April 16, 2010
"I think by the end of this show we're going to have 20 to 30 LSA sales," Dan Johnson, chairman of the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association, told AVweb at Sun 'n Fun on Saturday. "That's huge." At the Sebring Light Sport Expo earlier this year, which usually attracts a lot of serious buyers, most sales failed to materialize, Johnson said. "There was a lot of interest, but not a lot of buying. It's been tough out there. But at this show, it seems those fears about the economy have given way to some level of confidence." Nick Otterback, of Lightning Aircraft, said he had just sold another airplane, when AVweb caught up with him on the field Saturday afternoon. "That's three kits and one S-LSA so far."
Otterback said he thinks what customers respond to in the aircraft is value. "We're built here in the U.S., though our Jabiru engines are from Australia," he said. "That means we don't have the exchange-rate issues you get with airplanes built in Europe, and we're able to work with the customer a bit on price. The Lightning S-LSAs sell for about $93,000, he said, on up to about $115,000 with all the options. Kitplanes editor Marc Cook took a look at the LSA with Otterback last year; click here for that video.