Around the world simple, very light, aircraft are often unregulated and require no airworthiness approval from, or continuing oversight by, a State Aviation Authority. In the USA Light Sport categories exist which are lightly regulated and these aircraft are usually designed and built to industry consensus standards rather than prescriptive and expensive National regulation. Other countries have or are developing regimes similar to the US Light Sport system. In the UK, until recently, all light aircraft were subject to CAA approvals and oversight.
In October 2013 the UK CAA announced an intention to relax or remove regulations applying to light single-seat recreational aircraft. A consultation followed and in May 2014 the revised SSDR (Single-Seat DeRegulated) category was formally defined. In this revision any single-seat aircraft having a MTOM (max take-off mass) of not more than 300kg and a stalling speed of not more than 35 knots became deregulated for all airworthiness purposes.
Even before October 2013 we had ideas for a unique new kind of soarable microlight aircraft. Experience in the US, and finally the SSDR initiative in the UK, drove us to quickly develop an innovative new product to fill a price/performance gap we saw in worldwide microlight and self-launch sailplane markets.
ProAirsport was established in June 2014. The company exists to build innovative light aircraft in this environment.
Project GloW applies high performance glider design principles to a microlight aeroplane to create, in one, a deregulated high performance hybrid microlight and a moderately performant, but much lower cost, self-launching sailplane. With the US market firmly in sight we adopted the appropriate Light Sport consensus standard – ASTM 2564 – as our design code. ASTM International is the globally recognised leader in the development and delivery of international consensus standards.