At AOPA summit I spent time in the Lockwood Aviation booth giving me a chance to speak with a few RV-12 builders. *** Van’s has reportedly sold approximately 600 RV-12 Light-Sport Aircraft, of which 150 may be flying, making RV-12 by far the most successful Experimental LSA. RV-12 would among rank high among all Light-Sport Aircraft were we able to include ELSA in the SLSA List (…we cannot, for several reasons). In a sign that proprietor and industry leader Phil Lockwood sees good potential in RV-12 service work he displays the leading ELSA on his latest Lockwood Aircraft Supply catalog. Van’s did not exhibit at Summit 2011. *** I found it equally interesting to hear much improved reception to the Rotax line compared to earlier AOPA Expos or Summits. Perhaps it’s the 2,000-hour overhaul time. Maybe it’s the 40,000 9-series engines Rotax has installed on aircraft.
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Just in time for this year’s AOPA Summit, welcome to a pair of Special Light-Sport Aircraft, numbers 121 and 122: the first, the formerly named NG 5 LSA, rebadged as the Bristell Fastback by importer Liberty Sport Aviation of Pennsylvania; and the second being the fourth approval for Pipistrel, specifically for their Sinus motorglider (previous Pipistrel approvals included the Virus, Virus SW, and Taurus). *** NG 5 LSA was not previously offered in the U.S. though it was sold in Europe as the NG 4 from Roko Aero. When Roko closed its doors production stopped for the NG 4. It became NG 5 as the company reformed into BRM Aero. Changes occur in any industry but Bristell Fastback designer, Milan Bristela, is a steady hand on the joystick known for his foundational work on the SportCruiser (for a year known as the PiperSport) that is presently ranked #2 in U.S.
Here’s a tale of two planes. One has been seen and sold in the U.S. (Lambada motorglider). The other has a fascinating history and should look familiar to you… quite familiar. It’s now known as the NG 5 LSA and that probably rings no bell. However, NG 5 and the #2 ranked SportCruiser share a common history. NG 5 designer, Milan Bristela, once lead design work at Czech Aircraft Works, the first company to create and bring to market the SportCruiser. In 2010 that model took a yearlong debut as the PiperSport though once again U.S. Sport Aviation returns to their long support for and sales of SportCruiser, now produced by Czech Sport Aircraft. *** Along the way, Milan departed and worked for a time with another company called Roko Aero; the aircraft was then called the NG 4. The newly formed BRM Aero company said, “[We] finished collaboration with Roko Aero and stopped production of their NG 4 aeroplanes.” Now, Americans can welcome NG 5 LSA to be represented by Liberty Sport Aviation in Pennsylvania.