Sport Aircraft Sales Growing

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Over in the Light Sport Aircraft segment of GA, sales also have been brisk. Just a year ago at AirVenture, the first 14 approved aircraft were on display. This year, the number of LSA-approved aircraft was up to 38, a pace of two new airplanes a month. "I think that pace will start to slacken a little," Dan Johnson, director of the LSA Mall, told AVweb at the show. He estimates that by next year, the Mall will host 48 different aircraft. This year, about 500 LSAs have been delivered so far in the U.S., and about 500 more will be in pilots' hands by the end of the year, Johnson said. With many manufacturers working now to ramp up production capacity, deliveries for 2007 could easily total 1,500 or even 2,000, Johnson said. So far, the high-wing Flight Design CT has been the top seller, and the company said at Oshkosh they expect to deliver 100 copies of the aircraft to North America this year, and substantially more in 2007. To accommodate that growth, the company will expand its manufacturing plant in the Ukraine, doubling capacity over the next two years. That growth means U.S. customers won't have to wait too long for delivery, said Tom Peghiny, president of Flight Design USA.