Tom Peghiny of Flight Design USA sells the No. 1 LSA in the country, the Flight Design CTLS. But he’s also selling fun.
“We need to convince people not only that LSA is a good investment in their lives, but it’s a lot of fun,” he says.
He’s obviously having some success with that sales pitch.
The company had a “very successful” 2008, capturing market share of 19%, far above even its closest competitor. Sales so far this year are down about 30%, but those are numbers that are “sustainable and healthy” for the company, he said.
So far this year, the company sold 22 airplanes before arriving at Sun ‘n Fun. The first two days of the show, it sold another five airplanes.
The economic downturn actually has brought a new kind of customer to Flight Design, he added.
“We find we are appealing to a broader group of pilots, including some who might have bought other aircraft,” he said.
Flight Design’s progressive company culture, with continuous refinements and enhancements, contributes to those sales, Peghiny believes. “It keeps the design fresh,” he said.
The latest enhancement is the new hybrid engine, which was unveiled at the Aero show in Friedrichshafen, Germany, earlier this month.
The Hybrid Power Engine modifies a standard Rotax 914 engine, adding a 40-hp electric motor, which is used for takeoffs and when full power is needed.
For more information: FlightDesignUSA.com.