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Ultralight Aircraft Market

Ultralight Aircraft Market Size, Share, Competitive Landscape and Trend Analysis Report, by Technology, by Propulsion, by Takeoff, by End Use : Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2021-2031

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Author's: Dave Dhvanil Ashish | Lalit Janardhan Katare
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The global ultralight aircraft market was valued at $5.6 billion in 2021, and is projected to reach $9.7 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 6% from 2022 to 2031.

Ultralight Aircraft Market, Ultralight Aircraft Industry

The ultralight aircraft market is segmented into Technology, Propulsion, Takeoff and End Use.

Ultralight aircraft have developed into specially designed aircraft of very low weight and power but with flying characteristics similar to conventional light aircraft. Originally, ultralights were simply hang gliders modified for power by installation of small engines similar to those used in chain saws. Although upgraded variants are currently utilized for training, police patrol, and other activities, including a planned use in conflict, they are still primarily designed for recreational flight. Ultralights can be powered or unpowered. They should weigh no more than 155 pounds when unpowered. If powered, they have an empty weight of no more than 254 pounds, a fuel capacity of no more than 5 US gallons, a top speed in level flight of no more than 55 knots, and a power-off stall speed of no more than 24 knots.

Ultralight Aircraft Market
By Technology
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UnManned is projected as the most lucrative segment

Growth of the ultralight aircraft market is driven by factors such as low cost of acquisition and maintenance, and absence of regulatory norms limiting civilians to fly an ultralight aircraft in certain regions. Placement of ultralight aircraft in recreational and sports activities are backed by increasing expenditure trends by civilians across the globe to support business opportunities within the region. Rise in disposable income across the globe and increasing delays in delivery of conventional aircraft is expected to impact ultralight aircraft in a positive manner to a certain extent. Rise in sports, tourism, and recreational activities post COVID-19 is supporting business opportunities within the segment. In Q1 2022, there were an expected 117 million foreign visitors, up from 41 million in Q1 2021, an increase of 182% year over year. About 47 million of the additional 76 million overseas arrivals were counted in March 2022.

Ultralight Aircraft Market
By Propulsion
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Electric and hybrid is projected as the most lucrative segment

The ultralight aircraft market is segmented on the basis of technology, propulsion, takeoff, end use, and region. By technology, it is categorized into manned and unmanned. The propulsion segment is further sub divided into conventional propulsion and electric & hybrid propulsion. Depending on takeoff, the market is fragmented into commercial takeoff and landing (CTOL) and vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL). The end use segment is bifurcated into civil and commercial & military. Region wise, the market is analyzed across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.

Companies have adopted product development and product launch as their key development strategies in the ultralight aircraft industry. Moreover, collaborations and acquisitions are expected to enable leading players to enhance their product portfolios and expand into different regions. The key players that operate in the ultralight aircraft market AutoGyro, Pilatus Aircraft Ltd, Pipistrel, Textron Inc, VOLOCOPTER GMBH, Cirrus Aircraft, Vulcanair, Piper Aircraft, Neva Aerospace, and Boeing.

Ultralight Aircraft Market
By Takeoff
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VTOL is projected as the most lucrative segment

Low cost of acquisition, maintenance, and operation

The dimensions and weight of ultralight aircraft are significantly less than those of commercial aircraft. The definition of ultralight aircraft is based on maximum takeoff weight (MTOW). Due to lenient ownership laws in many nations, purchasing an ultralight aircraft is simpler. In developed nations such as the U.S., Canada, and Australia, ultralight and light aircraft are often used for leisure and sporting activities. Some ultralight aircraft also utilize fuel intended for automobiles, which lowers the cost of operating the aircraft. An ultralight aircraft typically requires 2-3 liters of fuel per hour, making operation cheap.

Inefficient supply chain and increase in backlogs of general aviation and commercial aircraft

The sudden outbreak of COVID-19 in 2019, imposition of global trade and travel restriction in 2020 and 2021, followed by the Ukraine-Russia war in 2022 has posed a notable amount of challenges in business operations, majorly in cross border trade. Governments across the globe have limited their trade dependencies on European regions and are aligning their inclination toward Asia-Pacific, Africa, and the Middle East. The inter-European trade infrastructure is also undergoing a major shift, casing notable business losses.

Ultralight Aircraft Market
By End Use
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Civil and Commercial is projected as the most lucrative segment

Rise in business travel, tourism activities, and other commercial applications of ultralight aircraft

There has been continuous evolution in the application of ultralight aircraft. From hand gliders that are just used for recreational activities, now ultralight aircrafts are used for commercial, military, civil and commutation purpose along with increased usage in tourism and recreational activities. Innovation in design and commercializing aircraft models as per changing consumer requirement has been primary factor driving the ultralight aircraft industry growth.

