On Nov. 30, Guy Reynolds will celebrate his 100th birthday by taking a flight in a Light-Sport Aircraft. Putting a finer point on it, he’ll take this flight in his LSA. Are you surprised that a centenarian has an LSA? Admit it…I was. However, Guy is no ordinary guy. He bought his Evektor Sportstar back at the beginning of LSA and he’s been flying it about 100 hours every year. That’s probably more than you fly your LSA. Impressive even for a young 50-year old pilot, this fact is, well… astounding for a 90-something pilot.
Soon, it passes. I don’t refer to the move from summer’s heat to the cold days of winter, but rather to the merciful end to the political season that cannot come too soon for many aviators. Of course, we worry about how various moves by the government may influence our flying, both in costs and in privileges. Yet, the onslaught of ads and constant yammering of the political class tends to distract us from what we really love — flying our airplanes above this beautiful country in relative freedom.
Regretfully it won’t end on election day. That’s because another, even larger battle looms soon afterward. [Read more…]
I recently attended an ASTM meeting. This is for the standards that are used to “certify” Light-Sport Aircraft. Yes, it’s pretty dry stuff but it is the way such a staggering development of 128 new models of LSA has been possible in just seven years, an accomplishment not replicated anywhere in aviation, worldwide, since airplanes first flew. That would not be possible when using government certification systems.
So successful has it been that the FAA is now moving with surprising swiftness toward a similar system for Part 23 or regularly Type Certified aircraft, such as Cessnas and Cirruses.
SAB’s Vulcan isn’t entirely new. The design has existed in Europe and arrived in the USA more than two years ago, but stealthily avoided our radar as a Special Light-Sport Aircraft until the 2012 Midwest LSA Expo at the Mt. Vernon, Illinois airport. The secret is out now and Vulcan C-100 has been added to our SLSA List and comes at #127.
Van’s Aircraft has launched a new program to build completed, fly-away, RV-12s. Van’s has inked a working agreement with Synergy Air of Eugene, Ore., to manufacture the airplanes in the U.S.A.
Anticipation is always high for the latest market share information and I am happy to provide an update, thanks to my European associate Jan Fridrich who does the hard work of sifting through FAA’s database. I remind you that his efforts are not merely tallying whatever FAA publishes. In fairness, Jan has to evaluate many pieces of information and judge accuracy of the entries.
This isn’t because FAA’s registrars are bumbling fools who cannot enter data accurately. The challenges come from the sheer number of brands (90) and models (127) over a mere seven years…unprecedented in aviation history. To that add the variations of Experimental Amateur Built (EAB), Special Light-Sport Aircraft (SLSA), Experimental Light-Sport Aircraft kits (ELSA), and converted two-place ultralights to LSA status.
FAA officials have informed Icon Aircraft that a decision on the company’s request for an exemption to the Light-Sport Aircraft weight limitations for its amphibious Icon A5 won’t be made until the end of the year, according to a report at AOPA.org. Icon Aircraft founder Kirk Hawkins asked for an exemption in May to increase the weight limit to 1,680 pounds. Accounting for the weight increase is a cuffed wing that is aerodynamically spin resistant, according to Icon officials, who say this increases safety for Sport Pilots.
The STOL CH 750, is now available as a factory-assembled LSA aircraft from Tenn-Air (931-680-2800). Pete Krotje (who heads Jabiru USA) announced at EAA AirVenture that Tennessee Aircraft Development, LLC (Tenn-Air) has licensed the design rights from Zenair to produce the all-metal high-wing CH 750 as a factory-assembled Light Sport Aircraft (LSA). The aircraft is being powered by the six-cylinder Jabiru 3300 engine, and offered at the introductory price of $74,900.
French-based Lisa Airplanes, which is developing the amphibious Akoya, has voluntarily asked the Commercial Court of Chambery to place the company in receivership.
Cirrus Aircraft will become “one of the key strategic supplier partners” for the Icon A5 amphibious Light Sport Aircraft, according to officials with the two companies, who have inked a deal for Cirrus, the manufacturer of the SR20 and SR22 lines of high-performance single-engine aircraft, to produce a significant portion of the composite airframe components for the A5.