The number of imported LSAs is growing.
As this issue was going to press, the Toxo, built by Composite Aeronautic Group (CAG) of Spain, was quickly approaching U.S. certification. The low-wing aircraft made its first appearance in this country in April at Sun ’n Fun in Lakeland, Fla., and by AirVenture in July was getting a steady stream of inquiries.
“The response has been incredible,” said Amy Christian, who is the North American distributor and U.S. representative for the company.
Christian, who notes the company expects U.S. certification by October, says the aircraft will be manufactured in Spain, disassembled, then shipped to the United States for reassembly and sale.
At first glance, the Toxo evokes the feeling of a luxury sports car.
“It is very comfortable,” Christian noted, adding that during AirVenture, a representative from an Italian automobile manufacturer took extensive photos of the airplane saying that he wanted to design a car around it.
The strength of the aircraft is a major selling point, said Christian, who illustrated the point by walking on the wing.
“It is amazingly strong,” she said. “You can walk all the way to the wing tip without hurting the aircraft.”
The 31-foot wing has two carbon fiber I-beam spars running through it. “It is a pre-preg honeycomb system, so it has incredible strength-to-weight ratio,” she explained. “It is similar to the technology that Boeing and Airbus use.”
A Rotax 912S powers the Toxo. The aircraft has a bubble-top canopy and two gull-wing doors for easy access. The cabin accommodates pilots and passengers over 6 feet tall. Avionics can be upgraded to an Op Technologies glass cockpit, which features Highway-In-The-Sky and advanced synthetic vision. Standard on all Toxo aircraft is a four-point harness seatbelt system and a Ballistic Recovery System whole airplane parachute. Base price is around $131,000.
Initial customers for the Toxo in the U.S. are private pilots who are “trading in a Columbia or Duke for a very sexy aircraft that only burns 4.5 gallons per hour,” Christian said.
Once U.S. certification is achieved, Christian predicts delivery will take place in seven months. In the meantime the company is building its dealer network.
“We have dealerships in Georgia and Ohio so far,” she said. Dealers must have very specific qualifications, she noted. “Not only must they be able to sell the aircraft, they must also be able to service them,” she said. “Our philosophy is not just the initial sale, it’s how happy you are with the aircraft in the future. That is why Composite Aeronautics Group has a two-year, 150-hour flight time warranty.”
According to company officials, Composite Aeronautics Group was founded with one goal in mind: to design and produce an LSA that would bring together the simplicity and low cost of an LSA with the performance and utility of a more complex and expensive airplane.
Unlike many airplane manufacturers who struggle financially, CAG has some well-heeled partners, including the government of Aragon, Spain, Savia C.I, a venture capital group, the Ace Group, a world leader in the automotive industry and the aircraft designer. These partners ensure economic stability, according to officials at the company, which recently opened a new factory in Villanueva de Gállego, Zaragoza, Spain.
For more information: Toxo.aero.