March 2013 Issue
Arion Lightning LS-1: Not for the Masses
The 120-HP Jabiru-powered LS-1 cruises at the LSA max 120 knots, is surprisingly nimble, demanding and rewarding of a good hand on the stick.
How about this for a challenging design concept? Start with a two-seat speedster with fighter-like handling, slow it down to meet the LSA 120-knot speed limit without excising any of the structure necessary for the stresses of the higher speed, then jump through the ASTM hoops to turn it into a production machine. That is exactly what Arion Aircraft did with its Lightning LS-1, an LSA that is finger-on-the trigger responsive in flight and among the fastest LSAs out there. The Lightning is one of the few LSAs that is not intended to be used as a primary trainer. Although a very few buyers have learned to fly in their Lightnings, we did not design it for flight training, explained Arions Nick Otterbach, one of the lead designers of the airplane.
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