SPLOGs between April and June, 2007 in chronological order.
LAMA to Announce New Consumer Program
By Dan Johnson, April 4, 2007
In the soon-to-be-announced LAMA decal program, four companies have presently qualified with more in process. From top right, clockwise: IndUS Aviation; Jihlavan (Kappa); Aeropro; and Flight Design. LAMA plans to announce the new program simultaneously at Sun 'n Fun '07 and at Aero '07 in Germany.
Odds are you've heard of LAMA, the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association, founded in the earliest days of ultralights and gaining renewed importance in this era of Light-Sport Aircraft. Most leading LSA businesses (not only manufacturers) are members; look for the LAMA logo on many websites. *** For 2007, the LAMA business organization has a new trick up its sleeve: a consumer program whereby a qualifying manufacturer can apply a LAMA decal to each LSA produced according to ASTM standards and which has successfully completed a third party compliance verification audit. Sounds pretty dry, yes. But it is critical to lend greater credibility to the ASTM consensus standards. *** A manufacturer declares his airplane compliant. LAMA sends a contractor to assure the standard was properly met. In the future LSA consumers should look for the LAMA decal to know it was built by a company whose compliance documents and processes have been verified. FAA and EAA have voiced very strong support for the audit and decal program.

U.S. Built A-22 Valor Wins SLSA #49
By Dan Johnson, April 8, 2007
Using see-through doors and aft fuselage plus a windscreen that extends overhead, A-22 is a visually open LSA. Read about Aeroprakt, the company, or read my A-20 report. I expect to fly and report on the A-22 soon.
After I flew the A-20 and A-22 near Aeroprakt's Ukraine factory, I felt sure these designs would find their way to the U.S. market. Now that Sebring-based Float Planes and Amphibs (FPNA) assumed import operations from Spectrum Aircraft, you can buy planes like the great-flying A-20 Vista or the tractor engine amphib A-24 Viking. FPNA also builds an amphibious float system for trikes and sells other lines like Quicksilver ultralights and powered parachutes. *** But their newest achievement on March 31st, a couple weeks before Sun 'n Fun 2007, was SLSA approval for the A-22 Valor. FPNA is the manufacturer of this model, purchasing the fuselage and selected other components from designer Aeroprakt in Ukraine, but building 60% of the airplane themselves including wings, avionics and panel work, engine installation, plus all plumbing and electrical. FPNA owner Shawn Okun says the Orlando MIDO office gave their approval. Shawn also hired Jim Stephenson's SAFE organization to assist with SLSA compliance.

LSA Market Shares Based on FAA Registry
By Dan Johnson, April 10, 2007
Since my last update on market shares, the changes aren't dramatic. We now sit one week short of two years of LSA deliveries with 838 registered. This closely parallels my own count. Ten companies have three quarters of the market; earlier nine had 80 percent.
Lots of people want to know...customers, insurance companies, dealers, membership organizations, and, of course, all the manufacturers and importers. We all like to keep score. While I believe FAA data has some delay in reporting, it is a reputable source of info. Here's what their registrations show through the end of March, 2007. *** Flight Design remains #1 at 21% -- #2 American Legend remains the largest U.S. producer with 13% of all registrations. These two are followed by #3 Evektor at 8% -- #4 TL Ultralights (StingSport) at 7% -- #5 Tecnam at 6% -- #6 Fantasy Air at 6% -- #7 AMD (CH-601) at 5% -- #8 LSA America (Skyboy) at 4% -- #9 CubCrafters at 4% -- and #10 Jabiru at 3% of all SLSA registrations. These aircraft account for 552 aircraft or 77% of 719 registered SLSA airplanes. A registered SLSA may not have been delivered to a customer. *** One surprise in FAA's numbers is weight shift, which accounts for 103 registrations (12% of all SLSA); Air Creation enjoys the lead with over 50% -- AirBorne has 40%. Powered Parachutes account for another 16 registrations or about 2% of the total. As with all such counts, changes will occur; a few significant players still don't make a big impact on the totals but cannot be ignored.

