Glasair Debuts A Diesel And An LSA

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Sportsman Diesel

Sportsman Diesel

Glasair brought a mockup of its new Merlin LSA to Sun 'n Fun this week, along with the first Sportsman diesel. The diesel airplane features a 155-hp Centurion 2.0s engine, a Hartzel Bantam three-blade propeller and VFR glass panel avionics. "This is a major step for Glasair Aviation, and we believe the market will readily embrace it," said Glasair President Nigel Mott. The airplane will start flight testing in May, and Mott said he expects to start deliveries in the fall. The engine change doesn't have a major impact on performance, he added, but it's key to opening up new markets in Europe and Asia where avgas is a non-starter. The design and production tooling for the new LSA is already well advanced, Mott said, and he expects to debut the flying prototype at EAA AirVenture at Oshkosh later this summer and start deliveries by the end of the year.

Sportsman Merlin LSA

Sportsman Merlin LSA

The LSA will sell for $149,950 base price, with upgrades to IFR and a ballistic parachute available as options. The cabin mockup is on display all week at Sun 'n Fun. The first Sportsman Diesel is attracting lots of interest on display with its cowling open, but it won't be flying. At 135 knot cruise, the diesel will burn 6.6 gallons per hour and cruise at 125 knots. The company is now accepting deposits for both airplanes. The diesel will be available only through the Two Weeks to Taxi program. In a news release, the company said it is experiencing a "phase of renewed innovation" thanks to support from new owners, Jilin Hanxing Group, who bought the company in 2012.