Progressive Aerodyne of Tavares, Florida, manufacturer of the Searey Light Sport amphibian, achieved a significant milestone March 18 when CEO Adam Yang traveled to China and flew the first LSA to be certified there, a Searey Elite.Originally a kit plane and still available as such, the popular Searey flying boat has a 20-year history in the United States, with more than 600 sold.
Yang, a native of China and a longtime manufacturing executive in the U. S., joined the company in 2011 with the goal of achieving S-LSA certification, which was achieved in late 2012.
With his roots in China, it was natural for Yang to focus on sales there and he announced at this year’s SUN ‘n FUN that the company has sold 11 airplanes for export to his former home, with seven shipped so far.
Searey designer and founder Kerry Richter is still actively involved in the company and is in charge of R&D.
Recent developments include a folding wing option.
“Production is currently running at 2.5 planes per month and kits dropped to 20%-25% of our sales once the certified, factory-built LSA was introduced,” said Yang. “Most customers order the Elite model with the turbocharged 115-hp Rotax 914 engine, which has a base price of $158,000. A normally-aspirated 100-hp Sport model is available at a base price of $139,000.”
Although customers normally must wait several months for delivery of a new custom-ordered Searey from the factory, if someone wants instant gratification, a 2014 Elite, formerly a demonstrator, is available for immediate sale.