Sun 'n Fun '07 Opens Strongly; LSA Amphibs OK'd
By Dan Johnson, April 19, 2007
In this view of the LAMA hospitality tent and area, a SeaMax amphib retracts its wheels for visitors. Thanks to work by EAA and others, FAA is finally ready to approve "repositionable" gear. With an effective date of June 2007, LSA seaplane enthusiasts can rejoice. Read EAA's Update. Photo by Randee Laskewitz
Season-opening Sun 'n Fun is crackling with excitement, enough so to make SPLOG posting a late-night effort. What a pleasure it is to be here, compared to my miss last year; thanks to many who welcomed me back! I've been working with Sun 'n Fun boss John Burton regarding Light-Sport Aircraft and ultralights. John and his team provided a terrific location where LAMA and LSA Marketing Group erected a big tent, thanks to several industry sponsors*. Shiny new LSA greet everyone arriving through the main gate; airplanes are changed almost daily. I estimate 75-80% of all people attending Sun 'n Fun view the LSA display. In addition to promoting their own products, all companies participating in the location are helping attendees find the LSA or ultralight company they wish to visit -- a key reason Sun 'n Fun offered the entrance area space. (* Sponsors include Sky Arrow USA, Sport Aircraft Works, FK Lightplanes, Jabiru USA, Fantasy Air USA, LSA America, Evektor America, BRS parachutes, Chuck Parsons, Larry Burke, and Doug Hempstead.)

Sun 'n Fun Ran Simultaneously with Germany's Aero
By Dan Johnson, April 23, 2007
The fourth best selling LSA model is the StingSport sold in America through SportairUSA. Early next year, the TL-3000 Sirius should start arriving in the U.S. At the German Aero show, the Czech producer debuted this new high wing LSA.
Talk about your transatlantic jet set...a number of exhibitors attended the first few days of Sun 'n Fun and then blasted off for the south of Germany, to Aero -- an every-other-year airshow that has become a focus for light-sport airplanes. EAA Sport Pilot editor, Mary Jones posted news including, "To the delight of most European manufacturers, Alain Leroy, who heads certification in the safety branch of [European authority] EASA, committed to the release of a notice of proposed amendment (similar to a U.S. NPRM) by June of 2007 that would outline rules under which a new light-sport aircraft category might operate." Leroy had said earlier at Aero that EASA was also looking to the ASTM standards as the certification method for a European LSA. *** A major aircraft announcement was the new high wing design from TL Ultralight, manufacturer of the StingSport sold by SportairUSA. TL introduced their TL-3000 Sirius adding that they hoped to start production by January 2008.

Cessna Sport Sports a New Nose Job
By Dan Johnson, April 26, 2007
Top: Austrian Rotax Sport at AirVenture Oshkosh 2006. Below: American Continental Sport at Sun 'n Fun 2007. Both supply 100 horsepower.
Sun 'n Fun 2007 brought several interesting announcements; you'll want to keep reading SPLOG in the days ahead. One surprise was what Cessna did with the Sport, their possible entry into the LSA field. Comments ranged from, "Now, that's the right engine to use" to "What an ugly cowling" to other vivid expressions. Cessna shoehorned a 100-hp O-200 Continental into their proof-of-concept LSA entry (still with a spartan interior). Well, truthfully, it doesn't look like much shoehorning happened. Instead, to accommodate the Continental, Sport's nose cowling now bulges like a weightlifter. The O-200 also adds weight -- reportedly "only" 30 pounds when Continental releases their Light Sport engine. That will further squeeze useful load but the Continental engine may satisfy a flock of potential Cessna Sport buyers -- when and if the Wichita giant decides to produce it. General aviation still has a legion of folks who don't like the Rotax 912 series that otherwise dominates light-sport aviation. Maybe they just don't understand its strengths but Rotax has yet to win the hearts of GA mechanics.

