In just a few years light sport aircraft have become an integral part of the aviation world. From nowhere in 2005 interest has steadily grown and they now make up a significant part of the General Aviation market. Many aircraft manufacturers have light sport aircraft for sale but it can be tricky to choose the right one when there is so much choice.
Here’s an introductory guide to ten of the best sellers available to PPL holders at the moment. There are obviously many more on the market and if you would like to see any specific models featured please post a comment below this post or contact us.
Arion LS-1 Lightning
Available ready-to-fly or in kit form, the LS-1 is a winning example of US LSA technology. With 120 horsepower from its Jabiru 3300 engine, the aircraft’s 40-gallon tank gives an 800nm range. With a full-flap stall speed below 40 knots and easy 120-knot cruising, this is a model that flies as well as it looks. www.flylightning.net
The taildragger variant in Bristell’s range has been described as an “LSA hot-rod” and it’s certainly striking, reminiscent of a classic sports car. Fun to fly yet capable of lengthy cross-country trips, the TDO’s wing spars are heavy duty, giving extra safety in poor weather. It can be ordered with larger 22-inch tyres. www.bristell.com
CubCrafters Carbon Cub SS
Among the most impressive LSA models take-off and landing, the US-made Carbon Cub features a 180-horsepower CC340 engine and has been a steady seller since arriving in 2009. The sea-level climb rate is a remarkable 2,100 fpm, and the Cub’s interior is finished with a no-nonsense yet modern design. www.cubcrafters.com
Czech Sport Aircraft SportCruiser
This low-wing design’s enduring popularity has given its manufacturer fame in the LSA world. The SportCruiser has cantilevered wings and is renowned for its ergonomic, refined cockpit. There are plenty of gizmos to provide easy flying as you cruise at 93 knots, including state-of-the-art climate control. www.czechsportaircraft.com
After producing the enduring SportStar early in the LSA era, Czech company Evektor raised its sights to produce the comfortable, smooth-flying Harmony. This is as close to a GA plane as you’ll find when checking light sport aircraft for sale, with a stunning fully metal wing design and larger ailerons and rudder. www.evektor.com
Flight Design CTLSi
In 2016, Flight Design was in receivership, facing an uncertain future. Now owned by German rival LIFT Air, the company’s LSA plane is back in the game. This high-wing aircraft is sleekly aerodynamic and features excellent fuel economy for a 900+ mile range, as well as being made almost entirely from carbon fibre. www.flightdesign.com
This Australian aircraft is the latest incarnation of the popular J230 range. With reassuring crosswind performance and a grippier control stick, the D model maintains the line’s spacious interior and luggage capacity. The J230-D, built around the company’s own 3,300 cc engine, is designed to minimise maintenance for stress-free ownership. www.jabiru.net.au
Pipistrel Alpha Trainer
Based in Slovenia but active globally, Pipistrel has a tremendous record in the light sport aircraft market. The Trainer was an immediate hit, being ordered by several flight schools. One of the most affordable LSAs around, the Trainer is cheap to run yet quiet and sturdy, featuring an economical Rotax 80hp engine. www.pipistrel-usa.com
Tecnam Sierra Mk 2
With history back to the 1940s, Tecnam of Italy has seen everything. The original Sierra from 2002 sold like hot cakes, so it’s hardly surprising that the Mk 2 variant is now available. The sleek low-wing plane offers more comfort, an upgraded Rotax 912 engine and a sliding canopy, plus upgraded instrumentation. www.tecnam.com
The Aircraft Factory Sling 2
Popular with flight schools and individuals alike, the Sling 2 from this South African maker features a light, clean build that makes learning its ways easy and sees it high on lists of light sport aircraft for sale. The reliable Rotax 912 engine gives responsive performance without twitchiness. www.airplanefactory.co.za
That concludes this list. Which one would you buy? Do you already own one?
Post your answers in the comments below.