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...a web log of developments in Sport Pilot/Light-Sport Aircraft
Glasair Shows Merlin Mockup; Will Build MVP
By Dan Johnson, July 31, 2014

Although not previously known for any involvement in the Light-Sport space, longtime kit aircraft producer Glasair Aviation is jumping in assertively for 2014. At Sun 'n Fun, the Arlington, Washington company debuted their Merlin and to AirVenture 2014 they brought a full-size mockup. They also participated in the standing-room-only press briefing for the new seaplane. Why? Because Glasair will be one of two initial build locations, handling the Western states while Port Orange, Florida-based Fibercraft will produce for Eastern states. I'll offer more on the MVP arrangements in another report on that header-turner design unveiled at AirVenture. Yet this association means Glasair will go from no presence in LSA to taking a significant position in short order. MVP production won't start for more than a year, but Glasair's Merlin project is ambitiously aiming to hit the market in 2014, according president Nigel Moll. Glasair is famous for the their flagship Glasair II and III, speedsters of the sky in the Experimental Amateur Built category and for their well regarded Sportsmen two seater. Besides the Merlin, Glasair has other new projects such as offering the Centurion diesel engine in their Sportsman and all this flurry of activity is a benefit of their new Chinese owners, Jilin Hanxing Group.

The mockup at AirVenture 2014 didn't have any installed but Glasair is planning upward swinging gull-wing doors. It already sports a control stick that significantly resembles a similar system employed in Cessna's now retired SkyCatcher. This design choice keeps a stick from arising out of the floor, which makes entry easier for occupants and a 46.5-inch cabin nearly matches the widest cockpits among LSA. Merlin's panel setup was beautifully done as were its seats and general interior finish. The panel can hold dual Dynon 10-inch SKyView Touch screens (a single screen is standard) and is angled inward on facets on each side to make switches or instruments more accessible and readable to the pilot or passenger. Glasair will install the new Rotax 912 iS, said Moll. He stated that Merlin will sell for around $150,000 to include many items that are optional on many LSA. Indeed, Nigel said that the only options are a second SkyView Touch screen with an autopilot for an additional $10,000 and a parachute, which would also add approximately $10,000 to the purchase price. While other LSA are similarly equipped for about the same price, Glasair can benefit from its established position in the homebuilt community where it is well known. Merlin will be offered ready-to-fly, for the first time in its history broadening the company's product line beyond kit aircraft.

Leading specifications promoted by Glasair for the Merlin include stall speed 39 knots, cruise speed 105 knots, and useful load 530 pounds. The company forecasts a top speed of 120 knots, maximum takeoff weight of 1320 pounds, empty weight of 790 pounds, wing span of 31 feet 9 inches, wing area of 132 square feet, length 21 feet 8 inches, height 8 feet 8 inches, baggage capacity of 50 pounds, and fuel on board of 24 gallons. With the Rotax 912 iS, that much fuel could give endurance of six hours with no reserve or a range of close to 650 nautical miles. I think it may be somewhat challenging to get to market in 2014 since the model has not flown yet and still needs to go through the ASTM standards plus successfully complete an FAA audit likely required as Merlin is a new model yet Glasair has a lot of experience to bring to bear and has adequate funding thanks to its Chinese ownership. While it shares a familiar name, Glasair's Merlin does not resemble an earlier Merlin offered out of Canada. Nigel confirmed this Merlin has nothing to do with the long gone entry from our neighbors to the north. As Glasair continues their entry to the LSA space with Merlin first and MVP later, I'll keep a close eye on this western company. We shot a video with Nigel at AirVenture; watch for it in the next couple months as our video partner is able to complete the editing for this and dozens of new videos we are capturing at AirVenture 2014. and Art of a Versatile New LSA
By Dan Johnson, July 27, 2014