Jay Kurtz and His RV-9 ELSA!
By Dan Johnson, April 28, 2007
If you'd like more info on the RV-9 as a Sport Pilot-eligible aircraft, e-mail Jay. And if you'd like to own one of central Florida's favorite airports...yep, South Lakeland is for sale.
Jay Kurtz is the owner of South Lakeland airport (X49), where vendors often conduct customer demonstration flights a mere four miles away from Sun 'n Fun. A longtime participant in ultralight aviation, Jay's built RANS models, Capella designs, and a "regular" RV-9A. But it's his second RV-9 that really has him revved up; this one is can be flown by a Sport Pilot! Not possible? Too fast and too heavy? Wrong! Jay's RV-9 ELSA weighs 906 pounds empty and is headed to 875 pounds with planned weight savings. Powered by a 108-hp Lycoming O-235, speed is prop controlled to reach 134 mph at max continuous power. *** With the required 10 hours now flown off Jay can use the ELSA like any other Light-Sport Aircraft. And he reports the weight reductions to stay under 1,320 pounds gross transformed the '9 ELSA. "I approach at 60 mph, 20 slower than the RV-9A!" Jay also raved about handling and slow speed flight characteristics. I flew with Jay in his regular RV-9A and it flies as well as all Van's Aircraft models. Yet Jay remains super enthusiastic over his '9 ELSA, "I've seen the magic of keeping airplanes light."

Light Sport Airplanes West Officially Opens
By Dan Johnson, April 29, 2007
On a gorgeous April 28th, Light Sport Airplanes West brought industry leaders for the Grand Opening of their 5,600 square foot showroom/mall (lower photo). Pictured above (L-R) are Tom Peghiny and John Dunham of Flight Design USA with LSA West owner Mike Fletcher.
Within 24 hours of getting home from Sun 'n Fun, several industry leaders including Evektor America's Jeff Conrad, Flight Design USA's Tom Peghiny, Jabiru USA's Ed Ricks, and BRS parachute's Gregg Ellsworth packed up and headed off to California. What motivated these men to depart so soon after a long week in Florida? They all wanted to support proprietor Mike Fletcher as he and his staff celebrated the Grand Opening of Light Sport Airplanes West. I also flew out to join the party for America's largest LSA showroom and a grand affair it was. Estimates put attendance at 300 (I suspect that didn't include everyone present as some 100 aircraft flew in). Representing the Sportstar, CTsw, and J-250 plus the Remos G-3, TL Ultralight StingSport, and Tecnam, LSA West has an impressive line and a large inventory of LSA in stock. The Salinas, California-based operation also conducts flight training and represents some brands up and down the west coast. Various media people attended inlcuding a writer from Flying magazine) and Salinas Mayor Dennis Donohue spoke at the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Aircraft Design Holy Grail...& Arion's Lightning
By Dan Johnson, May 3, 2007
Arion's Lightning borrows from Esquale, RVs, Dynamic, Lancair, and Toxo; such idea-sharing is a tradition in aircraft design. With a gross weight limitation, no wheels pants, vortex generators (or a coming extended wing) and the right prop, Lightning can be built and flown by a Sport Pilot. Arion has no current plans for a SLSA. Pictured are (L-R) Pete Krotje and Nick Otterback. Also...info on Jabiru USA.
A standard measuring stick for aircraft design is the ratio of minimum speed to maximum speed. Powerful jets like the Blue Angels' F/A-18 (along with a government credit card to fuel them) can perform in airshows from 120 mph to 700 mph, almost a 6:1 ratio. But for airplanes you and I can afford, a ratio greater than 3:1 is good with 4:1 being the holy grail. In my experience, a 4:1 ratio is rare; a LSA that stalls at 40 knots and tops out at 120 knots represents only 3:1. *** Recently I flew the Arion Aircraft Lightning. Yielding a fine experience with quick yet stable handling, short takeoffs and easy landings plus mild stalls, Lightning also proved a handsome performer. Nick Otterback reports flying Lightning to better than 200 mph and I held around 40 mph in slow flight. Even assuming instrument error at slow speeds, that's still well beyond the 4:1 ratio. Check Lightning performance specs.

