Here is an early, quick look at Skytrek SLSA
by Triton... China's first FAA approval.
Video sponsored by Continental Motors,
maker of the Powerful Titan X-340 Engine
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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.




Aeromarine-LSA represents economical aircraft like Merlin PSA, fully enclosed and all-metal for less than $35,000; or Part 103 ultralights like Zigolo, a dual-purpose ultralight and motorglider with prices starting at only $12,000.

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.

Aerolite 103 is a remarkably well priced (way below $20,000), well-equipped, Part 103 ultralight that flies beautifully. Several hundred are airborne and production has never been more solid. Here is an airplane every pilot can love and afford.

Jabiru USA assembles the spacious and speedy J-230 with new, more attractive pricing making the model one of the best values in Light-Sport Aircraft.

The Shelbyville, Tennessee company also offers the Jabiru engine line with new 3310 and 2210 models in 2016.

J230-D & J170-D

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.

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

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.

Murphy Aircraft offers a wide range of highly capable aircraft from the light biplane RENEGADE to their newest RADICAL with many variations in between. Years of design and manufacturing experience combine with modern computer-based tooling to make solid, well performing aircraft kits.

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.

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?

Vickers Aircraft has created one of the most distinctive new LSA seaplanes yet to emerge. Powered by the 180-horsepower
Titan IO-340CC by Continental Motors, their Wave model is like no other seaplane ever introduced with multiple features to set it apart from the crowd.

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!

Triton America started with a familiar-looking LSA model and significantly improved it, making it stronger while preserving the well-regarded flight characteristics. Welcome to a newcomer with lots of experience and their new Skytrek.

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 their new P2010 four seater, Tecnam offers these LSA: P-92 Eaglet, Astore, and P2008.

Many Light-Sport Aircraft & General Aviation models

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.

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.

Aero Adventure offers what is likely the lowest cost boat-hull seaplane in the light aircraft space with a kit that, complete with engine, sells for less than $50,000. Add a long history to its credit and Aventura is a seaplane worthy of a close look.

Super Petrel LS, manufactured by Scoda Aeronautica in Brazil and built by Super Petrel USA, a branch of the Brazilian company in Ormond Beach, Florida, is a unique and highly effective LSA seaplane. This biplane flying boat is well established with more than 20 years of history.

Glasair Aviation became famous for their Glasair series. Today the Washington state company is focused on the newer Sportsman in several varieties and on Merlin LSA. Later in 2017, buyers can buy a Merlin in fully-ready-to-fly form from this much-admired company renown for its top-tier customer service.

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.

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.

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.

Evolution Trikes developed and continues to refine their Revo, an absolutely magnificent weight shift control aircraft (or trike). Rev is their new very affordable single place machine.

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.

SilverLight Aviation created the first all-American gyroplane with modern sophistication and equipment, built by a proven expert. Gyroplanes like AR1 fly much like fixed wings but with real advantages.

Remos AG is the manufacturer of the next generation GXiS. This beautiful composite design built by German craftsmen offers excellent performance, light responsive handling, and a deluxe cockpit finish to please any aviator.

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.

Sonex Aircraft is one of aviation's best-known brands offering exciting performance, easy building, prices to match the budgets of most pilots, and you will do business with some fine people. Taking years of success to new heights, Sonex debuted the "B" models with numerous upgrades.

American Legend has been in the LSA space since the beginning, offering their iconic yellow taildragger. The Texas company offers a full line of LSA and kit-built aircraft including the 180-horsepower Super Legend HP.

Bristell USA distributes the highly-refined Bristell aircraft in North America. The Czech-built aircraft is a 5th generation design with excellent performance, wonderful handling, and a most appealing shape. Other airplanes may look similar but Bristell has gone far beyond.

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