The power of triple digits

SPLOG By DAN JOHNSON

The operative phrases are: Triple Digits and Global Reach.

Triple digits refers to the number of approved Special Light Sport Aircraft available. In fact, once it hit #100, the industry shot past to #104 and I see no end in sight to new models.

Some major ones are expected soon, including Cessna’s SkyCatcher due in mere months and the attention-getting Icon A5. But I’m aware of at least a half dozen more that will arrive in the next few months, and we’re finding out about more all the time.

Global reach speaks to the planet-wide potential for aircraft meeting ASTM standards for LSA.

Some 30 countries are examining this concept and a few are already practicing its use. Australia is one and a down-under company called Foxcon has certified its Terrier 200, an LSA that looks remarkably like a Cessna 182 on a diet.

We expect more LSA from more countries, even though some of them may never sell their flying machines in America.

However, global reach refers to much more than aircraft producers in other countries. It also refers to potential customers in other countries, possibly lots of them.

While China and India remain composed mostly of people with very modest incomes, an expanding percentage have achieved financial success. A growing number of Chinese and Indian businesspeople have the means to afford airplanes, perhaps LSA first because they are very modern with low costs. No wonder savvy producers in several countries are spending more time in China and India seeking distribution channels.

For more on Sport Pilot: ByDanJohnson.com

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