61-year-old Italian aircraft manufacturer Tecnam has a whole fleet of LSA and general category aircraft at the show, serving notice they’re here to stay. *** At a reception tonight, U.S. Distributor Heart of Virginia and the Tecnam executive team, lead by CEO Phil Solomon, made a bold prediction: they intend the company to be the top-selling LSA maker by 2014. *** Everybody was drooling over the P2008 LSA so I asked Phil to educate me on the gorgeous high winger. *** “It blends a metal wing and Tecnam’s traditional expertise in building metal aircraft with a composite fuselage. The idea was to make the best possible plane they could along with the strength and lightness of carbon fiber. It’s also clear that people are getting larger around the world, so there’s definitely a premium on a wider aircraft. People wanted more luggage space too, and more luxury.” *** “That’s really what Tecnam is trying to address with the P2008: a top-of-the-range, ultimate LSA. The principal market we’re addressing is those who’ve maybe stepped down from a Bonanza or similar, and are simply looking for the best, and willing to pay for it.” *** Price point with the “preferred package” is “just under $170,000″. That includes all the equipment you’ll ever need: Advanced flight Systems twin glass panel, autopilot with altitude hold, XM weather, backup GPS, and more. The idea being there isn’t a lot else an owner is going to want.” *** Call it the Mercedes of LSA. Congratulations are in order: for a stunning airplane, and for its first sale, made here at the show. First deliveries are expected in April or May.”
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