Wednesday, November 1, 2006
Allegro 2000: Light Sport and Fun!
Fast, Easy to Fly and Relatively Inexpensive—This Plane Is Part of the Sport Pilot Family
|Not all light sport aircraft are created equal; some are more equal than others. From old aircraft barely able to get off the ground to speedy, shiny, new glass aircraft—LSA covers a lot of ground.|
A new Allegro 2000 can be ordered in several different configurations. A basic version will cost $60,225. Adding a light package for night flying, radios, a GPS or even a Dynon EFIS can run the cost to approximately $75,000. Of course, these prices produce a flyaway airplane. For considerably less, you can order an experimental kit version and spend an average of 230 hours putting it together.
Using the gold standard as a yardstick, the Allegro will cost you about twice that of a restored Cub. What you get for that difference, however, is significant. Designed 70 years after the J-3, the Allegro displays a lot of progress in engineering and technology. Easy to get into, and with room enough for two 21st-century Americans sitting side by side, the Allegro is comfortable, and visibility is excellent from either seat—a definite cut above a loveable old Cub.
In the performance arena, the Allegro is no slouch either. The Allegro clocks in with a gross weight that’s 12 pounds more than the Cub, a 64-pound useful load advantage and an extra 35 hp. With virtually the same stall speed, the Allegro can cruise at 104 knots, nearly 40 knots faster than the Cub. The Allegro ranks near the top of all new LSA and does indeed satisfy Doug Hempstead’s desire for a cross-country-capable LSA, in spades. Recent delivery flights to California stand as proof.
For Hempstead, respectable performance and a price advantage over comparable new LSA aircraft aren’t enough. “We’ve got 17 dealers scattered to all four corners of the United States,” he says. “Each has an airplane and can give instruction in their LSA. Each of our dealers goes through training at the factory and uses common training techniques. We support the dealers and the owners in the field with parts we keep at our headquarters in North Carolina. Our focus is on long-term customer service, before and after the sale.
“We think that LSA will be the next big growth area in aviation, making the dream reachable for thousands. And we’re convinced that our success depends on how much we focus on the customer. The EAA and others in the community are backing LSA in a big way and we, as an industry, need to take advantage of that in a long-term way, instead of making a quick buck. With the Allegro, we know we have the best value, quality, workmanship and performance in the marketplace. All we need to do is let folks know how good the airplane is.”
If speed and load capacity aren’t enough for you, a certified float version of the Allegro is due soon. Any pond or waterway longer than 720 feet would make an ideal spot for the float-equipped Allegro 2000. At four gallons an hour, you can have a lot of fun—it’s cheaper than just about anything in the air.
Score one for the little guy.