Supporters of Light Sport Aircraft predicted that when the LSA Sport Pilot rule was published, there would be a boom in the light sport aircraft manufacturing industry.
If that boom is happening, then one of the first companies to take advantage of it is Advanced Aero from Titusville, Fla.
Joe Gagliano and his son, Chris, founded the company. Both have degrees in aeronautical engineering and are pilots. They’ve designed a pusher-prop aircraft with an inverted V tail to take advantage of LSA. The aircraft sits two in a side-by-side configuration in a cockpit that measures 48 inches wide.
“It weighs 1,320 pounds, which is the weight limit for Light Sport Aircraft,” the elder Gagliano said. “When you design an aircraft you have to go all the way.”
Safety is key in the design, he said, noting that the booms on either side of the propeller should act as a deterrent for the aviation impaired who might accidentally walk into the propeller. “We also will include BRS parachutes on all the aircraft as standard equipment.”
The aircraft will be produced in both high-wing and low-wing configurations, he added.
“We have a proof of concept model going together now,” Chris Gagliano said. “It has a metal wing, a composite fuselage and carbon fiber boom and stabilizer. So far 160 people have signed up for the aircraft. We expect that number to go up to 200 soon.”
Chris Gagliano noted the company has been in touch with flying schools interested in adding the aircraft to their fleets as a replacement for the Cessna 152.
“The price of the aircraft will be in the range of a mid-range SUV— probably around $45,000 to $65,000,” the elder Gagliano said.
“We are looking for investors at this time,” Chris Gagliano noted. “We are funded through the proof of concept model. We will not accept deposits from potential customers until we are ready to produce an airplane.”