Folks at Sebring 2014 noted some unoccupied exhibit spaces. As always, a few thought exhibit sales were down but another explanation are no-shows. With the northlands enduring one of the more cold and snowy winters of recent memory, a few aircraft that planned to display never left their hangars. I’ll follow with about the whys and wherefores for other companies, too, but one notable miss was Kitfox, a company that for years has made the long trek from Homedale, Idaho. You might think they just didn’t want to fly diagonally across nearly the entire U.S. in a hard winter and who could blame them? Yet the company offered a more nuanced explanation.
“Our decision to not attend the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, Florida was a tough one, but was driven by our desire to deliver the best customer service possible. [Sebring] has been a valuable show for us in the past but due to our backlog of orders and the fact that our small, dedicated team of professionals hand crafts each Kitfox SLSA and Kitfox kit, we would have diminished manpower just as our product back order has been increasing.” That’s good news for Kitfox and is a common situation for LSA providers as they experience growing sales after some slow years. Manufacturers have to balance the costs involved with attending a show with the need to keep staff working to build and deliver airplanes. “Kitfox has been attending this great event for many years and enjoyed some terrific island hoping in the Bahamas as a reward for those working the show,” said John. “We will really miss the fun of greeting folks and getting away from the Idaho winter, but meeting our delivery commitments comes first.” Good for the Kitfox Team for sticking to business, though of course the crowds at Sebring missed seeing their shiny, affordable airplanes.
To compensate, Kitfox offered a show special as if they attended. For example, the company includes reimbursement credits when buyers visit their expanded plant in Idaho. “It’s like a mini vacation, with flying thrown in,” John said, plus they offer some free options. A kit version of the Kitfox — already a value purchase — is further enhanced by the show special deal. Since long before LSA burst on the scene, Kitfox has been a pioneer in kit airplanes. They didn’t miss a beat when LSA came along, meeting the ASTM standards for a fully-built SLSA version. Now, with nearly 30 years of manufacturing experience, Kitfox features refinements that continue the reputation of a backcountry performer while adding a respectable 120 mph cruise speed to a range of over 600 miles. Being American made doesn’t hurt either. We have a lot of fine LSA from overseas but Yankees still like buying American when the product is as gleaming and polished as Kitfox. Give Kitfox Aircraft a ring or send an email to hear how their Sebring show special can save you money.