First Flight For Retro Sam LS

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The Sam LS, a new kit airplane with a retro look, flew for the first time on February 26, near Montreal, Canada, the company announced last week. "Liftoff was perfect, in about 300 feet," said Thierry Zibi, president of Sam Aircraft. The all-metal airplane features tandem seating and a narrow fuselage with a choice of three different wings -- short, for speed; medium, for versatility; or long, for short-field operations. The company is taking orders now for fast-build kits, which they say will take about 250 hours, for $75,000, or standard kits at $39,000 and 900 hours. First deliveries are scheduled for late this summer. Also in the works is a ready-to-fly LSA version for $135,000.

The airplane is powered by the 100-hp Rotax 912S paired with a Sensenich ground­-adjustable composite propeller. It was designed to be "comfortable, rugged, easy to repair, economical, fun… and to have the distinctive classic look of a warbird trainer," according to the company's news release. The cockpit is equipped with a 10-inch Dynon SkyView panel. The Sam LS will be on display and flying at both Sun 'n Fun and EAA AirVenture, the company said. AVweb's editorial director Paul Bertorelli spoke with Zibi about the airplane at last year's Sebring LSA show; click here to listen to the podcast.