In the month of July 2007 the LSA industry registered 71 more aircraft bringing the total to 904 fixed wing airplanes. That represents a spurt of 11% in one month and an even 60% growth in registered LSA since January 1st 2007. *** In all categories, Americans are flying 1,134 SLSA. Weight Shift aircraft registered an additional 27 aircraft, powered parachutes added 6 and LSA gliders achieved their first registration. *** The leading companies (see chart) were barely changed with the top five holding nearly identical market share from last month. CubCrafters inched up a notch and Czech Aircraft Works narrowly passed Remos. Further down the market share list, positions still saw little fluctuation. This equilibrium will surely be disturbed with the entry of Cirrus (by August 2008, they say) and Cessna* (in the second half of 2009) but for 27 months, customers have generally kept their brand loyalties. *Cessna reported more than 550 sales in the week of AirVenture Oshkosh.
After 26 months and a few days, LSA now exceed 1,000 aircraft in the U.S. certified aircraft fleet. That sum represents an annual sales rate of nearly 500 aircraft per year. Since June 1st, another 49 fixed wing aircraft have been added, an annual rate of almost 600 aircraft. *** Of 1,030 registered as of July 1st, 81% or 833 are airplanes, 153 (15%) are weight shift control “trikes,” and 44 (4%) are powered parachutes. No gyros, gliders, or light-than-air have been certified or registered at this time. As always, be aware that FAA registrations may not precisely equal total customer deliveries. *** Our top three leaders — Flight Design, American Legend, and Evektor — held their positions. Tecnam again gained a notch, now occupying the #4 position. Jabiru USA and Remos also moved upward (at least in percentage) and Czech Aircraft Works elbowed into the Top Twelve.
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.
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.
To say the pace has been frenetic for professionals in the LSA industry is both understatement and nothing new to those involved. Most LSA pros are working “day and night” (as one put it) just to get all the work done. It makes for a very exciting time as well as an exhausting one. The chart to the side shows their progress in graphical form. Based on a measurement at the 18-month point, nine companies have made 80% of the SLSA deliveries. But companies that hardly factored in this count are beginning to ship and future shares are certain to change. Early leaders are well positioned to grow (even given Cessna’s possible LSA entry). *** To help you keep up with the warp speed developments, I am happy to introduce the “SLSA List” under the Light-Sport Aircraft tab. This new list is fully up-to-date and I’ll try to keep it so.