Cessna tops LSA market list

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.

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FAA delays decision on Icon weight increase

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.

STOL CH 750 offered as factory-assembled LSA

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.

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Lisa Airplanes goes into receivership

French-based Lisa Airplanes, which is developing the amphibious Akoya, has voluntarily asked the  Commercial Court of Chambery to place the company in receivership.

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Icon Aircraft teams with Cirrus on production of A5

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.

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Flying the newest LSA: Sling

While out west on business,  I had the chance to fly the latest SLSA on the list, the South African Sling. Earlier I’ve written about the all-metal LSA’s round-the-world flight, but now this low-wing design is being made available for sale to Americans.

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Cessna launches Discover Flying Challenge

Cessna Aircraft Co. has launched its Discover Flying Challenge, challenging aviation students to see who can generate the most awareness and hands-on experience for the company’s Light-Sport Aircraft (LSA), the Skycatcher.

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Flying the Bristell

Since the Sebring LSA Expo in January, the airshow season has rushed by at warp speed and now we can return to more aircraft flown at the event that kicks off the aviation year. In this post, we’ll have a quick look at the all-new Bristell, first unveiled to the American pilot community at the AOPA Aviation Summit last fall in Hartford, Connecticut.

If you feel a sense of deja vu when looking at Bristell, that’s understandable. It has some common design heritage with the SportCruiser or PiperSport because the man behind the BRM Aero Bristell — Milan Bristela — was once affiliated with Czech Aircraft Works which originated the design.

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From Kiev with love: Flying the Aeroprakt LSA

BY J. DOUGLAS HINTON

With the meltdown of the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine gained its independence, causing private enterprise to bloom, including Kiev-based Aeroprakt company, founded the same year and bolstered by an investment by Saudi Sheik Hussein. The result was several Light-Sport Aircraft, principally the Aeroprakt A22-LS.

Designed by Yuri Yakovlev, the LSA has become so popular around the world that it is currently the only model on Aeroprakt’s production line.

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LSAs vs. Cessna 150s

There’s been a lot of debate in the aviation community over the value and challenges of LSA as flight trainers compared to old standards like Cessna 150s. I’d like to weigh in on some the questions being raised.

Are LSA harder to fly — specifically, are they harder to land? The best way to respond is to say that they are different. [Read more...]