Aircraft Sweepstakes Give Away Two LSA
By Dan Johnson, May 9, 2007
Sportsplanes.com leader Josh Foss (left) poses with Sun 'n Fun president John Burton and Dan Rozsa (right) of Mountain Aircraft in front of an American Flyer. *** This deluxe Sport Cub (bottom photo) was won by a lucky George Carley.
Want to win a free Light-Sport Aircraft? You missed one chance but the other is still available. Organizations like EAA, AOPA, and Sporty's have given away airplanes as incentives. Now, LSA have "arrived." *** At the May 2008 Alaska Airmen event, CubCrafters supported the organizer's fundraiser; a $50 ticket bought you a chance to win a $130,000 Sport Cub. This LSA was generously equipped and had a new red-over-white paint scheme (photo) plus the first pair of lightweight, Kevlar-reinforced, 26-inch tundra tires that are "perfect for Alaska pilots," said CubCrafters VP Todd Simmons. *** The LSA you can still win is Sun 'n Fun's first-ever sweepstakes airplane: a Mountain Aircraft American Flyer, distributed nationally by Sportsplanes.com who donated the aircraft with support from others including Lockwood Aircraft Supply. The famous Florida airshow will announce the winner on opening day of their 2008 event (April 8-14). Tickets are only $5 or five for $20 to win the well-equipped airplane valued at $79,795.

SLSA Number 50 Is Powrachute's AirWolf 912
By Dan Johnson, May 15, 2007
A few years back, when powered parachutes were all the rage, Powrachute arrived on the scene with a a big splash. The brand distinguished itself for hardware more built-to-order than gusseted tubing constructions that were common then. The company's flare for finish remains through new ownership.
Right at the two year point since the first Special Light-Sport Aircraft approval, Powrachute's AirWolf 912 powered parachute brings the certified fleet total to 50 SLSA models. Forty two of them are airplanes (the fixed wing variety) with five being weight shift (trikes), and three powered parachutes. Among PPCs, the Canadian Summit II was first in 2006 followed by Infinity's Commander early this year. *** Team Powrachute loads up their AirWolf 912 with the electric start 100-hp Rotax, a four-blade Warp Drive composite prop with Super Hub, an Electronic Info System with instrument pod, extended footbars, spun aluminum wheels, tundra tires, dual hydraulic main gear suspension paired with springs, stainless exhaust, strobe light, electric fuel pump, dry cell battery, four-point seat belts, oversize canopy carry bag with line socks and a choice of parachute sizes and colors. While some complain about the cost of LSA, here's one with a four-stroke engine for less than $31,000. Worth another look?

Czech Republic Is the Major LSA Exporter
By Dan Johnson, May 16, 2007
Czech Republic producers make such SLSA as: Sportstar; Allegro 2000; StingSport (photo); KP-5; Savage; Parrot; SportCruiser; Mermaid; Faeta; Skyboy; and Mystique.
You can hardly doubt the headline. A cruise through our SLSA List will show almost a quarter of all (12 of 50) designs that have won certification are from the Czech Republic. Even the USA counts only 11 SLSA models so far. Yet perhaps showing global cross-pollination, at least two Czech producers are owned by Americans (Czech Aircraft Works and Interplane). Even inside the Czech Republic one company often builds parts used by others. Since the Soviets withdrew 17 years ago, the Czech Republic has embraced recreational aviation with excellent success. *** Of course, Germany, Italy, France and Spain plus East European producers in Poland, Romania, and Hungary have also made their impact in the American LSA market. So, ASTM's LSA committee will hold its next standards writing and review session in Prague, Czech Republic. I'll be going as will several other American leaders, partly as a significant gathering of EU aviation officials will also meet in conjunction with the ASTM meeting.

Here Come the LSA Hybrids...Storm Rally & Others
By Dan Johnson, May 18, 2007
Air Elite Aviation is the U.S. distributor for aircraft built in the USA by Prestige. AEA proprietor Rodger Whaley poses by the first American-built Storm Rally, whose gull-wing doors can be opened in flight at speeds of 60 knots. Look for my upcoming Rally pilot report.
In the auto industry "hybrid" infers the use of multiple technologies (think: Toyota Prius). In aviation, hybrid could mean an airplane designed in one country and built in another. Even Boeing farms out subassemblies worldwide, integrating them in America. Car companies coined "domestic content" to state what portion of a car is "Made in the USA." *** We're doing it in LSA, too. Besides the Storm Rally (photo), Jabiru 170 and 250 and the Delta Jet 912 trike are hybrids. The Italian-designed, Canadian-owned, Skykits line is U.S.-built. *** Prestige Aircraft is the licensed manufacturer for aircraft designed by Storm Aircraft of Italy. Like Jabiru USA, Prestige brings in major components, assembles them, and finishes with U.S.-sourced elements, which better addresses the American market. Storm Rally comes with basic VFR flight instruments and equipment, including a turn-coordinator, tail-strobe, Icon 200 radio, and Garmin transponder with altitude encoder. Somewhat unusually, Prestige models also come with a limited 2-year, or 1000-hour warranty.

