Much lamenting has been heard regarding the price of Light-Sport Aircraft. It isn’t hard to understand given prices that now exceed $140,000. Was such inflation supposed to happen? I’ve explained how this occurred, and the biggest culprit, by far, is the exchange rate difference between dollars and euros. (Other factors include the time value of money and the desire by many buyers to have high-end instrument panels and features.) *** For a time, we thought the low costs of labor in Eastern European countries would overwhelm Yankee producers… and for a time they did. However, RANS — one of America’s most successful kit suppliers (more than 4,000 delivered!) — is offering the S-6ELS at only $63,000. This equates to only $53,500 in 2004 dollars when the new rule came out, which was about the cost of a Flight Design CT at that time. *** The S-6ELS comes with the 80hp Rotax 912 and a decent analog panel in either trigear or taildragger configurations. For those many who want more power and more panel goodies, a “deluxe” version can be bought for $69,995 and includes the 100-hp Rotax 912S with 3-blade prop, Icom radio, intercom, cabin heat, bigger tires, and dual hydraulic brakes. Naturally, you could bid the price up higher with an autopilot, glass screens, and more… but why? The all-American designed and manufactured aircraft with 20 years of user history is all you need for a good time in the air.
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