Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, December 17, 2013

LSA Buyer's Guide 2014

Our survey of light-sport aircraft for the coming new year!

New Performers And Birds In The Wings

Tecnam Astore
The beautiful new Astore comes from longtime Italian producer Tecnam. This sleek low-winger, already in production, pays homage to the company's very first aircraft, also called Astore. It wears the same wing as the company's Sierra and Bravo models, but has a new airframe of aluminum sheet over steel tubing. Spacious inside (46.5 inch-wide), beautifully appointed and comes standard with a mounted iPad mini. Price: $135,900. Contact:

Lil Rascal LS1
Carbon Lil Rascal
Can you say "Pitts biplane?" Also new to the U.S., the LSA-compliant Lil Rascal LS1 (single-seat) and LS2 (two-seat) are LSA renditions of the famed Pitts stunters. Both models have fuel-injected electronic-ignition Lycoming AE-IO-233 LSA power. All-U.S.-built, fully aerobatic, the LS1 is spec'd at 650 pounds empty weight. Both models to be certified as S-LSA. Price: $125,000.

FK51 Mustang
FK51 Mustang
Due to land on our shores in 2014, here's a knockout 70% scale version of most everybody's favorite fighter, the P-51. All-composite carbon-fiber/honeycomb construction, with a surface finish that replicates in stunning accuracy the metal skin of the original Mustang. The U.S. edition (either S-LSA or Experimental Amateur Built) will have fixed gear and Rotax power—another winner from top German designer Peter Funk. Price: $130,000 (estimated).

Another handsome low-wing creation, the F30, comes from Italian designers Stelio Frati and Allessandro Festa. Already certified to the German L TF UL standard, it's built of aluminum and some titanium parts and is in production. Rotax 912 ULS power and anti-explosive rear tank installation are just a few highlights. F30 is also available in E-LSA and EAB (Experimental Amateur Built) kit and is reportedly near ASTM approval. Price: not yet announced.

GreenWing Yuneec eSpyder and e430
My great pleasure at Oshkosh 2013 was to fly and report on the new GreenWing International eSpyder S-LSA, built by Yuneec of China. The eSpyder is all-electric and in production. Re-imagined from the FlightStar ultralight, it passed Germany's rigorous DULV aviation standard and is the world's first so-certified electric. Powered by a 27 kWh motor, (34 hp gas equivalent) and batteries for an hour duration with 20-minute reserve, it's available as a quick-build kit since FAA has not yet issued an electric-powered exemption for LSA (The original rule cites piston engines only.) Price: $39,900. Next up from GreenWing: the highly refined, all-electric e430 two-seat LSA that wowed the world four years ago in flight test.

Sam LS
Sam LS
Inspired by old-timey classics like the North American AT-6, BT-13 and Chinese Yak 52, this retro-styled, low-wing newcomer is a Canadian certified ultralight kit now in process for imminent ASTM/FAA certification. Price: $131,000. SC07 B.O.T.

Labels: LSAsBest Buys


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