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...a web log of developments in Sport Pilot/Light-Sport Aircraft
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

MVP.aero 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, MVP.aero 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 MVP.aero 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!


Searey Expands into China; Opens Sales Office
By Dan Johnson, July 12, 2014

The list of aviation companies involved in one way or another with China is getting so long I won't try to show them all here. Big companies like Cirrus Design or Continental are included. So are LSA manufacturers of various brands. Some business are setting up dealerships (Quicksilver, others). Others have arranged Chinese partners to build planes in-country (Flight Design, Zenith, others). Several companies have been fully acquired by or have received substantial funding from Chinese enterprises (Icon, others) and I'm aware of more that we will hear more about in the weeks and months to follow. The U.S. government and many other nations have borrowed from the Chinese government so a nearly unfathomable amount of dollars or other currencies are parked in China. However, most of the aviation financial arrangements are private, showing that, like their government, Chinese business people have plenty of funds to invest. The big question is, will a true personal aviation market develop? ... outside of business jets and airliners, that is. We'll have to wait to see but companies are certainly for big things. Not all China ventures worked out well, for example, Cessna's Skycatcher. Others are vigorously pursuing the Asian market ...

Searey China sales is located in this office tower in Shanghai.
With Progressive Aerodyne now owned by an American named Adam Yang, you might think it logical to expect this successful Florida kit builder turned LSA manufacturer to have an Asian presence. In addition, since Searey is already SLSA approved and can boast a long history of loyal builders, this brand and model has a leg up on companies that are still in development (Lisa Akoya, others). So, here's the official announcement: "Progressive Aerodyne is pleased to announce the opening of its newly established sales office in Shanghai, China, to support the sale of Searey Light Sport Amphibious Airplanes." The Searey was first presented to the China market at air shows in 2009, where interest in Searey airplanes was overwhelming. Since then, Progressive Aerodyne participated in subsequent air shows and invested in research and marketing in order to advance the Searey in China." The company reported that it is working with Chinese aviation authorities to gain approval for Searey sales in China and the Shanghai office* will work with government authorities in China while managing marketing and sales efforts. "We are excited about the expected growth potential of Searey light sport airplanes in China. Our new sales office will allow us to penetrate the China market more effectively and access a very large and entirely new group of future Searey enthusiasts," said Adam Yang, CEO of Progressive Aerodyne.

For more than 20 years, Searey LSA and kits have been produced in Tavares, Florida, about 45 minutes northwest of Orlando. Progressive Aerodyne's manufacturing facility is currently in full production of two certified models, Searey Light Sport and Searey Light Sport Elite. In addition, the company continues to manufacture Searey kits. You can find out much more and watch videos with company officials here.

* Progressive Aerodyne's Shanghai office is located at: Room 2809, Maxdo Centre, Building No.8, Xing-Yi Road, Chang-Ning District, Shanghai, 200336 China, Tel: 021-6236-2360.

SkyCraft Airplanes Finishes ASTM Compliance
By Dan Johnson, July 8, 2014

While so many continue to say you can't buy a Light-Sport Aircraft for less than — pick a number ... $100,000 ... $150,000 — the truth is something else. We already have modestly priced entries from Quicksilver, BushCat, X-Air, M-Squared, plus several weight shift or powered parachute entries. Another that burst on the scene a couple AirVentures back was SkyCraft. The Czech design that a group in Utah are Americanizing is a fully enclosed, well-equipped single seater. Not many singles have been offered (Tecnam's aerobatic Snap is one such) yet the fact remain that much flying is done solo anyway, so why not have a sharp airplane for your own aerial enjoyment. Plus, what if you can fly it away for less than $60,000? Not every pilot will find SkyCraft SD-1 Minisport sufficient and lucky for those aviators, plenty of choices are available if you have to have 1,000-mile range, autopilot, big dual glass instrument panels, and of course, two seats. However, I for one can't wait to fly SkyCraft and now it looks like the wait is getting shorter.

SkyCraft acquired a new facility and brought in the first couple airplanes.
In June 2014, SkyCraft Airplanes filed a declaration with FAA that their SD-1 Minsiport is fully compliant with all ASTM standards used to gain acceptance by the agency as a Special or fully-built LSA. This news comes only one year after SkyCraft announced at AirVenture that they would produce the airplane ready-to-fly. "We now await an FAA audit, after which we will be able to make our first aircraft deliveries to eager customers," stated SkyCraft Director of Marketing, Paul Glavin. The company reported that FAA has scheduled SkyCraft's audit for September 2014. As they prepare for production after FAA's audit and presumed acceptance, SkyCraft purchased a new factory and hangar (photo) at the Provo, Utah Municipal Airport (KPVU). "The new facility will triple the production space from the current factory, allowing enough room to build one hundred SD-1 Minisports a year," Glavin added. The space will also permit new development work.

