More weight or less weight?

Icon Aircraft has been (probably not too patiently) waiting for the FAA to answer its formal request for exemption to the Light-Sport Aircraft gross weight parameter for its Icon A5 (pictured).

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LSA video bonanza

We were busy at Aero Friedrichshafen 2013, knocking out more than 30 videos for your viewing information and entertainment. That’s more than seven videos per day and a sum of more than five hours total running time (more than three Hollywood movies in minutes of viewing time). With these and all the videos shot at this year’s SUN ’n FUN, we expect to offer more than 300 videos on our LSA Video page — and all are free.

Visiting Rotax and Pipistrel

We paid two memorable visits after AERO ended and I’ll tell you a little about each one … but first … While I was at Pipistrel in the office of boss Ivo Boscarol, he received word that Matevz Lenarcic had reached the North Pole on his flight reported earlier. Congratulations on this achievement; a long flight across the North Atlantic remains. Godspeed!

The two visits were to Rotax Aircraft Engines and to Pipistrel. These two are not geographically far apart and work closely. Each spoke highly of the other and both companies are highly impressive places to visit.

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Summer’s coming: Cool it, fellow pilots!

Across the northern U.S. states and across much of Europe it was a lousy, cold, snowy winter. It seemed everyone I spoke to at AERO in Friedrichshafen, Germany, complained about the crappy winter and their laments mirrored those from America’s northlands. However, the weather appears to be going directly from winter to summer. It was warm in Slovenia when we visited Pipistrel and it’s now getting hot across much of the USA.

That’s great, perhaps, as it foretells an active flying season. However, as the weather warms, it can get mighty hot in the cockpit and not only because you’re on short final on a gusty day in a responsive LSA.

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LSA companies flock to Florida

No less than three Light-Sport Aircraft companies have recently struck deals with Florida airports, winning the support of local government officials anxious to provide jobs.

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Tecnam to debut new low-wing LSA

Tecnam will reveal its “Astore” next generation Light-Sport Aircraft at AERO Friedrichshafen 2013 in Germany on April 24.

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LSA market share: The rest of the story

We recorded very strong interest in our recent market share post. Traffic spiked to double in the days since our report was posted at ByDanJohnson.com (and that was from record levels). It would appear the LSA segment is hardly in “critical condition,” despite what some may think.

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2012 LSA market shares: Cubs and surprises

Our annual review of LSA Market Share brings our updated fleet chart and a second chart showing prior-year registrations. While sales of new SLSA remains below par, the market appears to be experiencing spotty but regular recovery from earlier low points.

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Go negative…or work together?

It is true that a pilot of one type aircraft may not know much about nor (therefore) care much about another type aircraft. Ultralight pilots and turbine pilots may not seem to have much in common. Sailplane pilots and crop dusters, likewise. Powered parachute enthusiasts seem on the opposite side of the spectrum from airline pilots.

Yet, regardless of our interests — or even the country in which we live — pilots as a whole are more alike than different in one critical way: [Read more...]

Wills Wing celebrates turning 40

At the lightest end of flying, one company in the USA excels like no other. For hang glider and paraglider enthusiasts the brand name Wills Wing is as good as it gets.

I have long known and admired the owners of this well-run California company so I am very pleased to offer my congratulations to Wills Wing on its 40th anniversary.

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