LSA Models Now Number 100

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In just five years, the Light Sport Aircraft industry has made it to S-LSA model No. 100, with the approval of Van's RV-12. The RV-12 LSA approval was announced in late July, but it wasn't until this week that Dan Johnson, chairman of the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association, realized that the paperwork for the Krucker amphibious trike, Cygnet, had been completed earlier in July, making that aircraft No. 99, and the RV-12 emerged as No. 100. The LSA sector provides a vital incubator for new ideas in aviation, Johnson said. "Such entrepreneurial activities are vital," he told AVweb on Wednesday. "If only governments (FAA and EASA spring to mind) don't overly burden these sectors, we will continue to see bright lights at the end of the tunnel." Out of those first 100 models, a couple are no longer available, Johnson said, and two European companies are in bankruptcy, though they may yet re-emerge. However, for the most part the segment is robust, and many of the smaller manufacturers can do fine on as few as 30 sales a year, Johnson said.

"Plus, the absolutely enormous potential of worldwide sales under a common certification system should not be overlooked," he added. "China and India alone -- both examining ASTM standards now -- could totally alter the aviation marketplace in the years ahead." Five LSA manufacturers have delivered 100 aircraft or more, Johnson said -- Czech Sport Aircraft (formerly Czech Aircraft Works), Flight Design, American Legend, Tecnam, and Remos. Also, Aerotrek/Aeropro is almost up to 50 sold. The rate of new model approvals is slowing, Johnson said, but more are in the works. "Most notable are the Cessna SkyCatcher, the Icon A-5, and the MySky One, but I'm also aware of several other development projects," he said. "This rapid development pace ain't over yet, not by a long shot." Click here for a complete list of all 100 models with links to each company Web site.