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First Half 2012 LSA Registration Update

By Dan Johnson, September 5, 2012
We've been getting requests for market share information and I am happy to provide an update, thanks to my European associate Jan Fridrich who does the hard work of sifting through FAA's database. I remind you that his efforts are not merely tallying whatever FAA publishes. In fairness, Jan has to evaluate many pieces of information and judge accuracy of the entries.

This isn't because FAA's registrars are bumbling fools that cannot enter data accurately. The challenges come from sheer number of brands (90) and models (127) over a mere seven years... unprecedented in aviation history. To that add the variations of Experimental Amateur Built (EAB), Special Light-Sport Aircraft (SLSA), Experimental Light-Sport Aircraft kits (ELSA) and converted two-place ultralights to LSA status.

Then factor in that some standard category or homebuilt aircraft meet the LSA parameters of weight and speed and such so some people consider them "LSA," when in fact they mean they can be flown by some possessing a Sport Pilot certificate. My onetime EAA associate Ron Wagner coined the phrase "Sport Pilot eligible" to describe these aircraft.

So now we come to the first half of 2012. Cessna appears the clear and away winner of the registration sweepstakes with an impressive 71 registered aircraft logged in six months (11.8/month).

BRM Aero's Bristell appears to be an up-and-comer.
Jan reports a good number of these are registered in Cessna's corporate name so they do not equate to deliveries though they are newly hatched LSA. In all of 2011 Cessna registered 11.2/month so Shenyang Aircraft in China is finding a steady pace of production.

Following well behind but still leading the rest of the pack is CubCrafters with 28 more registrations in the first half (4.7/month), a faster pace than their 2011 performance of 36 (3.0/month), indeed greater than 50% more production than last year when they also came in second after Cessna.

American Legend managed to slightly up their 2011 pace to register seven new LSA in the first six months of 2012, trailed by Flight Design with six, followed by a tie between Jabiru U.S. and SportCruiser at five each.

Jim Lee has quietly been logging a slew of orders for his smooth motorglider.

One surprise is Phoenix, the sleek motorglider builder, whose U.S. importer registered four in 2012 but reports having sold 20. "We cannot keep up with orders from customers," Jim Lee reports, "even though the production rate has increased."

Bristell registered three and was followed by a chain of companies registering two apiece: Arion and their Lightning, Renegade and their Falcon, World Aircraft and their Spirit, and Canadian Light Aircraft and their Bush Caddy. Quite a few more companies at least got on the log and I think it's fair to say the first half of 2012 represents an improvement over 2011. That's great and we'll hope for more progress in the Light-Sport Aircraft sector.

Update 9/5/12 Shortly after we released the nearby chart, we heard from Aerotrek that we had undercounted their registrations.

Aerotrek continues to be a solid selling aircraft, and offers one of the lower price points among LSA.
Besides our regrets — we do strive for accuracy — we repeat the comment that FAA's database can be a confusing place. Aerotrek's Rob Rollison sent detailed information to support his registration of six new LSA (the earlier report was for two) in the first half of 2012. He reported three each of the A240 tricycle gear models and A220 taildragger models were registered.

Aerotrek continues to enjoy positive developments. In defending his registrations, Rob wrote, "Every plane I receive from [manufacturer] Aeropro is already sold — we are sold-out eight months in advance at the present time (and it's been this way for over a year)." Contratulations to Aerotrek and Aeropro. We looked into the data more deeply and corrected the chart.

DISCLAIMER: As always we remind readers that the information presented in the text above and in the nearby graph is derived from registrations as logged by FAA Registration Branch. Figures are not sales or deliveries though over time, these values will tend to be very close. Also, the registration database used for this report may no longer include aircraft that were removed from the registry, slightly altering the numbers. Such removals can occur when an aircraft is shipped out of the USA, is destroyed by an accident, or is taken from Special LSA category to another category like Experimental LSA. Every effort has been made to report the most accurate information available.

 



 

 
 

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.

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.

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!

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

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

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


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.

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.

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.

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


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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