Michigan Company Launches New LSA

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Prestige Aircraft last week celebrated the first flight of its first U.S.-built copy of the Storm Rally special-light sport aircraft. The Rally is an Italian design now being manufactured in Jackson, Mich. Prestige began with the idea of importing the airplanes, but soon decided that it would be a better idea to just build them here. The high-wing Rally has the biggest cabin in its class, the company says, with gull-type doors and 300-degree visibility. Prestige already has started production of the Rally and plans to start on a second LSA model, the low-wing Century, next month. A third LSA, the SeaStorm amphibian, will be added in the future, but it will require a redesign to meet the weight restrictions of the U.S. sport-aircraft rules. Prestige Aircraft currently has a staff of 10, but plans to expand quickly. Company spokesman Dale Smith told the local news, "We expect to have 300 people working here in five years, and we'll be building 1,000 planes a year."