Simulated trike Flylight flexwing model

Flylight MotorFloater

   FSX model

   FSX controls

   Aircraft details


   Screen captures

   3D gallery

This aircraft model for Flight Simulator X (FSX) is based on a MotorFloater flexwing aicraft made by Flylight Airsports Ltd. The MotorFloater is a Single-Seat Deregulated (SSDR) lightweight weightshift-controlled aircraft with a flexible wing, based on a three-wheeled airframe (trike). For more details, a video, and specifications of the real aircraft see the Flylight flexwing details.


Flight Simulator X for Windows is required; the model has been tested using the ‘Deluxe’ edition with and without the Acceleration package. It also works with the free trial version of FSX, available here.

The model runs quite well on a laptop (Intel Core 2 1.87 GHz) with built-in graphics, but a machine with a separate graphics card will usually give better results.


Motorfloater model (click for larger)

Motorfloater model (click for larger)

This aircraft model is freeware; copyright © Mike Cowlishaw 2012. You do not have permission to make any monetary gain from this model. Please see the  ReadMe.txt  file in the installation zipfile for the full licence.

To install:

  1. First download the installation zipfile:

  2. Unzip the file to a temporary folder, then move or copy the folder ‘Flylight MotorFloater’ to the SimObjects\Airplanes folder under the FSX main folder (this is where you installed FSX).

    Alternatively you can unzip the file directly to the SimObjects\Airplanes folder in FSX.

    In either case, if FSX was installed on the C: drive you may need to run the unzip program as an administrator on Windows Vista or Windows 7.

  3. The aircraft ‘Flylight MotorFloater’ should now available in FSX.

If you have problems, try an internet search for ‘fsx aircraft installation’ – there are numerous detailed tutorials, etc.

‘Flying’ the aircraft

MotorFloater sim over Broadway  [select HD quality]

  • FSX models can be flown using just keyboard and mouse, but (as for all FSX aircraft) a joystick of some kind is recommended. Rudder pedals are not really needed (a flexwing aircraft has no rudder) but if you have them they can be used for steering on the ground and the ‘toe brakes’ can be set to act as brake and foot throttle (see below).

  • Reminder: to start the engine, use Ctrl-E.

  • If you have difficulty taking off, ensure that you are using full throttle and (if using a throttle slider control) ensure throttle sensitivity is set to maximum.

  • The controls on a flexwing aircraft work in the opposite sense to fixed-wing aircraft. For example, pushing forward on the control bar raises the nose, whereas in a fixed-wing aircraft pushing forward on the joystick or yoke lowers the nose.

    However, in FSX you can fly the trike using the controls in the same way as for fixed wing aircraft, and if you have only flown fixed wing aircraft (in FSX or for real) then it is recommended that at first you fly the model trike in that way. You will see the model respond in its ‘correct’ sense; for example, if you pull your joystick back to round out when landing the control bar of the model will move forward.

    After trying the model, you might want to set up your controls to match the actual aircraft.

  • Instruments are not really necessary when flying a slow light aircraft like this (the real aircraft has a variometer/altimeter with engine rpm and CHT indications only). If you are interested in your heading, altitude, etc. use Shift-Z in FSX – this will add an information line at the top of the screen. Alternatively, if you select the ‘2D’ panel (F10) the FSX Air Creation 582-SL Trike panel will be displayed.

  • For specifications of the aircraft (stall speed, etc.), see the Flylight flexwing details.

  • For more information on flexwing aircraft and how to fly them a good place to start is the FAA  Weight-Shift Control Aircraft Flying Handbook. This is available for free download at (at the bottom of the list).


Flylight MotorFloater

Flylight MotorFloater

This is a work-in-progress; there are limitations:
  • A ‘real’ MotorFloater has fabric fairings and an instrument binacle; these have yet to be added to the model (I am also considering adding ‘Dragonfly’ composite fairings as an alternative).
  • The sounds you currently hear are those of the FSX Air Creation 582-SL Trike; this means that you do hear wind effects, but the engine is unrealistic.
  • There are no instruments yet; use Shift-Z in FSX to view your heading, altitude, etc.
  • Tuning of the flight model is still in progress – please let me know what you think needs changing.
  • The engine idle speed is lower than the real aircraft so the propeller animation looks better.
  • No pilot yet.

3D display

Some graphics cards allow three-dimensional (3D) display either using special monitors or on ordinary colour monitors. For the latter, anaglyphic » display is used. Here are some examples.

Changes list

Earlier versions of ths model can be accessed from the Flylight flexwing changes list.

Extra feature

The model as shipped includes retractable main gear, as found on the Flylight Dragonfly. By default this is not enabled as the trike models a fixed-gear MotorFloater. If you want to experiment with the retractable gear, there are two lines in the Aircraft.cfg file (in the Flylight MotorFloater directory) which start:

  point.1=1, -1.645,  1.814, -3.461, ...
  point.2=1, -1.645, -1.814, -3.461, ...

These should both be commented out (insert // at the start of each line).

Shortly below these should be two similar lines which start:

  //point.1=1, -1.645,  1.814, -3.461, ...
  //point.2=1, -1.645, -1.814, -3.461, ...

Remove the comment notation (//) from both these lines. After reloading the aircraft or restarting FSX the gear should now raise or lower on pressing ‘G’.

These web pages and the flexwing model were written by Mike Cowlishaw; please send me any corrections, suggestions, etc.
All content © Mike Cowlishaw, 2012, except where marked otherwise. All rights reserved. The pages here and the Flylight flexwing model are for non-commercial use only. Privacy policy: the Speleotrove website records no personal information and sets no ‘cookies’. However, statistics, etc. might be recorded by the web hosting service.

This page was last updated on 2013-02-04 by mfc.