Rise in concerns related to operational safety and regulatory landscape

There have been notable debates and increasing concerns toward operational safety of ultralight aircraft. Major countries such as the U.S., Russia, UK, Germany, India, and China have minimal to no regulatory landscape towards acquisition and operations of ultralight aircraft. With technological advancements of ultralight aircrafts, such as allowing them to cruise at higher speed and automated operations has raised several concerns toward safe operation of these aircrafts. Moreover, design modifications and integration of more electric components and commercialization of all electric ultralight aircraft has generated requirement to have a comprehensive regulatory framework toward manufacturing these aircrafts as well.

Ultralight Aircraft Market
By Region
North America

Asia-Pacific will exhibit highest CAGR of 6.6% during 2022-2031


  • This study presents the analytical depiction of the global ultralight aircraft market analysis along with the current trends and future estimations to depict imminent investment pockets.
  • The overall ultralight aircraft market opportunity is determined by understanding profitable trends to gain a stronger foothold.
  • The report presents information related to the key drivers, restraints, and opportunities of the global Ultralight Aircraft market with a detailed impact analysis.
  • The current ultralight aircraft market is quantitatively analyzed from 2021 to 2031 to benchmark the financial competency.
  • Porter’s five forces analysis illustrates the potency of the buyers and suppliers in the industry.


Ultralight Aircraft Market Report Highlights

Aspects Details
By Technology
  • Manned
  • Unmanned
By Propulsion
  • Conventional Propulsion
  • Electric and Hybrid
By Takeoff
  • CTOL
  • VTOL
By End Use
  • Civil and Commercial
  • Military
By Region
  • North America  (U.S., Canada, Mexico)
  • Europe  (UK, Germany, France, Russia, Italy, Rest Of Europe, Spain)
  • Asia-Pacific  (China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, Rest Of Asia-Pacific)
  • LAMEA  (Latin America, Middle East, Africa)
Key Market Players

AutoGyro, P&M Aviation, VOLOCOPTER GMBH, Cirrus Aircraft, Legend Aero, Textron Inc., Vulcanair, Pilatus Airraft Ltd., Pipistrel, Evektor

Analyst Review

The ultralight aircraft market is expected to undergo a major shift in the coming years. Optimizing supply chain, streamlining manufacturing processes, increasing pace of deliveries and catering to a larger audience are some of the pressing concerns of ultralight aircraft market.

The market has grown quickly as a result of leading market participants investing in development of lightweight aircrafts that can be used in civil, government, and military markets to meet fast rising demand for ultralight aircraft. Low cost of operation and acquisition has allowed all these sectors to have specific needs to support business opportunities. Within the commercial segment, the ultralight aircraft is used for business, recreational or personal purpose, followed by government sector that use ultralight aircraft for law-and-order activities. The military sector majorly uses ultralight aircraft for training purpose. For instance, in June 2021, the Danish defense ministry announced leasing of two ultralight electric aircraft for training purpose.

The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the business even though the demand for ultralight aircraft was steadily increasing. Even the largest ultralight aircraft manufacturers ran into operating problems, owing to supply chain disruptions and restricted site access. Numerous governments imposed a countrywide lockdown, forcing businesses to shut down their factories. Defense firms were immediately impacted by extended state of lockdown in some nations, which forced them to put off ordering aircraft and their suppliers. In addition, demand for ultralight aircraft was affected by sudden fall of tourism and recreational activities. Increase in cost of storing aircraft has put a significant financial strain on market participants.

Among the analyzed regions, Asia-Pacific is the highest revenue contributor, followed by North America, Europe, and LAMEA. Asia-Pacific is expected to witness highest growth rate during the forecast period, owing to increasing efforts of the Indian and Chinese governments to develop indigenous aircraft infrastructure.


Author Name(s) : Dave Dhvanil Ashish | Lalit Janardhan Katare
Frequently Asked Questions?

The rise in tourism and recreational activities across the globe are major factors driving the market of ultralight aircraft.

Business travel, recreational activities, surveillance, and reconnaissance and some of the major applications of an ultralight aircraft.

Asia-Pacific region will capture the highest market share within the ultralight aircraft market.

The global ultralight aircraft market was valued at $ 5,552.4 million in 2021, and is projected to reach $ 9,717.8 million by 2031, registering a CAGR of 6.0% from 2022 to 2031.

The key players that operate in the Ultralight aircraft market AutoGyro, Pilatus Aircraft Ltd, Pipistrel, Textron Inc, VOLOCOPTER GMBH, Cirrus Aircraft, Vulcanair, Piper Aircraft, Neva Aerospace, and Boeing.

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Ultralight Aircraft Market

Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2021-2031