Every show we cover seems to feature one airplane that’s the crowd magnet and at this week’s Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, it’s the Commuter Craft Innovator. This airplane is a canard design vaguely reminiscent of the Long-EZ but with aspirations to be both an experimental amateur built and, eventually, an LSA.
Although mock-ups of the airplane have appeared at other shows, the Innovator’s appearance at Sebring marks the debut of a flying prototype. The company’s Richard Hogan told AVweb that the aircraft completed its maiden flight last September and kits are expected to be available sometime in 2017. Hogan said an LSA version will be considerably lightened in order to meet the 1320-pound U.S. LSA limit. The airplane displayed at Sebring has a 180-HP Titan engine but the LSA version will likely use a smaller engine, according to Hogan.
The Innovator’s design brief is to attract new pilots with a safe, easy-to-fly platform with a distinctive look. The crowds at Sebring seemed to suggest it has delivered the last point, at least.