Al Marsh

Sling LSA joins the market–new video posted

June 5, 2012 by Alton K. Marsh, Senior Editor, AOPA Pilot

Now you really have choices. South Africa sent its Sling to America, through a dealer at the Torrance, Calif., airport, and it has passed ASTM standards. It is built like a tank, wide and comfortable, Rotax powered, gets 108 knots, and costs less than the leading light sport aircraft. Most of them top out at $160,000 (well, one hits $400,000), but the Sling starts at $125,000 and tops out with full glass panels and an airframe parachute in the nose for $145,000.The dealer thinks he can speed it up with a new prop he will test soon. I just made a video here. I took it for a flight above the Pacific Ocean off Long Beach and Torrance. Now, about all those choices. Dan Johnson, head of the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association, says he knows of a dozen more LSAs on the way to market. But as he has pointed out in the past, only 30 or 40 are serious contenders for the market.

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13 Responses to “Sling LSA joins the market–new video posted”

  1. Don Says:

    Only 30 or 40? Perhaps 3 or 4?

  2. Jay Says:

    Oops, still not affordable.

  3. Bob Says:

    Affordable? What should a new airplane with upper end avionics cost? Rhetoric to the contrary, aviation is not a poor mans pleasure. GA is now and has always been for those with discretionary income. Certified aircraft eligible for LSA are now double in value from years past while their big brothers continue to decline in todays market. You want affordable, buy a V-tail Bonanza. Less than the LSA, faster, roomier. The FAA has acceded to public demand with the whole LSA aircraft program, shame on them for not also keeping it “affordable”.

  4. Bobh Says:

    An RV-12 is half that cost.

  5. arthur hurst Says:

    How can the sling be called affordable. The whole industry has lost it’s way. What happened to the 60 to 75 LSA we were all promised. Lets start with a rotax costing 25M plus. A new Honda Civic engine of 100+ HP costs a third of that. Let me get all these manufactures lined up and standing at attention and let me unleash a good old fashioned Marine Corps information session. The Euro is falling like a rock and no one has dropped their price. Greed has set in.

  6. RogerB Says:

    Affordable is a relative term… my check ride in a 172 in 1964 cost NEW at 11K… .. flash forward to what should cost about 75 K… so LSA should be well under that… without all the flash avionics… about 55K… which IS what a new Lexus costs…. and that is with bells and whistles. Bare bones would be about 30K… and affordable for most of us… that V tail Bonanza circa 65 model can be bought for about 30K… now to get that under the LSA rules!!!
    Just a basic LSA with an iPad thank you…

  7. Al Marsh Says:

    There are 30 or 40 LSA companies that are surviving, but as you’ll see by visiting bydanjohnson.com, there are nine companies putting out more than 100 LSAs a year. Of the top 20, the smallest puts out 18 airplanes a year. Dan Johnson, president of the Light Airccraft Manufacturers Association, said at Sun `n Fun that only 30 or 40 are of any significance. These small LSA companies can survive on 10 or less a year–sometimes three or four. They do it by cutting costs, or not having any to speak of in the first place. Aerotrek, for example, has only a distributor in this country and no dealers. You buy from the distributor, so there are no $15,000 dealer fees and the price stays around $80,000. Thanks to the exchange rate, you are paying thousands of dollars just due to the weak dollar. And since most of the planes come from Europe (or China in Cessna’s case), you pay shipping fees. So what is the real price in Europe? Probably somewhere around $60,000. Check out my story on the Aerotrek, and you’ll see the same frustration expressed here by many of you in the first line of the story –nearly word for word. http://www.aopa.org/members/files/pilot/2012/january/f_aerotrek.html

  8. Mark A Says:

    As the saying goes… it is what it is! (Whatever that means). Anyway the most beautiful LSA is the Alpi from Italy. It is just too bad they realize the barriers to entry in the US market and are happy with Europe.

  9. Hugh Says:

    A little mis-leading; I don’t know what the leading LSA is but I suspect it’s now the Cessna 162, so it’s cheaper then that but certainly not cheaper then many available LSA’s. The just Aircraft LSA is under 100K, saw it the other day, pretty capable ship. I’ve seen others that are every bit as good for around the same price but it’s still a bit pricy for the average guy that hangs out at the airport. Consider restoring an Ercoupe, Champ or J-3; can still find the occasional bird for under 20K and certainly can bring it up to speed for 20K more.

  10. Al Marsh Says:

    Hi, Hugh,
    The leading LSA is the same one every year, the Flight Design. As I mentioned, the top 20 are listed on bydanjohnson.com. The most recent market share listing is through December 2011 and is on this page, second clickable item down. http://www.bydanjohnson.com/index.cfm?b=1&m=5
    Cessna is tied for third with the Czech Sportcruiser.
    Good advice on the restoration of the Ercoupe, Champ, or J-3. The list of existing aircraft you can fly as a light sport is here: http://www.aopa.org/whatsnew/regulatory/sport_aircraft.html

  11. Honda Mobil Says:

    Not affordable and can’t see the video

  12. Al Marsh Says:

    Hi, Honda Mobil,
    The video is working at least on my computer.

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