|Cubcrafters Carbon Cub SS|
The light-sport aircraft industry hangs in there, although sales numbers, as with general aviation, still struggle to gain safe altitude in the stormy economic skies. Encouraging item: LSA sales in 2009 represented nearly 25% of all GA piston purchases. Another surprise: Most of the 107 models available for sale here and abroad are still in production—with more new models in the pipeline! Nobody’s getting rich (this is aviation, remember?), but most makers believe the turnaround will come. That’s the spirit!
And with the Euro taking heat against the dollar lately as Europe goes through its own econoclysm, U.S. prices for foreign-produced LSA could drop. Many airframe makers lowered prices, but the industry still faces challenges: ongoing dyspepsia imbued by the sluggish recovery; market recognition—many people still aren’t aware of what an LSA is, maybe that’s why 20% of all U.S. sales in the U.S. are Piper Cub replicas; and reservations over reliability of ASTM airworthiness standards. And how in the world do you make a good buying decision when there are 107 different aircraft to evaluate?