A standing room only crowd just walked out of the pre-opening Sunday press conference held by the folks. This airplane has been in the works for many months but principals have done a masterful job of what might be called the "Apple approach." The giant iDevice maker jealously guards their press announcements and does well considering how many folks would love to blow their cover and tell the world what Apple plans before the company does. Kudos to (yes, that's the name of their company) ... it was founded by a father and son team of software experts and they clearly know how to play that game; they kept their secret very well. To bring you the fastest breaking news, what follows is a series of photos. I look forward to fleshing out the story as time moves forward, but for this post, the pictures are worth more than thousands of words. So look and enjoy; stay tuned for more as Oshkosh kicks off. Oh, one more thought about at AirVenture 2014. While waiting for the press briefing to start, I overheard some journalists talking. These were folks who report on the heavy iron, King Airs, Embraer bizjets, and such. Yet they agreed between themselves and declared, "That aircraft outside, that new LSA seaplane, is probably the hit of the show." They gave the emphasis and again, these were folks who don't usually cover light aircraft. Of course, their view is subjective, but I found it interesting, and well ... you judge for yourself and see if the Most Versatile Plane meets qualifies as a hit.

MVP.Aero's main men (before they had a chance to change into their press conference logowear): Mike Van Staaggen (L), Darrell Lynds, Mike Lynds, and Steve Pugh.

Final Newsbits Before AirVenture 2014 Starts
By Dan Johnson, July 26, 2014

Garmin's new 7-inch G3X Touch paired with their 10.6-inch display.
Garmin has a new smaller version of their very impressive G3X Touch. I examined this at Sun 'n Fun when it was debuted in the 10-inch screen and came away highly impressed after two reviews on videos. For a billion-dollar company Garmin remains passionately inventive and surprisingly nimble. They keep the heat on now introducing a 7-inch G3X Touch display, described as "a high-resolution infrared touchscreen display designed for experimental amateur-built and Light-Sport Aircraft to compliments their existing 10.6-inch G3X Touch system." Pilots and homebuilders concerned about instrument panel height and width constraints should be pleased to have the 7-inch option. All G3X Touch displays support Connext that allows wireless flight plan transfer between the company's Garmin Pilot app on an iOS or select Android mobile device. "A well-equipped 7-inch G3X Touch system, which includes SVX, video input, a built-in WAAS GPS receiver, ADAHRS, magnetometer, OAT probe, interactive mapping and more, starts at $4,599," said Garmin officials.

Wheel and brake developer Beringer introduced this 4-inch wheel for smaller aircraft along with other new products.
Beringer is another company that simply won't slow down. Or, is that right? Honestly, Beringer people go to work every day literally trying to slow down, specifically to slow down your aircraft. The French wheel and brake maker with operations in the USA keeps its engineers working hard and has several new products ready for AirVenture 2014. One that caught my eye as it could work so well for smaller, lighter aircraft is their new 4-inch wheel. These small wheels that ought to work well for ultralights or in light LSA weigh only 39 ounces. Beringer said these are "powerful brakes with a single-piston caliper with sintered metal pads and floating disc." They say maintenance is easier thanks to sealed ball bearing and no tire tube. The 4-inch wheel is appropriate for aircraft weighing 330 to 770 pounds. All Beringer products carry higher price tags to cover the advanced state of their technology and their finely finished hardware. The new wheels are $459 each for wheel, brake, and disc. The company also offers a new 6-inch wheel for STOL and Light-Sport Aircraft that use a robust 1.5-inch axle that supports tundra tires. Of course, this is the same company with the excellent anti-groundloop tailwheel as discussed here.

Van's Aircraft along with fully-built partner Synergy offers this new dual large screen Dynon panel.
Van's Aircraft, their SLSA-building partner Synergy Air, and Dynon Avionics announced availability for a dual screen SkyView Touch option for the factory-built RV-12, available starting September 1st this year. "An option for twin large screens of Dynon's touch-based system provides a larger view of mapping and the ability to share information across screens," said Van's Aircraft. "[This also offers] redundancy in the rare event that one of the screens fail." Van's added that the second large screen on the right side of the panel gives better access to flight information for passengers and copilots while improving the airplane as a platform for flight training. Van's advises the second large screen costs only $4,545. "The base price of an RV-12 S-LSA remains at $115,000 [and] the fully equipped model with all available options, including dual screens, is now $128,845. See more at one of the two RV-12 exhibits at Oshkosh. Van's and Synergy have aircraft at both the Van's booth and the 10th Year Anniversary LSA Exhibit at show center. For more, visit the official RV-12 SLSA website. Dynon also announced availability of their new SkyView 11 software with more than "60 new features and improvements." Video appearing on screen is one of these new upgrades.

