A trike is a motor ultralight aircraft. Trike is designed on the basis of hang-glider and has inherited from its predecessors many elements of the design and manufacturing technology. The hang-glider wing is used to create a lifting force, and a propulsion system is used to create thrust. Any trike is equipped with landing gear for take-off and landing. The patent for the invention of trike is owned by the Frenchman Gerard Taveno (1974).
Trikes found their niche in the hierarchy of motorized aircraft. Below there are motor paraplanes, and above - light and, in part, ultralight aircraft. From the point of view of cost trike also takes the middle position: On average, it is twice as expensive as paraglider and (at least) twice as cheap if compared to ultralight aircraft. At the same time, it may fly like an airplane, but requires much less operating costs.
A trike can take off and land both on water and land. In this respect it is close to motor paraplan, but unlike it, it is less critical to weather conditions and flies at high speeds (60-100 km/h instead of 30-45 km/h in the case of motor paraplan), allowing to carry an additional cargo or a person of up to 120 kg. For takeoff and landing, you can also use snow skis or water floats in addition to wheels, which expands the application possibilities in comparison with the paraglider.
Safety of flights
Since the trike has originated from a hang glider - a glider in fact, it glides lower. The training program for pilots necessarily includes landing with the engine off. Therefore, if the engine fails, the pilot must land the aircraft, provided, of course, that there is a suitable landing strip.
A lot depends on the skill of a pilot and the trike design features. In general, flights are allowed with wind up to 12 m/s. It is undesirable to fly during a summer day, because the thermal activity is high, which increases turbulence - it is unsafe to fly in severe turbulence, especially if there are negative overloads. In winter when the temperature is close to zero and / or high humidity the wing may be subject to icing which is also unsafe.