MEXICO, Missouri — A quick build kit of the low-wing CH 650 from Zenith Aircraft Company is now available. The main fuselage of the all-metal, light sport aircraft, is assembled at the factory which cuts built time and simplifies the process. In addition, the kit also offers factory-installed bubble canopy and cabin frame. The new quick build kit costs $22,950 while the regular CH 650 base kit is priced at $18,500.
BY J. DOUGLAS HINTON
With the meltdown of the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine gained its independence, causing private enterprise to bloom, including Kiev-based Aeroprakt company, founded the same year and bolstered by an investment by Saudi Sheik Hussein. The result was several Light-Sport Aircraft, principally the Aeroprakt A22-LS.
Designed by Yuri Yakovlev, the LSA has become so popular around the world that it is currently the only model on Aeroprakt’s production line.
Engineers at Pipistrel must not sleep in too often. This company, which won the NASA efficiency challenge several times — in 2011 taking home a $1.35 million cash prize — just unveiled a full-size version of a sleek four-seat design called the Panthera. Now on the other end of the spectrum comes its Alpha Trainer, a reasonably priced LSA model aimed at the flight instruction market.
As the Light-Sport Aircraft industry ramps up for a summer of flying and the season’s biggest celebration of flight, AirVenture Oshkosh, I am still analyzing the FAA’s recently issued 20-year forecast for aviation, which shows growth prospects for LSAs, while predicting a decline in the total number of piston-powered aircraft. Viewed from a distance, this might seem beneficial to LSA producers and sellers.
Regretfully, I find FAA’s forecast improbable. Not that the agency’s number crunchers are wrong — in fact, I hope they might be right. I simply find a 20-year forecast for an industry only seven years old to be a form of spreadsheet-based palm reading.
That said, here are a few tidbits gleaned from a study of FAA’s spreadsheets: [Read more...]
There’s been a lot of debate in the aviation community over the value and challenges of LSA as flight trainers compared to old standards like Cessna 150s. I’d like to weigh in on some the questions being raised.
Are LSA harder to fly — specifically, are they harder to land? The best way to respond is to say that they are different. [Read more...]
Have you been thinking that it’s been some time since a new Special LSA was announced? While the torrid pace of yesteryear has abated, it ain’t over by a long shot. I know of at least a dozen aircraft still in progress to achieve SLSA status. Now, welcome to Sling, SLSA #125.
After the successful conclusion of its test flight program, Pipistrel has released its newest aircraft, the Pipistrel Alpha Trainer.
In a product launch somewhat comparable to an Apple product event, BRP Rotax recently drew a large group of attendees to its facility in Gunskirchen, Austria, to launch its new 912 iS engine. In the tech world, “i” means Internet. In the light aviation world, or more specifically BRP Rotax’s world, “i” now means injected.
Aerotrek may be one of those “sleepers.” You know, the kind of company that does well, has few problems, and doesn’t need to make a lot of noise to be successful. Aerotrek’s tri-gear and taildragger models look great, fly well, and are priced so reasonably that sales are remarkably steady. The company ranks #12 in fleet size and came in fifth for 2011 registrations.