Since announcing their manufacturing intentions in 2013, SkyCraft reported making several upgrades and refinements to the design for the SD-1 Minisport. "Most recently, the mechanical brakes on the SD-1 were replaced with a stronger, smoother, hydraulic brake system, which will shorten the landing distance of the aircraft and improve taxi operations," said Glavin. "Historically, many airplane manufacturers have struggled to keep their initial price point during these developmental stages of production, however, SkyCraft has been able to maintain its highly impressive $54,850 price tag for the SD-1 Minisport in spite of the many improvements that have been made." In a welcome summary, SkyCraft said it remains committed to the quality and affordability of its airplanes. A flying SD-1 Minisport will be shown publicly for the first time at EAA Airventure Oshkosh 2014.


SuperSTOL to Perform at Just Plane Fun Days
By Dan Johnson, July 5, 2014

A one point touchdown is a particularly neat trick SuperSTOL can achieve thanks to slow touchdown speed and a shock-absorbing tailwheel gear leg. photo by Wayne Whitley

Airplane-brand-specific fly-in events can be fun and informative. If the folks at Just Aircraft are involved and if they show off their amazing SuperSTOL, a company fly-in takes on a new level of excitement. Those of you who have stopped by their airshow display to speak to the people from Just Aircraft know the Walhalla, South Carolina manufacturer is composed of a bunch of individuals that seem so laid back, you could wonder how they get so much work done. They do, by the way, having produced and delivered more than 500 aircraft kits. Since 2012 — when they introduced their at-the-time-unnamed SuperSTOL to slacked-jawed response from crowds — Just Aircraft reported kit sales have more than doubled requiring the company to add a second shift to keep up with demand. How many other companies do you know with that need? All seriousness aside for a weekend, though, those Just Aircraft'ers know how to have a good time, too. You might want to mark your calendar.

All Just Aircraft designs as seen in this photo have good bush flying capability. larger photo by Wes Whitley
Yes, right now in the early days of July, aviation businesses and pilots from around the country are getting ready for that big summer celebration of flight called AirVenture. All eyes will be on Oshkosh, Wisconsin for the next few weeks — the show runs Monday July 28th to Sunday August 3rd. Following the event Just Aircraft will likely be counting fresh orders once they get back home to Walhalla, but they won't have much spare time on their hands. Not even one month after AirVenture ends, Just Aircraft will sponsor Just Plane Fun Days on August 29 through August 31 (Labor Day weekend) at Brass Town Airport near the town of the same name in North Carolina*. Just Plane Fun Days is open to anyone and is free of charge. The event appeals significantly to people who own one of the Just Aircraft models but anyone who is considering their designs can attend, have a good time, and find out lots more from pilots who have built and fly the airplane plus speak to company officials. Just Aircraft officials expect that Highlanders and new SuperSTOLs will dominate the event and certainly the attention of the public.

I cannot imagine any pilot turning away while a SuperSTOL performs either a take off or a landing. photo by Wayne Whitley
Billy Payne owns the Brass Town airport and is hosting the event. He said it will be, "a gathering of like-minded people who enjoy flying their aircraft. At any given daylight hour there will usually be a dozen aircraft in the air, giving rides or participating in one of the competitions." Those who attend can observe contests such as a short field take off, short field landing, spot landing, limbo (flying under a ribbon), balloon pop, coyote shoot (balloons) and bomb drop. These can be entertaining for any aircraft types, but when you see SuperSTOL attempt them, the game is different ... and fascinating. All attending Just Aircraft models will be judged in a variety of categories: Best of Show, Best Panel, Most Innovative, People's Choice, and Grand Champion. Saturday night will be the chance for a cookout at the airport and on Sunday morning pilots will take off for a tour of the local mountains. Last year organizers reported about 2,000 people visited, and even with bad weather 19 Just Aircraft flew in. This year, if blessed with good weather, Payne expects more than twice that number. Camping is available on the field and for those who prefer a motel, the group has a special rate at the local Hampton Inn. For more information phone Billy Payne at (828) 557-4833 or call Just Aircraft at (864) 718-0320.

* Brass Town hosts a festival that includes a contest with local men dressed as women to compete for the title "Miss Possum Queen." Surely this refutes anyone who thinks Brass Townians aren't out to have fun.


Quicksilver Ready to Build Special LSA
By Dan Johnson, July 1, 2014

FAA Aviation Safety Inspectors John Soltis (L) and Kym Robbins (R), present a pink airworthiness certificate to Quicksilver Aeronautics principals Will Escutia (white shirt) and Dan Perez at the French Valley Airport.

