ICON to relocate to Vacaville

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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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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 A2A shooting

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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Why LSA registrations were down in 2013

SportCub

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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Skycatcher and the future

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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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