Familiar and lovely, easy to be with and great to fly
Flying an unfamiliar LSA is a bit like a first date. Your friends have talked her up. She has a pretty smile, but will you get along? Does she Tweet or use Facebook, keep an old-fashioned diary, or both?
Tecnam introduces a twin-Rotax-powered four-seater in the tradition of the Partenavia P68C
Naples, Italy, April 18, 1986: Today, I’m first in line for takeoff from Naples toward our initial destination of Nice, France. It has taken all morning to assure that the paperwork is up to Italian standards, but we’re finally ready, or so I hope.
Light-sport models and avionics to suit all budgets
You need go no farther than a summer air show buzzing with a vibrant, colorful contingent of light-sport aircraft to see what the excitement has been all about and sense where it might take us. The LSA movement is a living, breathing example of the sheer innovation, quality and giddy diversity that has characterized personal flight from the very beginning in 1903.
A light-sport blend of old-school nostalgia and modern technology
In a sky filled with high-performance pistons, turboprops and jets that speed to their destination, there’s still something undeniably irresistible about a little yellow Cub. Puttering around low and slow, the humble two-seater makes lazy circles over emerald fields as its pilot smiles down on Earth, senses ignited by a soft breeze and the scent of grass airstrips that waft through the open window.
Mix all-aluminum construction, deep aviation manufacturing background and the desire to build a robust training aircraft, and what have you got? Eaglet!
The truly wonderful thing about events like the recent Sebring U.S. Sport Aviation Expo is that you have the fun, and the scheduling challenges, of flying many different types of aircraft at one sitting. “Sitting” is a key word. I came to regard it as an aviation smorgasbord—for my tush. Of course, such an avian feast feeds other visceral, spiritual and intellectual appetites too, but sitting comfort in an airplane is also important, yes? You betcha.
An LSA that was 10 years in the making may aptly be called a “mature design” within this nascent sector of piston aircraft. A few others share a similarly “ripe, old” heritage, but most are far newer than the trusty GA models in which many of us learned the art of flying.
Beauty and solid, easy-flying handling in one package
What draws a person to an airplane? For some it’s raw performance—faster/higher/farther; for others, it’s enthusiastic raves from fellow pilots. But for most of us, it’s an intangible moment of “smittenness” with the sheer visual appeal of a new flying machine. How great, then, when the object of your latest affection turns out to not only have eye-catching beauty, but a heart of gold as well.
A Luscombe enthusiast revives the type with a larger Continental engine and a lower gross weight
If you’re a Luscombe lover (and most any pilot who’s flown the type is), the new/old Luscombe 8F must strike a resonant tone. These days, in fact, the old Luscombe design has taken on a new persona, that of an LSA.
Ever met someone you instantly liked? The MD3 Rider is one friendly yet
Everything in life is subjective, even scientific observation. And if you’re the least bit sensitive to your environment, you’ll probably agree that any vehicle, just like any person you meet, has a distinct feel and personality.
With more than 1,400 aircraft registered in the States, the phenomenon keeps growing!
What exactly is a light-sport aircraft (LSA)? To qualify as an LSA, an airplane must be a maximum two-place, single-engine, fixed-gear machine that weighs no more than 1,320 pounds (1,420 for watercraft). It must have a level, full-power speed of no more than 120 knots, a clean stall speed no faster than 45 knots and a fixed-pitch propeller.
Use your heart and your brain when considering your LSA purchase
Aviation is experiencing an exciting transformation. At one point, a GA aircraft wouldn’t show signs of obsolescence for, let’s say, 30 years or so, give or take a decade. Those days are gone. Today, technological advances find their way into airframes and cockpits at an ever-increasing speed.