LSA America now produces the Allegro in Littleton, North Carolina and anticipates their first U.S.-produced LSA approval before Oshkosh 2011. Despite Czech-based Fantasy Air’s ceasing manufacturing several years ago, Allegro did well enough in the first couple years to still retain the #14 rank. *** Exciting as this now-Made-in-the-USA story may be, this article has a different focus. I want to tell you about an older Allegro, one that has logged more than 3,500 hours, nearly all of them doing training. *** With a few other long-serving LSA that I’ve been told about, this addresses the matter about Light-Sports being durably built to perform instructional flying over an extended period. Some pilots believe lightly built LSA cannot handle the duress of students learning to fly. *** Allegro (N50631) appears to disprove the argument that LSA aren’t tough enough. New factory operator Doug Hempstead stated, “The composite fuselage has proven itself in a flight school setting and aluminum wings make [Allegro] affordable to repair.” He continued, “[Our trainer] is an Allegro 2000, the design built from 2000 to 2006.” It was put in service at B Bar D Aviation Flight School with 200 hours.
LSA America, Inc. (Allegro) Allegro 2000
Phone: (252) 586-1200Littleton, NC 27850 - USA
LSA in Flight Schools; Allegro Reports Success
Fantasy Air USA and LSA America in central North Carolina sell three SLSA: Interplane SkyBoy, Fantasy Air Allegro 2007, and Flying Machines Mystique. They’ll soon also have the Part 103 ZJ Viera. *** In addition to distributing LSA nationally, Fantasy Air USA runs a profitable flight training operation. Proprietors Doug and Betty Hempstead report 33 students have completed training with an average of 28 hours to obtain their Sport Pilot certificate. Using the Allegro at $70/hour + $30 for a flight instructor, they’ve kept the cost below $3,000 — compared to $8,000 or more to get a Private license. Doug reports average burn of just 2.5 gph during instruction (training is flown slower than cruise speeds). Many students drive 1-4 hours to obtain training, though a map on the office wall shows a growing network of Allegros used in flight training.
AOPA’s Hartford Expo Has Generous Count of LSA
Most pilots know AOPA, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, has been fighting the user fee battle…and they’ve been doing well resisting the might of the U.S. government. But they must also have a connection with Mother Nature as warm, beautiful weather shined on opening day at Connecticut’s Brainard airport. *** On display: StingSport, Skylark, the new Breezer II, Allegro 2000, SportCruiser, Sigma, Thorpedo, Sport Cub, Bravo, Sierra, CTsw, Jabiru J-250, Gobosh G-700S, and Remos G-3. Contrary to earlier info, American Champion brought The Champ, Cessna displayed their Skycatcher mockup, and Cirrus flew their SRS. In all, I counted 17 LSA at Hartford. That amounts to a healthy 19% of all airplanes on display.
A Fantasy Comes True
In only the third approval under the new Sport Pilot rule, B Bar D Aviation and Fantasy Air USA announced news that their Allegro 2000 has received its certification as a Special Light-Sport Aircraft. Allegro 2000 has been warmly received and Fantasy Air USA can now begin deliveries of ready-to-fly aircraft to customers that have placed orders. See my review in Ultralight Flying!’s 5/05 issue — the article will post here soon. SPLOG will report two more certifications in the near future.
A Winner Among LSA (Allegro)
|Empty weight||622 pounds 1|
|Gross weight||1,232 pounds|
|Wing area||122 square feet|
|Wing loading||9.4 pounds/square ft.|
|Useful Load||610 pounds|
|Payload (with full fuel)||523 pounds|
|Cabin Interior||43 inches|
|Fuel Capacity||14.5 gallons 2|
|Baggage area||aft of seats|
|Notes:||1 Specs with 80-hp Rotax 912; also available with 100-hp 912S|
2 Two 6-gallon auxiliary tanks available.
|Standard engine||Rotax 912UL 1|
|Prop Diameter||3-blade WoodComp|
|Power||80 hp 1|
|Power loading||14.3 pounds/hp|
|Cruise speed||97 knots/112 mph|
|Stall Speed||35 knots/40 mph|
|Never exceed speed||119 knots/137 mph|
|Rate of climb at gross||1,000 fpm|
|Takeoff distance at gross||490 feet|
|Landing distance at gross||340 feet|
|Range (powered)||350 miles / 3.5 hours|
|Fuel Consumption||about 3.5 gph|
|Notes:||1 Also available with 100-hp 912S|
The Allegro is the value leader among LSA designs. One year ago, the fi rst special light-sport aircraft (S-LSA) were approved and delivery of S-LSA began. A few brands stand above the rest in the number of aircraft delivered. One of those is the Allegro 2000, imported into the United States from the Czech Republic by Fantasy Air USA. Since May 19, 2005, when the Allegro earned S-LSA approval, Fantasy Air has delivered more than 40 aircraft, keeping owners Doug and Betty Hempstead busy. One of the appealing factors of the Allegro 2000 is its price, which starts in the upper $50,000 range for the flyaway version. An airplane with an attractive price has a clear advantage over others with higher price tags. When that airplane flies well, is supported well, and has the equipment desired by consumers, it’s likely to succeed. Well-Established Given its fast start, Fantasy Air USA has reason for optimism, but the Allegro design has a much longer history outside this country.
Instructing With the Allegro
Falcon Executive Aviation in Mesa, Arizona, enjoys a thriving business teaching private, commercial, and instrument students with Cessna and Piper aircraft. But Falcon Executive decided to take a chance. After careful consideration, this Arizona fi xed-base operator (FBO) chose to add a light-sport aircraft to its inventory. Vic Hannig, Falcon’s sales manager, and a friend, Larry Vaughan, researched the LSA fi eld and selected the Allegro as an excellent value. How successful was this decision? When EAA held a Sport Pilot Tour at Falcon Field last February, EAA’s Ron Wagner and I visited with Vic and his chief fl ight instructor, Matt Miller. Vic left no doubt in our minds that their decision to embrace sport pilot training was a good one. When asked if the Allegro was robbing business from the Cessna and Piper fl eet-that is, were hours fl own in the Allegro merely replacing hours that would have been fl own in the Cessna or Piper aircraft-Vic said, “No.