Sam Aircraft is bringing this "X-ray view" Sam LS to AirVenture 2014 wherei it is sure to appear in many photos.
Sam Aircraft's Thierry Zibi seems to prepare well for airshows. He first used airshows to collect information from potential buyers so that he created an airplane with customer interest already developed. The result was a distinctive retro look that is unlike anything else in the LSA space, a sort of 1950s fighter appearance but with all the modern features. After getting Sam LS in the air this French Canadian entrepreneur made the rounds at all the top shows and succeeded at securing several good pilot reports including my article. To Oshkosh, he will bring a very distinctively decorated Sam LS that may remind alert observers of the similarly fetching exterior finish shown by the folks at Icon Aircraft at last year's AirVenture. Come see this unusual treatment at North Aircraft Display 626 where all the kit companies tend to cluster. Those not attending AirVenture (too bad, so sad) will surely see this airplane in many pictures taken by media people and passers by.

AirVenture 2014 is "Disneyland for Airplanes" and we can hardy wait for the event to start. Stay tuned for more ... !

First Searey Amphib Flight School & Design News
By Dan Johnson, July 24, 2014

It's summertime and the flying is easy ... especially when it's on the water. That's fine for everybody who is already qualified. What if you're new to seaplanes (or LSA in general)? How could you obtain instruction if you want to buy a new Searey? Training is optimal when done in a very similar airplane if not the same exact model you have in mind. Insurance companies may require aircraft-specific preparation. "With the addition of a [factory-built] Searey to its fleet, Chesapeake Sport Pilot flight school has become the first flight school in the world to offer flight training on the popular amphibious light sport seaplane," said spokesperson Helen Woods of the Stevensville, Maryland company. Chesapeake also teaches in other LSA models. Chief Flight Instructor Woods reports 300 Seareys flying in the U.S. and over 500 flying world wide. "Until now, it was often difficult to obtain quality training to fly a Searey," said Helen, "since a pilot had to own his own Searey before receiving training." Chesapeake supplies a Searey as part of their training course.

Chesapeake's Searey is well equipped for training: Rotax 912 engine; Advanced Flight Systems EFIS; Garmin GPS with XM weather and TFRs; and a carbon fiber hull. "It has all of the equipment we need plus a good useful load," explained Woods. Helen and fellow Chesapeake instructor Dan Wroe are both accredited as Searey flight instructors through the Searey Flight Instructors Association. This assures quality and standardization of training as well as offering better insurance rates from certain insurance companies for students who train under accredited Searey instructors. Chesapeake offers a variety of training options for Searey students including seaplane ratings, tailwheel endorsements, flight reviews, and insurance checkouts. Find out more at 410-604-1717, via email or Chesapeake's website.

Progressive Aerodyne, the Tavares, Florida-based designer and manufacturer of the Searey has been busy lately. While the marketing efforts have been establishing a base camp in China), engineers lead by founding designer, Kerry Richter have upgraded the well-established aircraft. The company announced a new Frise aileron design that can be fitted to all new factory-built and Searey kit airplanes. According to Progressive Aerodyne engineers, the freer airflow aileron "provides Searey airplanes with more balanced and responsive control, especially in severe conditions and wind gusts." The company reported that it conducted extensive static load and flight testing on the new aileron and the results exceeded design standards and expectations. Implementing such improvements is far less costly and time consuming for LSA under ASTM standards airplanes compared to Type Certified aircraft under FAR Part 23. Progressive Aerodyne said, "The new aileron can be retrofitted for experimental LSX and SLSA models and owners interested in retrofitting them may contact the manufacturer. Engineers also created a new sliding canopy design that can be open in any position during flight and now offers an additional three inches in height. The prototype canopy will make its debut at AirVenture 2015 where you can take a seat and see for yourself. Finally, Progressive Aerodyne will be previewing their 2015 look with a stylish new paint scheme. Seaplane and aviation enthusiasts are invited to space #12 at the Oshkosh Seaplane Base (free bus transportation is available from AirVenture). A Searey will also be on display at the EAA 10th Year Celebration of SP/LSA.

