The Marana Regional Airport, in Marana Arizona was the site of the first annual U.S. Flight Expo May 3–6, 2017. The west coast of the U.S. appears to lack major aviation events of the sort commonly seen in the easter U.S. This is especially odd considering the large number of pilots and aircraft in western states! (Some have observed how western populations are spread over a much larger area, which possibly accounts for this disparity. —DJ) One of the most successful annual aviation events not sponsored by a member organization is the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring Florida, which will celebrate its 14th year in 2018! Others have followed (Midwest LSA Expo &DeLand) but these sector-specific shows are still concentrated in the east. So it was about time for another western event other than Copperstate, which will celebrate its 45th year in 2017. Using the template that original director Robert Woods used to make Sebring such a success, Greg Hobbs — one of the leading organizers of the U.S.
Welcome back to Paradise, that is, welcome to Brazilian producer Paradise Aircraft to the tropical paradise of Florida where the southern hemisphere builder has set up a remote manufacturing operation. They also began bringing in the significantly-revised P1NG -- dubbed "Ping" -- although it actually refers to the Next Generation version of their P1 model we've seen in the U.S. for some years. In this video we hear about the company and the alterations in the model.
Welcome back to Paradise, that is, welcome to Brazilian producer Paradise Aircraft to the tropical paradise of Florida where the southern hemisphere builder has set up a remote manufacturing operation. They also began bringing in the significantly-revised P1NG — dubbed “Ping” — although it actually refers to the Next Generation version of their P1 model we’ve seen in the U.S. for some years. In this video we hear about the company and the alterations in the model.
Paradise has found success from buyers to rise into the top 20 of LSA manufacturers. While the company has changed U.S. distributors, the Brazilian base for this attractive all-metal, yoke-controlled aircraft is healthy and growing. We spoke with the designer and learn more about the large-cabin airplane at Sun 'n Fun 2011.
Paradise has found success from buyers to rise into the top 20 of LSA manufacturers. While the company has changed U.S. distributors, the Brazilian base for this attractive all-metal, yoke-controlled aircraft is healthy and growing. We spoke with the designer and learn more about the large-cabin airplane at Sun ‘n Fun 2011.
If you are a conventional general aviation pilot used to Cessna aircraft, you'll probably love the Paradise P1. It looks somewhat similar, has room to carry bulky items and flies like most pilots expect. Paradise's P1 is one of only a few Light-Sport Aircraft that use a yoke for primary control, but that will be familiar to legions of GA-trained pilots.
If you are a conventional general aviation pilot used to Cessna aircraft, you’ll probably love the Paradise P1. It looks somewhat similar, has room to carry bulky items and flies like most pilots expect. Paradise’s P1 is one of only a few Light-Sport Aircraft that use a yoke for primary control, but that will be familiar to legions of GA-trained pilots.
Yes, they call it “Ping” among themselves but it is actually P1 NG, as in Next Generation. “Ping” has a few American user-friendly changes from the earlier P1 brought about by comments from U.S. representatives of the Brazilian design. I’ll get into the aircraft changes in a moment but first let me remind you what Paradise Aircraft has done. The brand is well established in the southern hemisphere country where they manufacture a line of two and four seat aircraft. These designs have found favor with Brazilian farmers some of whom operate vast operations that are distant from the population areas so they use aircraft to manage their enterprises. If you’ve followed the news, you may know the natural-resources-rich Brazil has experienced an economic decline as commodity prices have fallen, driven heavily by China’s pullback on those purchases while its economy cools. The government of Brazil did not keep up with the changing times and current president Dilma Rousseff is suffering from very low approval ratings.
Back a decade, soon to mark eleven years of operation the Sebring U.S. Sport Aviation Expo had a goal of putting the KSEF airport on the map. Doing so should attract business activity. Expo focused on the new segment of aviation — Light-Sport Aircraft — although it also included ultralights, lighter kit-built aircraft, and on occasion, conventional GA airplanes. It appears that 2014 is the year that goal was met. Sebring now claims longtime light airplane resident Lockwood Aircraft, added Tecnam of Italy in the spring with a major new facility, and in November garnered Paradise Aircraft of Brazil. The south of the equator company announced it had leased a 5,000 square foot hangar to launch their U.S. manufacturing and distribution operations. In a visit earlier this fall, Noe Oliveira told me that he was taking steps to build aircraft in Sebring for sale in the USA but also for export to other countries.
