Aero Friedrichshafen Report by The Flying Reporter

Please click here to view on YouTube: AERO REPORT

Aero Friedrichshafen 2024 took place 17-20 April, 2024, at Messe Friedrichshafen.

The focus in his video report on microlight aircraft is interesting and a short interview (at the 10 minute mark in the video) with BMAA CEO (and GAAC Board Member) Rob Hughes sheds some light on what’s coming our way in the UK.

Fresh out of a meeting with the UK CAA at the show, Rob explains that several further aircraft are in the process of gaining UK approval – the increase to 600kg weight limit in 2001 has been the driver behind this, up from the old 450kg. Highly capable aircraft are increasingly available in the non-certified category overseen by the BMAA (in the UK) and offer half the fuel burn of traditional Part 21 types because, usually, they are equipped with Rotax engines and are light, composite, modern airframes. The only real downside, if it is one, is being restricted to 2 seats.

Jon Hunt (The Flying Reporter) also speaks with The Light Aircraft Company (TLAC) from Little Snoring in Norfolk – now dealer for the Shark microlight as well as the popular Ikarus range – and also SkyLeader, whose SkyLeader 400 is due to be available on the UK in July.

I was also at Aero Friedrichshafen just after Jon had left, and the highlights for me were the VoltAero hybrid-electric aircraft that could one day provide an efficient air taxi, and also some of the kit aircraft overseen (in the UK) by the LAA. 

The Savannah ultralight, for example, is remarkably affordable considering you could build the airframe and fit second-hand engine and avionics, and then if you opt for the S version and build in a group all the owners could train for a full PPL very affordably, according to the Irish dealer FunFly Aerosports, which was exhibiting at the show.

The little, in-development Petrel flying boat/amphibian was also of great interest – Aero is always a great show for the latest innovations and Tobias & co at Fairnamic do a fantastic job of organising the event in what is probably the best venue you could imagine. Next to an airport, it has 7 vast halls and plenty of space for stages and presentations too. 

This year there was little flying going on outside as unusually the weather was very cold and very wet most of the time, which probably put a few people off flying to the event. It would be nice if Friedrichshafen got some kind of scheduled airline service back too, as international visitors have to fly into e.g. Zurich and drive or get train and then ferry across Lake Constance. Or get Ryanair to Memmingen a 30-minute drive away.

As Jon says in his video, you can’t see everything at Aero Friedrichshafen in a day so I’d definitely recommend heading out on the Tuesday (the day before the show starts) and heading home on the Friday or Saturday. You may even have time for a flight in an airship, if the weather is good – the Zeppelin hangar is right next door!

And no day at the Aero Show is ever complete without a visit to GA Buyer Europe’s stand ( Now owned by Flying magazine we can expect great things in the future from this publisher, including (hopefully) the traditional Aero free bar that has been a feature of the show for many years now thanks for Astrid Ayling (look out for her son Alex, who is preparing for the next instalment of his Private Flyer Event at Booker Airfield (Wycombe Air Park), 17-18 May. All being well, GAAC will be there too so look out for us and bring any airfield planning queries you have!

Brazil's Scoda Aeronautica is bringing the Petrel X amphibous aircraft to market.
Ikarus now has a full-motion simulator for its popular microlight.
Chris Varley (the flying insurance broker) in the Savannah kit-built ultralight, from Italy's ICP.
The Shark microlight is fast and fun. TLAC is now the sole UK distributor.
Diamond Aircraft's popular DA42 twin (and new eDA40 just out of sight).
The GA Buyer Europe stand (bar from 5pm!)
Scroll to Top