Zigolo Cracks the China Market as Part 103!
By Dan Johnson, July 23, 2014

Chip Erwin flies Zigolo at Sun 'n Fun 2014 using electric power. Read our pilot report article by British writer Dave Unwin.
I didn't see this one coming. Maybe you didn't either? In the new millennia gold rush represented by companies either being bought by Chinese businesses or gaining investment from wealthy Chinese business people or by setting up shop to sell in China (or even Cessna's ill-fated effort to have their Skycatcher manufactured in China), one element I've never heard of is Part 103 in China. This least-regulated-of-all aviation category is solely an American thing, isn't it? Well ... yes and no. Germany has opened the door to a Part 103-like development in that country under the 120-kilogram class (using a number that is 264 pounds or very similar to Part 103's 254-pound empty weight limit). England has their SSDR class (SSDR being the abbreviation for Single Seat De-Regulated). Despite following those developments, I've never heard a word about China and any less-regulated sector.

Zigolo on display at the Jingmen airshow in China.
"The first Zigolo in China was introduced to the public in that nation on July 17th at the Jingmen Airshow," reported representative Chip W. Erwin. The example was supplied in kit form by Aeromarine-LSA of Lakeland, Florida and Chip assembled it in just three weeks. Erwin, many will recall, was the main man behind the SportCruiser that ranks high in the U.S. market. After getting pushed out of the company he founded by an aggressive investor, he established a new enterprise in China. So, the following announcement might be expected, "Concurrently [to the aircraft's debut], a Zigolo assembly facility was established in the AVIC R&D center in Jingmen to supply the Chinese market with Ready-to-Fly (RTF) Zigolos." Now, here's the part of their announcement that caught me by surprise. "The Chinese CAAC recognizes the FAA Part 103 rule," Chip related, "which means that Chinese customers can actually fly legally and fly now in China, something that has not been so easy in LSA or other GA aircraft to date." No kidding! Virtually everyone agrees the China market for aircraft is potentially enormous, but the key word is "potentially." It is developing but seems in well in the future. Maybe not.

Here's the gasoline engine; the electric-powered version is shown at top.
If Chinese authorities permit Part 103 aircraft now, Zigolo could have a near-term impact on that market. Given its extremely low price, many Chinese flying enthusiasts could climb aboard. "The Chinese have been shipping thousands of RTF radio-controlled (RC) model aircraft to the USA," notes Erwin. "Now they will have the capability to build a man-carrying light aircraft for their own market. Chip noted that the technology and design gap between large RC aircraft and this ultralight motorglider is small; with the coming electric-powered version of the Zigolo, the gap narrows further. Want to know more? Zigolo is presently available to Americans in kit form with typical build time estimated at about 150 hours. Delivery positions are now available for the RTF version and first deliveries are planned for later in 2014. Come get a closer look at both electric- and gas-powered Zigolo ultralights at Airventure Oshkosh 2014. Watch how each flies in the ultralight area — now referred to as the "Fun Fly Zone" by area organizers. Oshkosh attendees can find Zigolo at booth 939. Aeromarine-LSA plans to offer an Oshkosh show special for new orders. I love the tagline Chip invented as it sums up the well-priced, simple aircraft — Zigolo: everything you need, and not much else.

