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Microlights and ultralights are very light, single or dual-seat aircraft with very low stalls speeds. They fly slowly and are relatively cheap to operate. Two basic designs are used. The flexwing is essentially a powered hang glider and controlled using the weight-shift principle, and the second is a simple, fixed-wing, 3-axis stick and rudder control design comparable with an enclosed conventional aircraft. Hang glider style microlights carry two people seated in tandem whereas the 3-axis design typically seats pilot and passenger side by side.

All microlight aircraft are susceptible to the effects of the weather, and in particular to wind and turbulence. The flexwing design is useful for aerial photography because it provides an excellent unobstructed view. However, it is arguably less stable than a fixed-wing design. Also, a flexwing microlight pilot normally needs both hands to operate the aircraft and consequently may find photography difficult.

A fixed-wing microlight may be somewhat more stable and hence easier to operate with hands free. Its enclosed design gives a more obstructed view, but in some cases it is possible to fly with the door open or removed. Autogyros are preferred by some aerial photographers because they find them more stable than other microlights.


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