Is this the new GA?

The word “legacy” is often used to refer to products that are dominant today but threatened by disruptive influences. Legacy airlines, for example, are today’s largest carriers but ones burdened with aircraft bought earlier and with labor contracts negotiated years ago. Legacy connotes power, but also vulnerability.

The same logic can be applied to general aviation. Cessna and Piper are certainly legacy manufacturers. Decades back both become larger corporations increasingly distant from the original work of Clyde Cessna or William Piper. Others have already succumbed to market forces or have materially changed. Think of Beechcraft or Mooney. Both are quite different organizations from what Walter Beech and Al Mooney once created.

All this reflects normal developments that happen over time. Legacies can be good, even great, but one fact is true: Legacy cannot stand still.

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SkyCraft finishes ASTM compliance, opens new factory

SkyCraft Airplanes has declared to the FAA that its SD-1 Minsiport is compliant with all ASTM regulations for Light-Sport Aircraft one year after publicly announcing it would be producing the airplane ready-to-fly.

SkyCraft now awaits an FAA audit, after which it will be able to make its first aircraft deliveries.  The FAA has scheduled SkyCraft’s audit for two months from now, company officials report.

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Searey expands to China

Progressive Aerodyne has opened its newly established sales office in Shanghai, China, to support the sale of Searey light-sport amphibious airplanes.

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A quarter century of power

In 1989 something remarkable happened. You might remember the fall of the despised Berlin Wall that separated Germany. Certainly that was a remarkable event in human history, but it wasn’t the only noteworthy occurrence that year. Not far away in Wels, Austria, something else happened that, for pilots, was also important.

In 1989, Rotax Aircraft Engines introduced its 912 engine. [Read more...]

Flight testing completed for SD-1 Minisport

After a long winter and spring dodging the Utah weather, SkyCraft’s SD-1 Minisport has completed flight testing, meeting all the performance requirements needed for S-LSA certification, according to company officials.

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A solid beginning towards collaboration

Various events are bubbling to the surface as we approach the 10th anniversary of the Sport Pilot/Light-Sport Aircraft (SP/LSA) rule this summer. One of these activities occurred at SUN ’n FUN: The USUA/LAMA Safety & Industry Light-Sport Conference.

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ICON to relocate to Vacaville

LOS ANGELES  — ICON Aircraft will relocate to the City of Vacaville in Northern California, located approximately 50 miles northeast of San Francisco.

Beginning in the first quarter of 2015, the company will begin operating in a 140,000-square-foot facility adjacent to the Vacaville airport, also known as the Nut Tree Airport.

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Tecnam ramps up at Sebring Regional Airport

SEBRING, Fla. — Tecnam took possession of a new 21,000-square-foot facility at Sebring Regional Airport on April 28 and delivered its first aircraft from this U.S. facility.

“Even though we just moved in, we have accomplished our first delivery, a P2008 Turbo to a customer that purchased at U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in January. [Read more...]

Quicksilver earns FAA acceptance for SLSA

Quicksilver Aeronautics has been informed by FAA that its audit to produce the Sport 2S model as a Special Light-Sport Aircraft has been satisfactorily concluded. The model will officially be known as the Sport L-S2S and marketed as the Sport S2SE.

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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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