Evektor with Dynon Earns EASA Type Certificate
By Dan Johnson, July 23, 2014

The very first aircraft ever to receive approval in the USA as a Light-Sport Aircraft is Evektor-Aerotechnik's SportStar. No challenger can ever take away that title yet the company has continually developed this pioneeering airplane and recently achieved a new level of approval ... one that alters the landscape in a way I predict we'll see more as FAA's Part 23 rewrite project progresses. "Following several months of certification process EASA has approved glass cockpit Dynon SkyView [as] SportStar RTC," Evektor announced. RTC stands for Restricted Type Certificate. It is not identical the U.S. Part 23 Type Certificate — representing a somewhat lower level of government oversight — but a company earning this has to jump through many regulatory hoops. "SportStar RTC has become the first EASA certified aircraft approved with the SkyView glass cockpit [by proving] compliance with certification requirements of the EASA CS-LSA regulations. Dynon's SkyView, recently upgraded to permit touch functionality, is widely known and used on Light-Sport Aircraft.

The first SportStar RTC with Dynon's SkyView will be delivered to France [and put into service by] Air Club Les Alcyons, one of the biggest clubs in the Paris area. Along with gear from Dynon and Garmin, Evektor said, "The aircraft will have also Apple's i-Pad Mini installed, bringing extended convenience and functionality in the cockpit." All these components from LSA stalwarts Dynon and Garmin are increasingly paired with Apple's ubiquitous tablet computer used in many industries and widely employed throughout all levels of aviation from airliners to ultralights. "With the advanced SkyView glass cockpit, ballistic recovery system, low operating costs and excellent training platform the SportStar RTC represents the most innovative solution for air clubs and pilot training organizations on the global market today," added Evektor. A top-ranked supplier to the U.S. market Evektor also does well overseas, reporting more than 1,300 aircraft have been delivered. Evektor has solid American representation through Dreams Come True and AB Flight.

This older SportStar (with Canadian registration) features LAMA founder Larry Burke in the Pilot-in-Command seat.
As everyone headed to Oshkosh for AirVenture 2014 finalizes their packing and preparations, one historically significant Light-Sport Aircraft is doing likewise and may, just possibly, appear at the space EAA has provided for the 10th Anniversary Celebration of SP/LSA. Evektor owner, E. W. Rogers wrote to offer this: "I am flying a SportStar to Oshkosh this year ... it is the first one sold in USA, and has about 800 maintenance-free hours on it." At the EAA space near the newly renamed Boeing Plaza, look for the special EAA space, which will have at least 17 aircraft on display, including most leading brands of Special LSA plus weight shift, powered parachute, gyroplanes, and some "vintage" aircraft that Sport Pilots may fly. ••• Those going to Oshkosh may also want to attend a forum about the decade-old sector on Tuesday July 29th from 1:00 to 2:15 PM in Honda Forum Pavilion 7. The presentation will feature EAA boss Jack Pelton; FAA honcho Earl Lawrence; original FAA rule writer Ron Wojnar; industry leader Tom Peghiny of Flight Design USA; Rotax engine expert Eric Tucker; FAA Sport Pilot specialist Mark Giron; and ... yours truly.

Airbus Goes Electric and Small (with Big Ideas)
By Dan Johnson, July 21, 2014

Airbus recently showed their all-electric E-Fan at the Farnborough airshow. photo from Inside EVs
As we all get packing for Oshkosh where we'll see all manner of aircraft, one of the biggest manufacturers revealed one of the smallest airplanes at another airshow: Farnborough in England, an event dominated by military and airline producers. More surprisingly, Airbus announced at Farnborough that it would put into production their all-electric-powered E-Fan. Big aircraft, the buses of the sky, are good at moving people to their destination. However, they are very noisy and consume oceans of fuel leading to more pollution. Can this situation improve? Is it even reasonable to consider an electric-powered airliners? Some experts scoff at the idea but Airbus' E-Fan made a powerful, if relatively quiet, statement.

