended turn. This is accomplished by moving the control bar to the left in order to enter a right hand turn. This causes the center of gravity—represented primarily by the weight of the undercarriage and pilot—to shift in the direction of the intended turn. This in itself...
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