People are arriving in Florida for the kick-off of the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, Florida, Jan. 16. As we enter the last-minute rush to head to the 10th Sebring LSA Expo, as it is known, a few news items arrived and I’ll run through them so you have some idea of what will be present at the LSA event.
On Jan. 14, we had a pleasant lunch conversation with Dynon’s president Robert Hamilton. He observed that Dynon enjoyed its best year ever in 2013 and it continues bringing new avionics innovations at modest prices. Fellow Dynon staffer Kirk Kleinholz was in the state even earlier, traveling around offering tech support. Great work, Dynon-ers!
Progressive Aerodyne announced it has received FAA acceptance for the Elite version of its Searey Amphibious LSA. Searey Elite is mightily powered with a Rotax 914 turbocharged engine.
“This stylish aircraft offers many advanced features such as a large sliding canopy that can remain open while flying. The Searey Elite also has the very latest in-flight, GPS, [Angle of Attack indicator] and Gear Position warning systems, a wide cabin, and much more,” said the company in a prepared release.
Airworthiness certification for the Searey Elite was issued in December 2013, and the first two airplanes will go to private owners this month at a ceremony to be held at Progressive Aerodyne’s manufacturing facility in Tavares, Florida. Searey Elite will also be on display at Sebring 2014.
Adam Yang, CEO of Progressive Aerodyne, had this to say about the certification of the Searey Elite (pictured just above), “We are so pleased and excited about being able to offer our Searey Light Sport Amphibious Elite to the market. We believe that our airplane fulfills a much anticipated desire for those customers who want to experience the fun and adventure of flight, both in the air and on water, with ease.” Unlike some intriguing LSA seaplanes, you can buy a ready-to-fly Searey or Searey Elite now.
And now for something completely different: Aeromarine-LSA’s Zigolo MG-12 (pictured at top of post).
Aeromarine-LSA — a company name you may not know though you know some of its products such as the Mermaid amphibious LSA — from a familiar name in the industry, Chip Erwin. Aeromarine-LSA announced the first American flight of the new Zigolo SSDR concept motorglider. A Single Seat De-Regulated (SSDR) aircraft, Zigolo does not require any license, medical, registration, or certification to fly it.
SSDR is a European initiative that closely resembles Part 103 but at 225 pounds empty, this superlightweight flying machine will have no trouble qualifying. The 36-foot span Zigolo is powered by a 25-horsepower gasoline engine, however, the company said an electric-powered option is close to completion. Electric power will provide self-launching capability for gliding or quiet and smooth dawn patrols and evening flights and still met the SSDR criteria.
Zigolo is available in a classic kit for only $14,500. This price includes the engine and a complete aircraft rescue parachute system. Build time is only 100 hours.
An even better option is the Almost-Ready-To-Fly aircraft referring to a finished Zigolo disassembled and packed in one easy-to-ship crate. “Some Assembly required” means a pictogram assembly manual and an afternoon to put it together! The Almost RTF Zigolo includes everything you need to fly plus a complete aircraft parachute rescue system all for only $16,000, just $1,500 more than the 100-hour kit.