Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sebring Set-up Highlights

Roaming the grounds as many exhibitors are setting up.
  • Cessna is here with the Skycatcher and a C-172.
  • Vans brought its RV-12 E-LSA (The company is looking seriously into producing the 12 as an SLSA.
  • I flew Flight Design's MC all-metal trainer tonight at sunset. Loved it!
More on these stories to come.

But the big news is Cessna's generations-long rival, Piper Aircraft, which has a large display area out on a prominent the grass next to the ramp.
  • In exactly 12 hours, Piper will confirm the rumor - what a spokesman for the company jokingly referred to as "The worst-kept secret in aviation!" - of its entry into the Light Sport movement.
The airplane they've chosen: the beautiful, popular Czech Sport Aircraft SportCruiser.
At the press conference, we'll find out just what Piper's involvement and vision is, and I'll report it here.
Meanwhile, everyone I spoke with about it today: distributors, manufacturers and pilots, all believe that Piper's entry into LSA can only be beneficial for the movement.
Tom Peghiny of Flight Design USA: "It's a vote of confidence for the ASTM standard and a shot in the arm for LSA in general."
Pete Krotje of Jabiru USA: "I believe Piper will have to modify it significantly, and they may go to a Continental engine which more fits the historical Piper way of doing things
LSA Sky Cred: moving up the charts.
---photo courtesy Czech Sport Aircraft

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