Plenty of longtime light aircraft enthusiasts have wondered when Quicksilver would enter the SLSA sweepstakes. "On June 26th we received the airworthiness certificate and the operations limitations document for our Sport 2SE Special LSA after a three-hour inspection from the FAA," said Quicksilver Aeronautics President and CEO, Will Escutia. Earlier the company reported successfully passing an intensive FAA audit, but a final aircraft inspection by FAA personnel was still needed. Aviation Safety Inspectors, John Soltis and Kym Robbins, provided the pink airworthiness card at the French Valley Airport (photo), approximately 10 miles from the company's factory. Soltis expressed his congratulations saying the airplane "looked very good." At near the industry's lowest cost — $39,999 for a fully built Sport 2SE — those Light-Sport fans who fret about the high cost of some (exceptionally well equipped) airplanes now have a very affordable choice. If $40 Grand is still too much you can buy a Quicksilver ELSA or Experimental Amateur Built for even less.

"We feel very satisfied that the last milestone to finish our SLSA project has been completed," Escutia noted. "Dan Perez did an outstanding job leading our company team to this achievement."
Quicksilver is doing something else that is entirely different in a first for the industry. They have established three manufacturing points in the USA: the Temecula, California factory serving the west; a facility in Reserve, Louisiana operated by the company's longest lasting and most successful dealer, Air-Tech, Inc., serving the south; and longtime company sales manager, Todd Ellefson, who will now run a manufacturing and dealership operation serving the north (email). ASTM standards and FAA rules address multiple manufacturing outlets when the manufacturer assures quality control and operation processes of their remote outlets. Quicksilver is pioneering the use of this arrangement and will also establish similar facilities in countries like China where they just signed a major order for 77 aircraft. In all, the wait by some enthusiasts for this brand to get in the LSA game is over and Quicksilver is ready to leap ahead with their plans.

Quicksilver reported the Sport 2SE will be shown and flown at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014 at the end of July. photo by James Lawrence
In operation since the early 1970s (that's 40+ years, folks!), Quicksilver can lay claim to delivering more complete light aircraft kits than any manufacturer I know. They've delivered out more than 15,000 kits, a significant number of which are still flying in more than 100 countries. Now adding ready-to-fly models, Quicksilver is ready to move forward aggressively. (I must note that for many years the company has also made Part 103-eligible aircraft which could be delivered ready to fly by any dealer.) As Quicksilver ramps up production of the Sport S2SE, they are also at work on the SLSA version of the GT500 tandem two seater. This well-received aircraft was the very first Primary Aircraft category aircraft to win FAA approval - way back in 1993 - so that effort to gain SLSA acceptance from FAA should pose few challenges. New owners Will Escutia and Dan Perez took over in 2012 and in two short years have seriously increased the company's activity. Congratulations to the two new owners and their whole team. You can see this aircraft and nearly 20 more in EAA's 10th Anniversary Celebration space near the main plaza at AirVenture 2014.


Happy Birthday Sport Pilot / Light-Sport Aircraft!
By Dan Johnson, June 28, 2014

Some may find it hard to believe that almost ten years have passed since FAA made its grand announcement introducing the Sport Pilot / Light-Sport Aircraft regulation. Others may see it differently, that is, it seemed to some as though it was a long while coming. A number of people gave of their time to an ARAC (Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee) that deliberated for more than ten years prior to the 2004 announcement. What started out as a means to expand ultralight aircraft and to "fix" certain problems that had arisen ended up doing something completely different ... although some in the agency maintain they did fix the "fat," or two seat "ultralight problem." Many insiders didn't feel the problem got solved so much as got buried under other initiatives, but that's a story for another article. What did emanate from the ARAC work and FAA's lengthy internal deliberations was a game-changing method of approving aircraft and I, for one, salute the agency for its brave achievement. That decision announced ten years ago this summer spurred the market entry of an astounding 136 new models in less than a decade. It is also spreading around the world (subject to modifications by countries accepting the ASTM standards).

To commemorate this achievement in rulemaking — which some might refer to as deregulation — EAA has arranged a superb location to host an exhibit many AirVenture 2014 attendees will want to visit. In a space known to many as AeroShell Square (photo) — recently announced as Boeing Plaza — EAA will host a collection of aircraft that aims to span a good portion of the LSA fleet. Of course, space is not available to show all 136 models approved and not all of them continued to be offered but the Wisconsin organization, with help from the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association, is arranging a broad display that should convey the possibilities from conventional-looking fixed wing, three axis airplanes to weight shift, to motorgliders, to powered parachutes to gyros. Whatever the final mix of flying machines available for viewing, plenty should be on display right at the heart of AirVenture. Most of the top brands have committed to participating. EAA is working on personnel to staff a tent on the exhibit space with the goal of assisting those interested in Sport Pilot or Light-Sport Aircraft to learn more.

