The next wave in LSA

Even as we come to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Sport Pilot/Light-Sport Aircraft rule in 2014, many general aviation pilots have only recently become fully aware of this large and growing fleet of more than 134 designs.

Let me repeat: That is 134 new aircraft models in less than 10 years, a pace of more than one new aircraft model every single month for 10 straight years. I doubt anyone can show an example of more breathtaking development in all of aviation history, worldwide.

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Pilot Report: SAM LS

SAM LS Designer Thierry Zibi and I met at Sandpiper Aviation at Meacham Airport in Fort Worth during October’s AOPA Summit. We chatted for about an hour prior to climbing aboard the tandem two-seater — named for Zibi’s son — for a flight around the area.

Thierry told me SAM LS prototype we were going to fly had about 145 hours on the airframe, was “docile, safe and enjoyable,” and to look for 70-75 mph on takeoff.

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SAM LS takes off

“Wow! What….is…that?” That was the most common reaction when people first set eyes on the SAM LS  [Read more...]

Four aircraft debut at Sebring LSA Expo

The 10th annual U.S. Sport Aviation Expo drew to a close on Sunday afternoon, Jan. 19, after one of the most successful runs in the event’s 10-year history.

Four aircraft debuted at the Expo, including RANS Aircraft’s S-20 Raven (pictured above), [Read more...]

Why LSA registrations were down in 2013

A number of people have asked about an updated sales report for 2013. While remembering that we report registrations, not sales, last year was a different sort.

Registrations were down from 2012, with the exception that CubCrafters remains the registration (and presumably sales) leader. American Legend and its Cubs also showed more activity than previous years. Beyond the yellow taildragger squadron, it’s something of a mixed bag.

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What’s ahead for LSA in 2014?

True for most of aviation, the Light-Sport Aircraft sector may not recall 2013 as a banner year.

However, it was a year of movement in the right direction with a few enterprises doing well. [Read more...]

Skycatcher and the future

At the NBAA show this fall, multimillion dollar business jets and working aircraft were the focus. No surprise. After all, the organization is the National Business Aviation Association. While I’ve attended a few times (and am always stunned by the size of the exhibit hall and the opulence of the displays), I was caught off guard when I heard that some reporters asked Cessna’s President and CEO Scott Ernest about the Skycatcher.

One thing that did not surprise me was Ernest’s comment: “No future.”

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CubCrafters updates Carbon Cub SS and Sport Cub

YAKIMA, Wash. — CubCrafters has unveiled a range of updates for the Carbon Cub SS (pictured) and Sport Cub S2 LSA aircraft for the 2014 model year.

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Super Legend wins S-LSA approval

SULPHUR SPRINGS, Texas — American Legend Aircraft Co.’s Super Legend has completed S-LSA approval and FAA certification review.

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First Jubilee CTLSi arrive in U.S.

SOUTH WOODSTOCK, Conn. — When Jubilee was offered by German Light-Sport Aircraft producer Flight Design, the company announced it would be a limited run. Only 25 would be built to commemorate the company’s 25th anniversary. All 25 were sold shortly after the announcement, company officials report.

Now the first of the Jubilee editions are arriving at Flight Design USA, Flight Design’s representative and importer for North America.

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