Here come the new tandems. And I do mean new! Suspending a full flight-trial regime, U.S.-based MySky took their new MS-1 on a long maiden voyage from Daytona Beach, Florida to Oshkosh 2009. And just yesterday, the Slovak Republic-based sportShark, from Shark.Aero, took its first flight. *** Tandems seat occupants fore and aft like some existing SLSA models but that’s where the similarities end. MS-1 and sportShark are clean-sheet designs aimed at performance and comfort, where all tandems presently approved are recreational aircraft. *** Other than the composite Sky Arrow*, all other seven tandems in the SLSA List are simpler, first-generation designs. All are fabric covered. None are speedsters. (Note: You can find all these qualities for any of the 99 SLSA models using PlaneFinder 2.0.) *** One and sportShark are second-generation designs. In both cases they were created after and because of the Light-Sport rules and ASTM industry-standards certification. Each has been some years in development. *** But why tandem? Those who prefer tandem note several reasons: ** many flights are one-place, now you aren’t seated off to one side; ** when two-place, each has equal lateral visibility; ** tandem is leaner, more efficient; ** has a high-end sports car look. Both MS-1 and sportShark aim to go as fast as allowed (photo caption). * The Italian producer of Sky Arrow is currently in bankruptcy though still able to supply aircraft to U.S. importer, Hansen Air Group.
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