Electric! Gorgeous! Freedom!…4th generation ULS

Fishman

Randall Fishman virtually invented the electric aircraft. That’s a rather big statement, yet I stand behind it. Randall first showed a functional electric trike at Oshkosh 2007. He’s been on a tear ever since and his ULS is his present state-of-the-art, his fourth generation of electric aircraft design.

I use three words to describe ULS deliberately. [Read more…]

A tale of two flight schools

USAviationhangar

Flight schools — like many private buyers — are hyperfocused on, “What does an aircraft cost to operate?” Busy flight schools operating at high volume simply must track how all the pennies add up. In this post we asked US Aviation’s Scott Severen for additional info. Why US Aviation? While much of aviation has been down in the dumps, this Texas operation has been growing rapidly. Everybody is else down. They’re up. How to explain? Could it be the company’s willingness to embrace change?

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Tecnam’s Tail Dragger keeps getting better

TailDraggerWithCargoPod

With five models currently meeting ASTM standards for SLSA, Tecnam has established itself as the leader in prolific design of Light-Sport Aircraft.

Much of this design prowess owes to family patriarch Professor Luigi Pascale, known for his incredible output of designs over the years under the company names Partenavia and Tecnam. Even into his 80s, Luigi Pascale continues his energetic engineering.

Tail Dragger with cargo pod

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One solution to the flight school dilemma

Flight Design CTLS

Anyone who has tried to borrow money in the last five years knows how tough it has become. Banks supported by government guarantees practically gave money away before the subprime meltdown but are now being much more careful. That’s a good thing, but it means even some credit-worthy customers can’t get the loans they need. Commonly rejected are flight schools. Flight training enterprises across the nation are struggling to obtain financing to buy new aircraft to replace aging fleets of trainers.

Despite the challenges, one LSA outfit has found at least a partial answer.

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Is spin resistance a big deal? Well, yes!

ICON AIRCRAFT HISTORIC SAFETY ACHIEVEMENT

On Memorial Day I had a chance to visit Icon Aircraft and spend some time with CEO Kirk Hawkins. We met seven years ago — just after the Sport Pilot/Light-Sport Aircraft (LSA) rule was released — near the beginning of his ambitions to create an entirely clean-sheet LSA amphibian.

Recently, Icon released a video to tout its spin resistant airframe (SRA). I reported work toward this earlier and it’s been some time coming. Why the wait? From my first-hand experience with Cirrus Design and the development of the SR20, I have a bit of inside knowledge on this subject.

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Evektor wins EASA Type Certificate

43SportStarRTC

The rush is on in Europe, at least for the best-prepared of LSA producers. EASA, the European Aviation Safety Agency, has accepted ASTM standards as a means of certifying light aircraft in the European Union, but put its own stamp on this approval. Those wishing to sell an ASTM-compliant SLSA in Europe have some extra hoops to jump through. The letters DOA, POA, and RTC apply, being, in order, Design Organization Approval, Production Organization Approval, and Restricted Type Certificate.

If you think that sounds a little like Part 23 requirements (read: expensive), you’re right. Yet if a LSA producer wants to sell essentially the same airplane in the USA and the EU, it has to get all the approvals. Recently, a third company achieved this, following Czech Sport Aircraft and Flight Design.

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