P1NG is not a sound nor golf equipment. The clever name (that’s a “1” not an “i”) is similar to a plane you know as the Paradise P1. Now get ready for the “Next Generation” P1, or simply, P1NG. The P1 you may have already seen was designed around a four-seat model with the aft cabin simplified to a luggage space. More on the entire family of Paradise airplanes below. P1 and P1NG offer more cubic area than most cockpits in light aviation. Besides a spacious cabin the front seats remove in a few seconds allowing an occupant to stretch out fully in its length. Alternatively, P1NG could easily carry golf clubs (you probably ought to load the American Ping brand), a family pet, camping gear, or anything else that fits within the weight & balance envelope. Though absent from the U.S. market for several years, Paradise reports good business in their native Brazil, a large and aviation-active country.
Paradise Aircraft, based in Florida, joins the Facebook crowd with its own fan page here. Chris Regis, U.S. rep for the Brazilian-based company which has certified the airplane in the United States, Brazil, Australia and South Africa, tells me the company is moving ahead after a good spring sales performance with some company and product updates. *** On the Facebook page you’ll find an a aerial view of the new 75,000 sq. ft. factory for producing the Paradise P1. The design just celebrated its 10th anniversary at the end of 2009. *** Carbon-fiber float maker Mead and Paradise have teamed up to offer amphibious floats for the P1. *** The camping picture from owners Neil and Karen Salmi shows the “stuff” carrying ability of the P1. Not a lot of LSA could carry that volume of gear. Of course the total 1,320 lb.
Molly McMillin of the Wichita Eagle reports today that Cessna is speeding up its deliveries of the C-162 throughout 2010, after delays were announced early in the year. The announcement was made at the Aero Expo in Germany today. *** McMillin also writes that Cessna veep John Doman believes the piston-powered aircraft market may be stabilizing and could turn around soon to a growth profile, perhaps as early as mid-2011. *** In a related story, Shenyang Aircraft of China, the state-owned manufacturer of the Skycatcher airframe for Cessna, plans to build a new factory to expand its production volume. *** An airport will also be built at the site — but original plans for a mid-2010 opening have been delayed to 2011. *** Future Skycatchers will still be outfitted and test-flown in Wichita. *** UPDATE on Michael Combs “Flight for the Human Spirit” odyssey: he’s off and flying! The nasty Salina, KS weather that kept him on the ground for 3 days broke today and he promptly launched.
Here’s some notes from a release sent to me from Chris Regis. *** His family’s Paradise Aircraft makes the all-metal P-1 SLSA, which I’ve featured here in the past. *** Paradise started in Brazil in 1985, and has its HQ and a big new factory there, as well as the U.S. presence which Chris wrangles along with his dad, Gen. Mgr. Paolo Oliveira. *** I also did a story then about Dylan Redd, a paraplegic young man who flies a specially-modified all-hand-control P-1. *** Chris is one of the people I look forward to running into at airshows. His constant smile and genuine, sunny disposition bring a lift to the heavy workload that shooting/flying/talking/writing at the shows often is. *** Back to Paradise, which has just partnered with Travers & Associates, an aviation insurance brokerage established in 1950. *** The company covers P-1s based in the USA with favorable rates.
Paradise USA just marked the 10th Anniversary of its P1 design with some positive and encouraging signs for the industry: *** The Paradise P1, which I did a story on this year, is now certified in the U.S., Brazil (it’s home company has a new 75,000 sq. ft. factory there), Australia and South Africa. My story in the mag focused on Dylan Redd, who flies a specially-modified P1 with hand controls for paraplegic pilots. *** The Sebring-based U.S. arm of the company markets the P1, an excellent SLSA that’s based on a four-seat design, so for one thing it’s got a lot of room behind the seats for baggage, something that’s not that common for the industry. *** Paradise has designed and marketed eight different aircraft since 1985. *** Here’s a big congrats to Chris and crew and best wishes for another 10 years of successful LSA design and marketing.
