A dozen years after the FAA created aviation’s newest sector, we have a new leader among manufacturers of fully built Light-Sport Aircraft.
“You are not allowed to fly IFR in a Light-Sport Aircraft” is a common dismissal from many in aviation.
Is it factual to say that filing and flying by reference only to instruments in a LSA is excluded by regulation? Is it wise to use these aircraft for flight into conditions of reduced visibility?
By 2017, I venture to say almost everyone in aviation knows about Light-Sport Aircraft and the Sport Pilot certificate, but a superficial knowledge can result in an incomplete understanding. A few details might be helpful. [Read more…]
ASTM’s F37 committee is composed of people with technical knowledge who achieved a challenging task: Start with a blank sheet of paper and create aircraft standards for the Light-Sport Aircraft (LSA) sector.
That this group did so in just a few years on the leanest of budgets is a credit to their dedication. [Read more…]
Once upon a time, the producer of a yellow LSA taildragger installed the industry’s most powerful engine, resulting in a performance leader. This gambit succeeded handily and the builder enjoyed several strong years of sales. Others looked upon this success and saw that it was good.
So, of course, being aviation entrepreneurs, others worked to do the original one better. How about not only an excess of power, but other features and macho good looks to cause jaw-drops at every airshow? [Read more…]
Pilots not closely following Light-Sport aviation can be excused for thinking only one LSA seaplane is available.
Established LSA companies like Progressive Aerodyne and its Searey or Scoda‘s Super Petrel or Airmax’s SeaMax or any number of aircraft to which floats have been fitted may be somewhat baffled by the outsized attention Icon Aircraft‘s long-delayed A5 receives from aviation and non-aviation media.
On the other hand, most leaders of these companies do admit that Icon’s media juggernaut also brings attention to LSA seaplanes in general.
With that in mind, are you ready for one that might out-WOW the A5? [Read more…]
Pardon a little fun in the title. I recalled the line long ago attributed to Henry Ford, “You can have any color Model T you want, as long as it’s black.”
Sonex Aircraft had so regularly brought bright yellow airplanes to airshows, folks could be excused for thinking that was the only color available. Of course, since the company sells kit aircraft, you can have whatever color your wallet can handle.
Why wouldn’t you want a red one? The color works for Ferrari. [Read more…]
You are a pilot. You probably own a smartphone. Perhaps you use a tablet, too. Certainly these devices are helpful, convenient, fun, and carry a reasonably low price, at least compared to most instruments you might install in your airplane. Numerous, constantly-refined apps have made these common devices incredibly useful to pilots.
However, using an iPad in the cockpit may not be as easy as you’d like. Two reasons spring to mind:
- The information received by the iPad could have shortcomings; and,
- The iPad can be challenging to hold securely and may very well need power to continue operating for the duration of your flight.
Let me introduce you to two companies you may not know. Each can help you address the problems above and neither will cost you dearly. Intrigued? [Read more…]
In the beginning the aviation world had Cessna, Piper, Beechcraft, and a handful of other recognized names. We still have many of them, but most famous brands have trained their focus on larger aircraft, while the more affordable space is increasingly occupied by Light-Sport Aircraft manufacturers and a broad array of kit-built aircraft.
“No comparison,” you might say. “GA planes are ‘real’ aircraft with four seats and have proven themselves over many years in the field.”
In the last decade, some LSA companies have succeeded enough to expand their envelope.
This story is about a South African builder that started with ultralights, progressed to LSA, and has now entered the four-seat space. I refer to The Airplane Factory (TAF) and its Sling models. [Read more…]
In the world of airshows, two names quickly jump to mind: AirVenture Oshkosh and SUN ‘n FUN in Lakeland, Florida. These major events draw hundreds of thousands of pilots and capture the world’s attention.
Little shows, not so much. But…
Most readers may recall the childhood story of the “Little Engine That Could,” and that captions my view of these small venue shows. With giants like Oshkosh and SUN ‘n FUN, why does anyone bother traveling to places with a fraction of the traffic?
Two words: Intimacy and immediacy. [Read more…]