Light-Sport FAA Registrations Continue to Rise
By Dan Johnson, May 21, 2007
In the last month, market shares didn't change significantly with the Top Five retaining their positions even while additional newcomers entered the market. Thanks to Jan Fridrich of the Czech LAA for help with the data collection.
Based on FAA data* from early May, 92 new SLSA registrations brought total SLSA to 930 aircraft, up 11% in one month and up 46% since January 2007. *** For sellers in the market, it has become more crowded. Eighteen months ago the LSA community had certified 16 new models; now, we're at 50. More choice is great for consumers but it's challenging for sellers as many choices can slow the purchase decision and new players eat away at market leader shares. *** Despite that observation, the big sellers remain on top. Flight Design retains its leadership position, as does U.S. builder, American Legend (chart). Evektor (#3) and TL Ultralight (#4) held their positions while Tecnam and Fantasy Air moved up one. Some shuffling occurred below the Top Five with U.S. producers AMD and CubCrafters generating more registrations. Jabiru USA moved up a notch and Aeropro and Remos made the top ten...albeit because of two ties. * FAA registrations do not precisely equal customer deliveries.

Where Are Newer LSA Stars Like SportCruiser?
By Dan Johnson, May 27, 2007
With their factory move completed, CZAW models are arriving in greater numbers. Now in its third generation, read my 2G SportCruiser report from last August and watch for a SPLOG update from the Czech Republic in a few days. And...coming this summer: SportCruiser Quick-Build Kit (inset).
Over a short evaluation period of 25 months we've seen fairly consistent results in the top ten of LSA producers based on FAA registrations (see 5/21/07 SPLOG). But that doesn't tell the whole story. Take Czech Aircraft Works (CZAW) and their best seller, the $75,000 Sport Cruiser. U.S. marketing and sales manager Bob Anderson reported, "CZAW raised additional equity capital last summer to finance a massive expansion." The company is now housed in a 120,000 square-foot facility. CZAW president, Chip Erwin said, "We have skilled engineers and modern equipment in place. Our production ramp-up is not a 'future claim.' We're doing it right now." Anderson said part of the investment bought nearly a million dollars of state-of-the-art CNC equipment for matched-hole technology parts. The American-owned, Czech-based company has been delivering over 100 airplanes and kits per year from a smaller factory. They've shipped more than 850 aircraft to date. Anderson spoke of 10 SportCruisers delivered to customers just since Sun 'n Fun 2007...all fresh from the new factory. Take a tour! Or, communicate with other SportCruiser owners.

High-Tech Sport Cub? Yes, Precisely.
By Dan Johnson, May 31, 2007
Sport Cub makes use of carbon fiber components and careful design to hold its weight down to 825-860 pounds depending on options chosen. In ASTM standards, a minimum useful load is specified, so no 2-seat SLSA with 100 horsepower may have an empty weight greater than 890 pounds. Read my pilot report in the July 2007 Sport Pilot.
I admit to being somewhat surprised at the success of the LSA Cubs. We have no less than three brands with SLSA approval: American Legend, Zlin Savage, and CubCrafters. Two of these (Legend and CubCrafters) are in the top ten of Light-Sport registrations and account for an astounding one in six LSA in the USA (by itself Legend represents about one in eight). Despite a tendency to lump them together, they are distinctly different offerings. The Zlin Savage is the only one using a Rotax 912 engine and it is still selling for the remarkably low price of $60,000. Legend is...well, already a legend and can be powered by Contentinal or Jabiru. Though CubCrafters earned certification later -- despite being a Part 23 production facility -- the Continental-powered Sport Cub is the most deluxe of the trio, and is priced to match (more than $100,000 with options). But the Washington state company worked hard to keep their airplane lighter, to be sure it qualifies with ASTM standards.

