More LSA Competition -- From Vietnam
As the new Light-Sport category gets closer to reality, U.S. manufacturers are bracing for an influx of aircraft from Europe and Australia but there's also a new player in that market. A Vietnamese company has built the prototype of what it calls a "superlight" aircraft. The Voice of Vietnam news service reports a two-place version of the VAM 1 has been built by the Hoa Binh company and a four-place model is in the works. The company claims it can match the quality of foreign-built aircraft at 40 percent of the price The plane has a 30-foot wingspan and weighs 330 pounds. It is predicted to fly as high as 10,000 feet and as fast as 90 mph. There appear to be some regulatory advantages in Vietnam. Rather than go through any sort of aviation bureaucracy to win approval for the airplane, the manufacturer just goes straight to the top. The prime minister will be asked for permission to test fly the plane. The company predicts a big domestic market in tourism, agriculture, law enforcement and other applications but it also targets exports to developing countries as a major goal.