Airbus' E-fan made its first flight at a French airport near Bordeaux on March 11th this year. The project reportedly evolved from work with the tiniest airplane most AirVenture visitors have seen. Airbus used an electric-powered Cri-Cri as a test bed to develop their battery and energy management technology. E-fan is presently a tandem two seater though Airbus said a production version will have side-by-side seats. The small plane is 22 feet long and has a wingspan of 31 feet and the prototype weighs 1,100 pounds; this sounds rather heavy for a two seater but remember it's carrying plenty of weight in batteries (Airbus did not specify how much). Two electric motors drive two ducted fans mated to variable-pitch propellers. With a 120-cell lithium polymer battery, E-Fan can fly for one hour with a 15-minute reserve. Powering the motors are a series of 250 volt lithium-ion polymer batteries made by the Korean company, Kokam. Batteries are mounted in the inboard section of the wings (see second video) and can be recharged in one hour, said Airbus. Engineers also installed a backup battery onboard for emergency landings if the main battery power has been consumed.

E-Fan uses tandem, retractable gear with outrigger wheels. photo by Franklin Polanco
As the photos show E-Fan has tandem, retractable undercarriage made up of a nosewheel and a larger main gear, something like the original Europa that used a massive single wheel. Airbus engineers designed E-Fan to taxi using electric power. The main wheel is driven via chain from a 6 kW (8 hp) electric motor. The big company said this results in more noise reduction and the powered drive wheel can silently accelerate the plane up to 37 mph. Doing so reduces power drain versus employing the propellers to move around on the ground. E-Fan's twin electric motors are enough to propel the small airplane to a top speed of 136 mph and a cruise speed, with two people aboard, of about 100 mph.

Airbus plans both two and four-seat versions of E-Fan, called 2.0 and 4.0, which could arrive by 2017. The company said it believes its E-Fan 2.0 can find a market in pilot training. Airbus reportedly plans to build 100 E-Fan test aircraft to gather data for the program. Going even further, Airbus believes electric aircraft will become important in coming years as a way to cut greenhouse-gas emissions from conventional aircraft exhaust and to offer quieter planes. Noise isn't just an issue for people living near airports; quieter planes could be flown at hours that would unacceptable for noisier conventional airlines so companies could schedule more flights, Airbus noted. They hinted at plans for an all-electric or hybrid 90-seat passenger plane. The European company also thinks it is possible to build an all-electric helicopter.

"Even electric commercial airliners are in the works. In Europe EADS, Airbus' parent company, has proposed the VoltAir ducted fan engine that would power commercial airliners," writes Low-Powerdesign.
E-Fan uses ducted fans, which places a fan-type propeller mounted inside a cylindrical shroud, or duct. The duct reduces losses in thrust from the tips of the props although to be effective close tolerances are necessary probably driving up costs. Ducted fans generally use an odd number of shorter blades than convention props allowing them to operate at higher speeds. Using an odd number of blades reduces resonance in the duct. Conventional props tips approach the sound barrier so they are turned at lower speeds which requires more diameter. A shrouded rotor can be as much as 94% efficient, experts say and ducted fans are quieter than conventional propellers because they shield the blade noise and reduce intensity of the tip vortices. Ducted fans can also offer enhanced safety on the ground by protecting people against spinning props. Learn more about ducted fans.

Catch some good closeups, flying footage, and onboard camera views in this YouTube video of the Airbus eFan single seater.

Here is the official Airbus video on the development of E-Fan. If you look very closely, you'll see some features, for example, a BRS parachute flag, and details about battery placement.

Versatile LSA Seaplane to Debut at AirVenture 2014
By Dan Johnson, July 14, 2014 wants to tempt you to come by EAA's 10th LSA Anniversary Celebration exhibit at AirVenture 2014.
An entirely new Light-Sport seaplane will make its "global debut" at EAA AirVenture 2014 and this is one you'll want to see up close and in detail. As with a number of other persons, I have been briefed on this new entry and, like the others, I signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement to keep the new project under wraps until company leaders were ready to reveal their new flying machine. At the coming summer celebration of flight in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, everyone will finally get to see what has excited many of those NDA signers. Airshow visitors will see a mockup, but if the full-size concept looks even remotely as good as it did in the computer presentation I was shown, be prepared to be blown away. This boat hull aircraft has features you've never even contemplated much less seen on any previous offering. You can guess some of what I'm writing about by their tagline for MVP, "The World's Most Versatile Plane." That's a big claim as we already have many good seaplane designs and more will be following. Yet after they get a chance to examine MVP, I think many may find the boast not out of line.