Observing LAMA's Audit of Czech Aircraft Works
By Dan Johnson, June 5, 2007
These photos show portions of the 120,000 square foot factory now housing Czech Aircraft Works. Pictured are (L) Tom Gunnarson, president of LAMA and proprietor of Aviation Services, and (R) Jiri Konecny, technical manager of CZAW. The two men are reviewing ASTM standards to prove CZAW compliance.
At Sun 'n Fun 2007 and Aero 2007, LAMA announced its voluntary ASTM compliance audit program. For consumers this will be known through the LAMA decal applied to all Special Light-Sport Aircraft after a manufacturer successfully completes an audit. Admittedly a dry subject, LAMA audits give consumers additional assurance that a manufacturer actually meets the standard used to win SLSA airworthiness. *** Aviation Services proprietor Tom Gunnarson has conducted four audits already but as LAMA Chairman, I wanted to observe an audit. So, I traveled with Tom to Czech Aircraft Works just before the Prague ASTM meeting in early June. I can attest that this is a thorough ("exhausting" is another word), days-long effort that goes line by line through ASTM standards. It doesn't guarantee a "good" aircraft but can assure buyers that the airplane is what the manufacturer says it is. LSA pilots should be pleased this occurs and should start looking for the LAMA decal on the airplane of their choice.

ASTM Draws Competitors Together in Prague
By Dan Johnson, June 11, 2007
Competing leaders from both sides of the Atlantic shake hands. Shown from left to right are Frank Hoffmann of BRS, Milan Babovka and Vit Hrusa of Galaxy, Gregg Ellsworth of BRS, Milos Straka and Petr Straka of Stratos O7 (known to consumers as Magnum).
Since 2002 when the F37 Light-Sport Aircraft Committee was formed to write standards used to certify these new aircraft, competitors have sat shoulder to shoulder in meetings. Though pursuing the same customer base, these businesses cooperated in a model closely watched by the general aviation industry, the FAA, and many foreign regulators. They've done admirably well. International standards association ASTM holds F37 up as a shining example of the process working well, and fast, in a volunteer environment. *** At the first European gathering of F37, one remarkable group convened. All three producers of ballistically-deployed emergency parachutes met face-to-face for the first time. More importantly, they came to agreement on changes to the standard for emergency safety 'chutes for LSA Such coming together of true industry experts is precisely what FAA hoped for from the beginning. Three companies met in Prague, Czech Republic -- a location intended to invite greater European involvement as so many LSA come from the region and this country: BRS Parachutes, Galaxy High Technology, and Stratos 07.

The (ASTM) Gang's All Over Here!
By Dan Johnson, June 12, 2007
Many of the ASTM cast of standard writers posed for a shot in front the Prague Aeroclub hangar at Letnany airport. Several manufacturers brought in their LSA from the region. And our FAA friend Larry Werth (lower right) enjoyed having a look at the airplanes present.
Who can blame you if you don't get all excited about ASTM standard writing? But without this largely volunteer work by industry leaders, we simply would not have any LSA for pilots to enjoy. And...we don't have FAA telling us what to do. You ought to love that part! (At the same time, I know not everyone is thrilled about $100,000 LSA -- but news is coming regarding airplanes at more modest prices.) *** The ASTM committee met in Prague as a rather large group thanks partly to the European location. About one in four LSA sold in America come from the Czech Republic, so it made sense to meet here. The F37 committee will again return to Europe in 2009, just before the popular Aero show in Germany. *** It isn't all hard work, though. On one pleasant June evening, we all went to the local Aeroclub airport and enjoyed a pig roast and golden beverages. It was great to see many European friends I've met and to observe the health of flying for fun on this side of the Atlantic.

