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Tue, Jul 17, 2007

Oshkosh To Host New Offerings From Light Sport Manufacturers

Companies To Showcase Several New Models

by ANN Correspondent Chris Esposito

With all the exhibitors at Airventure this year, attendees will certainly have a lot to look at. In the light sport aircraft market alone, several manufacturers will be offering new options... previews of new aircraft... and announcements of future plans in this sector of the aviation marketplace. Tecnam, Toxo, and Cessna are three manufacturers who have been making news in recent months, and previews of their new products will be on display.

Tecnam Aircraft has become a name familiar to many LSA pilots, and they are expanding their product line outside the category. Lynne Birmingham of Tecnam Aircraft says the company will soon offer a full line of aircraft, ranging from fixed-gear singles to retractable-gear, multiengine aircraft.

Their new twin-engine plane, the P2006T, promises to offer low operating costs with a substantial useful load and room for four. It will be powered by two Rotax 912S engines, each rated at 98 horsepower, and will have a cruise speed of 147 knots. While it has recently flown, it will not be at Oshkosh this year because the airframe is currently undergoing testing.

Tecnam has also certified a P2002JR in Europe, and has plans to bring the aircraft to the US. Essentially a retractable gear Sierra, the aircraft will allow Tecnam to offer aircraft to those interested in the increased efficiency of retracts.

An official option for all new Tecnam aircraft will be the Op Technologies EFIS system, allowing for a simpler panel layout.  You can check out Tecnam's latest offerings at Airventure booths 236 and 237.

Composite Aeronautic Group, the parent company of Toxo Light Sport Aircraft, will be displaying their Toxo Sportster SLSA this year. The all-composite 2 seat aircraft will be powered by a Rotax 912 ULS engine producing 100 horsepower, and allowing for climb rates in excess of 1000 feet per minute. To meet LSA requirements, speed will be limited to 120 knots.

The Sportster will have several equipment options available, including a leather interior, TAPS (Toxo's Airframe Parachute System), and EFIS primary and secondary displays. The Sportster's maiden flight was back in February, and the company continues to move toward certification. You can see Toxo's Sportster behind the North Exhibit Hangar in the Combo M tent at Oshkosh.

As ANN reported, Cessna announced July 10 it would proceed with plans for its LSA program, promising to unveil a mock-up of the aircraft at AirVenture. Cessna's flying LSA prototype made appearances at the Light Sport Aircraft Expo in Sebring in January, and in April at Lakeland.

At this writing, Cessna has yet to announced its engine selection, though it appears the choice will be between the 100-horsepower Rotax 912S and the Continental 0-200. Both engines have appeared on the aircraft at the shows it has flown to.

Several details are likely to change for the production version... and as you might expect, Cessna is saving most of those announcements for Oshkosh. Cessna plans to update the status of the program during a July 22 conference, and it also plans a ribbon cutting ceremony at its aircraft exhibit (No. 143-156) on Monday, July 23.

FMI: www.tecnam.com, www.toxoaircraft.com, www.cessna.com

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