On the day before AirVenture opens this year, that is, on Sunday July 27th, officials will make a presentation to invited media. By opening day Monday, the full-size mockup will be available for review by everyone attending EAA's 10th Anniversary Celebration special exhibit near Boeing Plaza, right in the heart of the giant event. Come visit and see MVP along with a wide range of Light-Sport Aircraft or aircraft that Sport Pilots can fly.

I'm not the only one who has been impressed with an private preview of MVP. Cirrus Design cofounder Alan Klapmeier, now CEO of turbine aircraft developer Kestrel Aircraft Inc., said, "The MVP is a game changer." Another aviation big shot, Jim Irwin, owner of Aircraft Spruce and Specialty, commented, "In my 30 years in aviation, I have never seen aircraft features such as these."

I've known Mike VanStaagen since before Cirrus Design won FAA Type Certification for their SR20 back in 1998. More recently, he has acted as lead designer for the Cirrus single engine Vision Jet being created by the successful Duluth, Minnesota company. Mike has since moved over to to head design of the new LSA seaplane. "They asked me to design the aircraft of my dreams [and] this is it," he said.

If those comments and my enthusiasm for innovative LSA seaplane design has piqued your interest, go bookmark the MVP website. You won't presently see anything more than I've told you here, but after the company's media debut as AirVenture 2014 opens, the website will be populated with more detail. Based on the quality of the imagery I was shown, I imagine you'll want to spend some time looking at all they publish online. I plan to have more once the company goes public on the day before AirVenture 2014 starts. Summertime LSA seaplane flying is getting truly interesting. Stay tuned!

To read SPLOG postings going back to 2005 -- all organized in chronological order -- click SPLOG.




Flight Design USA imports CT, the top selling Light-Sport Aircraft. CT is a 98% carbon fiber design
with superb performance, roomy cockpit, great useful load, and a parachute as standard equipment ... the market leader for 10 years!

Tecnam is the world's leading manufacturer of Light-Sport aircraft offering more models and variations than any other producer.
Besides the world's fastest-selling light twin and a new four seater, Tecnam offers these LSA: Echo Classic, Eaglet, Bravo, Astore, and P2008.
Many LSA
& GA models

U.S. Sport Aircraft Importing represents the popular SportCruiser, one of the best selling Special Light-Sport Aircraft among 130 models on the market. The Texas-headquartered importer has long represented this familiar model.

Lockwood Aircraft is the builder of two of light aviation's best-recognized flying machines: AirCam and the Drifter line. Most sport aviators already know the Lockwood brand, a leader in Rotax maintenance and aircraft services.

BRM Aero manufacturers the handsome Bristell all-metal SLSA. This highly evolved, next-generation Light-Sport was carefully engineered for luxury, comfort, excellent stability, and safety while being fun, fast, and easy to fly.

The Airplane Factory (TAF) produces the Sling series of world-circling aircraft (literally) and now this fine-flying, all-metal beauty is available in the United States as a Special Light-Sport Aircraft. Here is an LSA to follow.

Arion Aircraft has designed and built one of the most beautiful low wing entries in the Special LSA and kit-built aircraft sector. The all-American designed and built aircraft is priced fairly and flies wonderfully ... need you search for more?

BushCat is the distinctive Light-Sport Aircraft within reach of almost any budget. With a solid heritage BushCat by SkyReach is fun, capable, and available as a kit, fully-built SLSA or ELSA.

Aeromarine-LSA represents an economical Part 103 ultralight that is within reach of almost any budget. For local fun flying, or for those who enjoy soaring flight Zigolo is light enough to be lifted by even the most gentle thermals.

North Wing is America's leading manufacturer of weight shift LSA and Part 103 ultralight trikes. The company's wing designs are so good that most other trike manufacturers use them. Aircraft prices are highly affordable by all.