LSA Euro-Factory Tour: Evektor, Czech Republic
By Dan Johnson, June 19, 2007
In Evektor's clean facilities we see (clockwise from top left): a rib stamping operation, SportStars being prepared for the paint booth, finished Light-Sport Aircraft destined for the U.S., and technicians working on the Super Cobra, Evektor's proposed entry to Part 23 aircraft.
On the same field in the southeastern Czech Republic as used by Czech Aircraft Works is Evektor, builder of the #3-selling SportStar. Coincidence? Not at all. This region, including nearby Slovak Republic and Poland, forms an aviation-intensive region that has attracted many companies. CZAW occupies buildings used in the Soviet era by Let Aircraft, a major producer of transport aircraft. In newer quarters on the opposite side of the airport is Evektor. *** Beside producing the first SLSA in America, Evektor is an engineering and design powerhouse. Of their several hundred employees, the company has nearly 200 engineers doing work for the aircraft and auto industries (which helped their success at being first to meet ASTM standards). Evektor builds an all-metal airplane using many components subcontracted to businesses in the area then assembling them into the beautifully finished LSA we see here in the U.S. According to Evektor America, more SportStars are in use in U.S. flight schools (~20) than any other LSA.

LSA Euro-Factory Tour: Flight Design, Ukraine
By Dan Johnson, June 25, 2007
Looking very different than the all-metal factories recently SPLOGged, Flight Design's primary production facility in southeastern Ukraine works 98% with carbon fiber.
The Czech Republic featured in the last few SPLOGs may not be well known to Americans, but Ukraine seems yet another world away. Indeed, our jetliner flew almost two hours further east to Odessa and then we took a three-hour car ride to Kherson, home to the primary production facility for German-owned Flight Design. *** The experience of touring their facility was dramatically different than CZAW or Evektor as Flight Designs works almost exclusively with carbon fiber. Now in its second decade of production CT is America's best-selling LSA and its factory has grown accordingly. More than 500 Ukrainian employees -- engineers, designers, managers, technicians, and factory employees -- toil in a sprawling facility not far from the Black Sea. Senior management is German but the entire facility is run by local talent. Interestingly, staff meetings are held in English. Though still Soviet-like in its drab surroundings, the factory pulses with modern activity; on the day I visited, another five CTs left on trucks for Germany where they are final checked, test flown, and prepared for shipment all over the world.

iPhone Fever...and Light-Sport Aviation?
By Dan Johnson, June 29, 2007
Apple's new iPhone features UltraFlight Radio podcasts.
Unless you've been off-planet, you've surely seen ads or publicity for Apple's iPhone, which goes on sale today. The ultra-cool device has many nifty features but one service it offers is podcasts, some of which are about aviation. *** A favorite of many ByDanJohnson.com readers is Roy Beisswenger's UltraFlight Radio. Podcasts are offered by segment; this means each interview is available separately from the whole two-hour weekly Internet radio broadcast. These podcasts have become available free-of-charge on iTunes and they have long been archived on Roy's UltraFlight Radio website. Roy reports that more shows are heard from archive than live (understandable for the convenience) but with the iTunes podcast listing, you can pick them up easily at your leisure. *** With today's much-hyped introduction of the iPhone, you'll be able to listen to his interviews of LSA leaders where ever you are. Roy's topics range widely throughout sport aviation often including interviews of LSA producers.

Finally, Fifty One! Russian Sigma Is Newest SLSA
By Dan Johnson, June 30, 2007
For more information on the VVV Avia Elitar Sigma, contact A&P Aircraft at (631) 588-7771 or email Ed Libassi.
It's been a couple quiet months since the last SLSA approval but we finally gained another. At Oshkosh 2005, an unusual LSA candidate from Russia grabbed the attention of many. Sigma is a high-wing tractor-engined airplane with a unique teardrop-shaped fuselage offering a helicopter-like view for the pilot and passenger. The aircraft from VVV Avia features a basic metal framework with composite wings and fairings. On June 27th, Sigma became #51 to win Special Light-Sport Aircraft approval after a long effort thanks partly to support by LAMA president Tom Gunnarson. FAA designated airworthiness representative (DAR) Joe Gauthier and local FAA Manufacturing Inspection District Office (MIDO) Senior Inspector Gregg Behonick spent the better part of the day reviewing documentation and inspecting the aircraft, culminating in their granting of an SLSA airworthiness certificate. "The inspection was conducted at importer A&P Aircraft's facilities on MacArthur Airport on Long Island, NY where proprietor Edward Libassi runs an aircraft service center," reported Gunnarson. The Russian company also builds the more conventional-looking Elitar-202 but it is too heavy to qualify as a LSA.
 
 

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?

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

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.

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

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!


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.


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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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