LSA Gyroplane Has January Expiration Date

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"We can sell this aircraft, factory-built, as an E-LSA until the end of January 2008," Chuck Roberg of Xenon Gyroplanes said this week at the Sun 'n Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla. "After that, is a big question mark." The uncertainty is due to the evolving status of gyrocopters in the FAA's light sport aircraft rules. "The ASTM standard for gyrocopters is complete and ready to go," Roberg said. "But the Sport Pilot rule itself excludes gyros. We're working with the FAA to either get a waiver or get the rule to allow for gyros, so we can sell the Xenon as a ready-to-fly S-LSA after next January." The aircraft are built in Poland from a French design, and 24 copies already are flying. The heated, enclosed cabin has a roll cage for crash-safety, with two side-by-side seats, wide shoulder room and luggage space. Models are delivered ready to fly at $61,000 to $72,000.

The aircraft comes with a choice of three Rotax engines. It will be on display at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh in July.