Aircraft Review

March 2010 Issue

PiperSport LSA: Sleek, Comfortable

And also no surprises, which might make it the ideal entry level sporter that Piper wants to its higher-priced models.

For the established manufacturers, the light sport evolution has presented an opportunity and a dilemma. The opportunity is that LSAs might gin up the market for certified aircraft by offering buyers a low cost of admission. The dilemma? How to capitalize on that. Do you leave LSAs to the upstarts or build your own? Cessna built its own, Cirrus stuck a toe in the LSA water and withdrew itóor at least delayed the plungeóand now comes Piper with the announcement that it will offer the former Czech Aircraft Works SportCruiser as a rebranded PiperSport. The announcement came at the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in January in Sebring, Florida. Piperís new CEO, Kevin Gould, explained that buying and marketing someone elseís design made more sense than spending hard-to-come-by developmental dollars to ultimately build an airplane thatís not much different from the dozens already out there. Point taken.

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