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Light-sport aircraft, or LSA, is a classification of aircraft specific to the United Statesmarker.

The Federal Aviation Administration defines a light-sport aircraft as an aircraft with a maximum gross takeoff weight of not more than for aircraft not intended for operation on water; or for aircraft intended for operation on water; a maximum airspeed in level flight of ; a maximum stall speed of ; either one or two seats; fixed undercarriage and fixed-pitch or ground adjustable propeller; and a single electric motor or reciprocating engine, which includes diesel engines and Wankel engines.

Aircraft which qualify as LSA may be operated by holders of a Sport Pilot certificate, whether they are registered as Light Sport Aircraft or not. Pilots with a private, recreational, or higher pilot certificate may also fly LSA, even if their medical certificates have expired, so long as they have a valid driver's license to prove that they are in good enough health to fly. LSA also have less restrictive maintenance requirements and may be maintained and inspected by traditionally certificated Aircraft Maintenance Technicians, by individuals holding a Repairman: Light Sport certificate, and (in some cases) by their pilots and/or owners.

Aircraft certification

Several different kinds of aircraft may be certificated as LSA. Airplanes (both powered and gliders), rotorcraft (gyroplanes only, not helicopters), powered parachutes, weight-shift control aircraft (commonly known as trikes), and lighter-than-air craft (free balloons and airships) may all be certificated as LSA if they fall within the weight and other guidelines established by the FAA.

The U.S. definition of an LSA is similar to most other countries' definition of "microlight" or "ultralight" aircraft. Except for the LSA's relatively generous MTOW of 1320 pounds, the other countries' microlight definitions are typically less restrictive, not limiting airspeed or the use of variable-pitch propellers.

By contrast, the U.S. FAA has a separate definition of ultralight aircraft defined in Federal Aviation Regulations. Aircraft falling within the U.S. ultralight specifications are extremely lightweight (less than 254 pounds if powered, or 155 pounds if unpowered), are intended for manned operation by a single occupant, have a fuel capacity of five U.S. gallons or less, a maximum calibrated airspeed of not more than 55 knots, and a maximum stall speed of not more than 24 knots. Ultralight aircraft in the U.S. do not require pilot licensing, medical certification, or aircraft registration.

Aircraft certificated as light-sport aircraft exceed the limitations defined for ultralight aircraft and require that the pilot possess, at a minimum, a Sport Pilot certificate. Among these aircraft were found those that were specifically designed to meet the LSA requirements, as well as overweight ultralights (commonly known as "fat ultralights") that previously were operated in technical violation of 14 CFR 103.

In addition to aircraft specifically designed to meet the LSA requirements, certain certificated aircraft, such as the original Piper Cub, happen to fall within the definition of a light-sport aircraft and can be operated by individuals holding FAA Sport Pilot certificates. The aircraft can not be re-certificated as LSA, however: although Sport Pilots may operate conventionally certificated aircraft that fall within the definition of an LSA, the aircraft themselves continue to be certificated in their original categories.

Several designers and manufacturers of experimental aircraft kits are working to develop models that are compliant with the light-sport aircraft rules.

Aircraft

The FAA's list: Light Sport Aircraft: Existing Type Certificated Models.

Design Manufacturer Engine Max. Cruise Max. Range Cost Orders Availability Type
MYSKY MS-1 MySKY AIRCRAFT, INC. 120 HP JABIRU 3300 120 [knot (SPEED)|120 KNOTS (222 km/h) 636 NM USD$125,500 2010
3Xtrim Navigator 600 3Xtrim 100 HP Rotax 912 ULS 104 knots (193 km/h) 747 NM USD$99,000 (Basic) 2008 Certified
ACS-100 Sora Advanced Composite Solutions 120 knots (222 km/h) USD$75,000 Kit
EuroFox (80 hp) Aeropro CZ Rotax 912 UL 96 knots (178 km/h) 570 NM (1056 km) USD$55,950
Breezer (80 hp) Aerosport Rotax 912 UL 2 96 knots (178 km/h) 497 NM (920 km)
Ikarus C42 (80 hp) Aerosport Rotax 912UL 2 105 knots 194 km/h Certified
Aviasud Mistral Aviasud Engineering Rotax 582 DCDI 65 knots (120 km/h) 270 NM, 500 km
Cessna 162 - SkyCatcher Cessna Aircraft Company Continental O-200D 118 knots (218 km/h) 470 NM (870 km) USD$109,500 850+ 2008 Certified
Cirrus SRS Cirrus Design Rotax 912 120 knots (222 km/h) USD$110,000-$120,000 Unknown, Project Suspended Certified
Mermaid Amphibian CZAW /Wet Aero USA Jabiru 3300 or Rotax 912S 110 knots (204 km/h) 450 NM (833 km) USD$155,000 , no kits 2006 Certified
Europa XS Europa Aircraft Rotax 912 / 912 S / 914 or Jabiru 120 knots (222 km/h) 750 NM USD$33,000 USD w/o engine 2009 Kit
Allegro 2007 FANTASY AIR Rotax 912 or Rotax 912S 119 knots (220 km/h) 750 NM (1400 km) USD$82,000 2008 Certified
Flight Design CTSW Flight Design Rotax 912S 120 knots (222 km/h) 540 NM (1000 km) USD$101,390 150+ 2005 Certified
Sport Hornet LRS Higher Class Aviation Rotax 912 or Rotax 582 100 knots (185 km/h) 450 NM (833 km) USD$59,995 (Rotax 582 $45K), (kit $20K w/o engine) 40+ 2009 Certified
ICON A5 Icon Aircraft Rotax 912 ULS 105 knots (168 km/h) 300 NM (556 km) USD$139,000 400 2011
Kitfox Kitfox Aircraft Rotax 912S 109 knots (201 km/h) 530 NM (980 km) USD$25,000 (kit price) 4000+ (since 1984) 2008 Kit
Paradise P-I Paradise Aircraft 100 HP Rotax 912 ULS 120 knots (184 km/h) 747 NM (1385 km) USD$108,800 (Basic) 2008 Certified
Cheetah XLS Rainbow Aircraft ltd. Rotax 912 or Rotax 582 or Jabiru 2200A 83 knots (153 km/h) 450 NM (833 km) USD$48,450 (Rotax 582 sLSA ), (kit $22,000) 100+ 2001 Elsa Kit/Certified
Remos G-3 Remos Aircraft Rotax 912 ULS 100HP 120 knots (222 km/h) 550 NM / 1000 km USD $109,500 2007 Certified
Remos GX Remos Aircraft Company Rotax 912 ULS 100HP 115 knots (212 km/h) 450 NM (833 km) USD$125,000 Certified
SKYLEADER 500 LSA JIHLAVAN airplanes, s.r.o. Rotax 912 S or 914 Turbo 120 knots (222 km/h) 520 NM (960 km) USD$113,000 140+ 2008 Certified
Tecnam P2004 Tecnam Aircraft Rotax 912S 116 knots (222 km/h) USD$99,900 100+ 2005 Certified
AMD Zodiac (S-LSA) Zenith Aircraft Company (Kit) Continental O-200 + Others 120 knots (222 km/h) USD$84,900 Certified
Storm Rally Storm Aircraft Rotax 912 ULS 120 knots (222 km/h) 450 NM (830 km) USD$109,999 (Standard) 2004 Certified
Storm Century Storm Aircraft Rotax 912 ULS 120 knots (222 km/h) 450 NM (830 km) USD$111,999 (Standard) 2004 Certified


See also

Canadian Advanced Ultralight Aircraft

External links




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