How many people are attracted by Sport Pilot and the aircraft someone possessing that certificate can fly (or those using their current certificate to exercise the no-medical privileges of Sport Pilot)? That's a good question. To answer, I refer you to a recent survey conducted by AOPA through their Aviation eBrief electronic publication that provides news for and about the general aviation community. The organization asked: "Do you fly or could you see yourself flying under the sport pilot rule?" Their results are presented in the nearby chart. Excluding those who say they would not fly as a Sport Pilot, we see that nearly three quarters (73.6%) can see themselves using this pilot certification including more than one in eight AOPA respondees who presently use it. On the eve of the 10th anniversary celebration, this is encouraging for the Light-Sport Aircraft producer community and those flight schools that are training new pilots or helping already licensed pilots to transition to these airplanes. Note that in addition to fully built Special LSA, Sport Pilot certificate holders may fly standard category aircraft or homebuilt aircraft so long as those flying machines meet the parameters (1,320 pound gross weight; speed less than 120 knots, etc.). Thus, available aircraft include SLSA, ELSA, or what former EAA staffer, Ron Wagner, once clearly identified as Sport Pilot-eligible aircraft.


Electric Trike Soars (Literally) into Record Book
By Dan Johnson, June 27, 2014

Gary Davis, a partner in a Greenville investment management firm, launches from the Greenville, South Carolina Downtown Airport en route to a world record. photo by Gary Davis

On Saturday, June 21 with a good crowd watching, an electric-powered trike took off and climbed into the FAI record book, or will after the organization's normal process is followed. Let me state right up front that this story was recently released on AOPA's ePilot written by our journalist friend Jim Moore. Despite appearing in the big member organization's eNewsletter, the story was too cool for me to pass up for ByDanJohnson.com plus, as usual, I have an additional perspective to offer. The images are all courtesy of record-holder-to-be, Gary Davis. If you click the link above you can read Jim's whole article; I encourage you to do so.

Randall Fishman's original electric trike. See articles on 2007 electric airplanes and Fishman's state-of-the-art ULS.
As Jim wrote Gary flipped the switch and flew, "a custom combination of a North Wing Stratus trike wing matched to an electric-powered trike frame designed by Randall Fishman." We have a number of articles and videos about Randall's pioneering work. He is arguably THE originator of practical electric powered airplanes, meaning that you can today buy and start flying your own electric airplane. You do not have to wait years for this opportunity. You can do it now! That's cool. For those on a budget or for those of us who like weight shift, a trike similar to Gary Davis' is available for around $20,000 ready-to-fly and that includes the wheeled trike carriage, electric power system, wing, battery pack, and a customized battery charger. Because it's electric, the purchase price essentially represents several years of buying gasoline and oil making it an especially affordable expense. For those who want higher performance from a smooth, slick rig with three axis control you can choose Randall's beautiful ULS, featured in this video, which sells for around $60,000. You can get more details about the airplanes Randall sells at his Electric Aircraft Corporation website.

On his way to nearly 5,000 feet AGL, Gary Davis managed to set a record for electric aircraft. photo by Gary Davis
Gary Davis took his electric trike to nearly 4,700 feet, a number substantial enough to earn a record ... eventually. Jim wrote, "NAA staff said it will take roughly 60 days to verify the data captured by the sensitive barometric pressure recorder on board, and calibrate it with readings taken at ground level to confirm a maximum altitude of roughly 4,660 feet. Once the national record is established, it will be forwarded to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale for ratification as a world record, a process likely to require months more." Davis flew until he exhausted the batteries or about a half hour of high power output. Randall would say that the battery pack can provide more flying time if you weren't at full "throttle" all the time. I experienced something similar in the eSpyder. Congratulations to Gary! Like me, he's a hang glider pilot so while he surely enjoyed the whole exercise and the applause of those watching as he touched down, the flight down without power was likely also satisfying.

Let me end this happy little tale with another nod to Jim Moore. Filling his role as a journalist for the big AOPA member organization I find his writing creative and entertaining. He's shown a willingness to cover the light end of aviation for AOPA, which is appreciated. So, for this story and his positive attitude, I want to offer a large THANKS! to Jim.

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

 



 

 
 

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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!
CTLSi


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.

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.

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.
Wave

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.


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?

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Tecnam is the world's leading manufacturer of Light-Sport-eligible aircraft offering five models. The world's fastest-selling light twin, a four seat single engine model, and an 11-seat twin complete the range.

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!

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Updated: July 22, 2014

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