As the challenging year for aircraft sales grinds on, Light-Sport Aircraft continue to hold their own. In tough times, when cash is tight, small enterprises may fare better than large companies. Their low expense structures, modestly compensated managers and employees, and lean manufacturing — as allowed by industry-standards certification — become strengths. *** But we see another quality. The half-million-plus general aviation pilots are more accepting of LSA today than three years ago. Organizations like AOPA are more fully embracing LSA, because their members are calling to ask questions. (Watch for a surprise LSA announcement at AOPA’s Aviation Summit in about a month!) GA pilots make up most buyers of LSA and those aviators now recognize the brands and have begun to acquire faith in companies certifying themselves (though many are still reserving judgement). *** Through August, a full month after AirVenture, the LSA fleet has grown to just under 1,700 fully-built aircraft not including ELSA kits or alternative aircraft like trikes and powered parachutes, nor any converted ultralights.
Exhibitor Chris Regis of Paradise USA (representing the P-1) reported “good visitor traffic” and “excellent organization” from the people behind the Heart of Texas LSA Expo. The new event, held over March 8 & 9 is one of two planned shows following the strong 2009 performance at the pioneer of LSA Expos, the Sebring U.S. Sport Aviation Expo. *** Several reports reminded me of the 13-city Sport Pilot Tour held during 2005 and 2006. Each of those events drew 10-20 exhibiting LSA and attracted 300-700 people at locations across the USA. The numbers sound small to those enamored of the huge crowds at Oshkosh. But, in fact, the Sport Pilot Tour, with its focused marketing on LSA only, helped customers find the manufacturer they were seeking. Everyone who came was interested in LSA and a vendor could speak to nearly all of them.
In FAA’s official letter sent by John Colomy, Acting Manager of the Small Aircraft Directorate, the Federal Aviation Administration states, “The majority of facility assessments are now complete and the FAA is confident that LSA manufacturer’s compliance can match that of the commercial aviation manufacturers.” Colomy continues, “This will be a major accomplishment since using consensus standards and compliance self-declarations is a new way of doing business for the LSA industry.” Well, actually, this is the only way the LSA industry has done business. It is “a new way” for the FAA to do business… and congratulations to this federal agency for stepping back from their normal regulatory control. *** At a briefing to industry officials including myself, FAA said they had finished 23 of 29 planned assessments. While FAA was generally pleased with industry participant cooperation and with the compliance of aircraft to the standards, officials conclude, “It is evident that there remain areas for improvement.” How could it be otherwise?
Sun ‘n Fun 2008 is history, but planning is already underway for the 2009 event. Event boss John Burton confirmed we will again have the LAMA-hosted LSA Mall right at the front gate next April 21-26. A major success at this year’s Lakeland, Florida airshow, the industry Mall presentation featured 17 Special Light-Sport Aircraft. Weather prevented Fantasy Air’s Allegro from attending. Two days before the event, a tornado crushed a Sting S3 planned for display. And work at Quicksilver Manufacturing postponed the exhibit of the GT500 (they’re finishing SLSA approval, reports national sales manager, Todd Ellefson). *** The 17 who were in the ’08 LSA Mall enjoyed significant traffic all week and virtually every visitor to Sun ‘n Fun was at least exposed to Light-Sport Aircraft in a wide variety (although we were not able to enlist any trike or powered parachute companies).
SEBRING 2008 UPDATE — OK, two hardly makes an invasion, but after 32 months, we had no Brazilian Special Light-Sport Aircraft; now we have two since Christmas. On January 10th, the American importer of Paradise P-1 won approval to become our newest SLSA model. Like nearly every player in the LSA industry, Paradise will display at Sebring, except this company calls Sebring home so they won’t even get airborne to attend. *** The metal P-1 is a beautifully finished, all-leather interior, spacious airplane in the Cessna 150 tradition…except P-1 offers much better performance to go with the larger cabin. Built of welded 4130 steel tube covered with aluminum, P-1 qualifies for a 1,650-pound gross in Brazil. At 42 inches wide and using panel mounted yokes, Paradise enjoys unhindered floor space with lots of legroom. More than 30 cubic feet of space in the aft cabin (enough for a golf bag) can hold 70 pounds of baggage.