Vashon Aircraft has delivered 12 of its Ranger Light Sport training aircraft and CEO and founder John Torode said the planes have gone to a mix of customers, many of whom will use it as a personal aircraft. Torode, who also founded Dynon Avionics, said that while the aircraft has had some traction as a sturdy and affordable trainer, it has also found a following as a weekend warrior mount and they’re building on that part of the market. A float version will be unveiled in June.
Torode told AVweb that Vashon exploited modern manufacturing techniques and the matched hole process used by some kit manufacturers to squeeze a lot of efficiency out of the build process. They used the familiar Continental 0-200 engine for power and beefed up the landing gear for training in a package that starts at $99,000 ready to fly. He said most customers so far have added optional features, including a two-screen Dynon panel, to build a comfortable weekend aircraft. “You can put a bicycle in the back and just go,” he said. Torode said he’s investigating new powerplants for the plane as its missions evolve.