Vickers Aircraft has created one of the most distinctive new LSA seaplanes yet to emerge.Powered by the 180-horsepower
Lycoming O-360, their Wave model is like no other seaplane ever introduced with multiple features to set it apart from the crowd.

Hansen Air Group represents recognized brands in the LSA
space: FK Lightplanes and their distinctive biplane Comet, FK9, and FK51 plus the great-flying Magnaghi Sky Arrow. Based in Atlanta, Georgia Hansen Air Group is an experienced player in the LSA space.
Multiple LSA

Progressive Aerodyne designed and supplies the SeaRey series, arguably the most celebrated of all light seaplanes in America. A close community of hundreds of owners offers camaraderie few other brands can match.

X-Air brings a return to reasonably priced Light-Sport Aircraft, with a ready-to-fly flying machine you can purchase for a genuinely low price. No new arrival, X-Air has a rich history in light aviation.

Pipistrel has designed and manufactures a range of beautiful, sleek aircraft that have found markets around the world. Starting with gliders and motorgliders, Pipistrel now offers a line of powered aircraft using multiple power sources.

Jabiru USA builds the spacious and speedy J-250 and more recently J-230 plus the training-optimized J-170, each certified as Special LSA. The Tennessee-based company also imports and services the popular Jabiru engine line.

Quicksilver Aeronautics is the world's largest producer of ultralight aircraft, selling some 15,000 aircraft. The company's designs are thoroughly tested, superbly supported, and have an excellent safety record.

SkyCraft Airplanes is America’s first Light-Sport Aircraft single seater. SD-1 Minisport is affordably priced, very well equipped, and was designed to exhibit docile handing qualities. It can be flown for less than $12 per hour.

World Aircraft Company is Columbian design expertise joined to Canadian entrepreneurship based in Paris, Tennessee USA. Welcome to World Aircraft and a brand-new short takeoff and landing (STOL) Light-Sport Aircraft, the all-metal Spirit.

Aerotrek Aircraft imports the A240 and A220 tricycle gear or taildragger Special Light-Sport Aircraft. A finely finished aircraft at an excellent price, Aerotrek has wide, affordable appeal.

Super Petrel LS, manufactured by Edra Aeronautica in Brazil and represented by Florida Light Sport Aviation, is a unique and highly effective LSA seaplane. A biplane design, this is well established flying boat with more than 20 years of history.

Zenith Aircraft is one of America's leading kit suppliers featuring well proven models from legendary designer, Chris Heintz. Centrally based in Mexico, Missouri, Zenith offers kit aircraft for several popular models.

Corbi Air represents the Made-for-Americans Direct Fly Alto 100. Created in the Czech Republic, Alto 100 was upgraded for USA sales and the result is a comfortable, handsome low wing, all-metal LSA with features you want.

Just Aircraft has delivered more than 300 kit aircraft since 2002, but in 2012 they electrified pilots with the awesome performance of their all-new SuperSTOL. It may look extreme and performs extremely well, but it is truly docile and forgiving to fly.

Phoenix Air USA imports the beautiful Phoenix Special Light-Sport Aircraft, a performance motorglider that can cruise swiftly and serve both functions with excellent creature comfort. Given its clever wing extension design, you get two aircraft in one!

Kitfox is one of the world's best selling light aircraft kits with more than 5,000 delivered. With unrivaled name recognition, Kitfox is admired for crisp handling, excellent performance, easily folded wings, and more. The design is flown around the world.

Evektor is Number One and always will be. The Czech company's SportStar was the number one SLSA to win approval but engineers have steadily improved the model far beyond that 2005 version that started the race.

Renegade Light Sport produces the sexy low wing, all composite Falcon in America. The Florida company has also established itself as the premiere installer of Lycoming’s IO-233 engine.

SportairUSA imports the dashing and superbly-equipped StingSport S4 that has won a loyal following from American pilots. More recently, they introduced their TL-3000 high-wing LSA. SportairUSA is a full-line operation with maintenance and training, too.

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Updated: July 31, 2014

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