An LSA For Less
Plenty of recreational pilots who thought light sport aircraft might be the right thing for them have been dismayed by the price tags for most models, which start around $100,000 and quickly go up from there. But occasionally a new LSA surfaces that offers reasonable capabilities at a lower price point, and the latest of these is the X-Air LS -- you can fly it home for $46,900, if you don't mind flying at about 90 mph. "Yes, it has sewn Dacron wings," writes Dan Johnson, at his Sport Aircraft blog. "No, it isn't as sleek as the carbon-fiber jobs." But for the price, you'll get a ready-to-fly airplane, complete with a fuel-sipping 85-hp Jabiru 2200 engine, flaps, trim, Icom radio, Dynon engine monitor, and basic flight instruments.
Today's X-Air began as a U.S. design but was redesigned in France, says Johnson. Major components have long been produced in India, and the airplane is assembled in Oregon. The company began pursuing SLSA status about six months ago. Put 20 percent down on a 10-year loan, and you can be flying your own X-Air LS for a monthly payment of $460.