This year I had easily 30 conversations at AirVenture revealing either outright positive successful results or varyingly robust mood indicators such as, “Looks like aviation has life in it again.”
A number of aircraft purveyors said they took cash deposits and wrote firm contracts. I estimate about 30 aircraft sales by this method. Companies like Icon Aircraft, Flight Design, and Terrafugia sold a large number of future delivery positions (more than 50, more than 60, and “several,” respectively). Icon neared or crossed the 500-on-order point, partly by “testing elasticity” in the pre-order market by lowering the deposit for the A5 (pictured) to $2,000 from $5,000. Flight Design continued its tear from Aero, adding dozens more orders for its four-seat C4, reporting more than $16 million in orders.
Companies reporting sales for near-term delivery include Jabiru USA, Arion, Czech Sport, Evektor, Quicksilver, and Corbi, each logging from two to seven sales. Please note, the preceding list is not inclusive as I didn’t hear from a number of companies regarding their results.
Demo ride pilots also stayed very busy. Phoenix USA did more than 20, all out of lovely little Brennand Airport, 15 miles north of Oshkosh. SeaRey designer Kerry Richter reported 35 seaplane demos at EAA’s Seaplane Base. Pipistrel ran steadily, also at Brennand, except when they helped Dave Loveman and me as we performed our first “full length” video, two-person pilot report on the new Evektor Harmony LSA (in two words: Sophisticated and sweet).
For more on Sport Pilot and LSAs: ByDanJohnson.com