Arion Lightning LS-1 - This Is A FAST LSA! Here's What You
Should Know About It
As you have probably noticed by now, there are quite a few options for light sport aircrafts on the market. One that you should really have a second look at is the Arion Lightning LS-1, which is a very fast and very nice looking LSA.
IMPORTANT - Arion Aircraft has a kit version of this airplane - were not going to touch on that model in this article. I want to focus on the LSA version that they have which is manufactured by them.
2 IMPORTANT Reasons The Arion Lightning Could Be A Good "Buy" For You
Reason #1 - It Has SPEED - (And Another Important Performance Spec)
When it comes to the LSA regulations & depending on your country - you are regulated in terms of the max cruise speed of the airplane. That is fine, but the problem is that some of the airplanes don't even come close to the maximum cruise speed.
The Lightning does! It comes very close to it's max cruise speed of 120 knots (138 mph) with its great design and power.(1) And the great thing about this aircraft being able to come up against 120 knots is the fact that you have power.
During the warm summer days, your not going to want to have to deal with a sluggish airplane when your density altitude increases and your flying at close to your gross weight. But when you have the performance that the Lightning has, you should not notice the sluggish power as much.
The Very IMPORTANT Performance Spec
Not only are you going to have some great speed and power, your not going to have to wait very long to get up to your cruise speed as this airplane will climb at about 1,200 feet per minute!(2)
If your in a tighter area and need to get up quickly, you should be able to do that with this airplane as it has such a good rate of climb. Seeing a 1,200 feet per minute rate of climb is absolutely amazing for a plane this small.
It really speaks a lot about their ability to build a great plane.
That's a pretty fast rate of climb and cruise speed for a smaller airplane like the Lightning. The great thing about this airplane is the fact that while your going fast your only going to be burning about 5.5 gph as well.(3)
Only burning 5.5 gph is a pretty good thing considering the performance of this aircraft. It really seems like nothing was sacrificed to get that kind of fuel burn and cruise speed! Some airplanes make a lot of sacrifices in the area of comfort & design to get the speed.
Sure it is not a rocket, but you have to realize that this is a 2 seater airplane! The great thing about it's speed and performance is the fact that if your a fully licensed pilot yet looking for a 2 seater - you might want to check this airplane out. It's not just reserved for people with LSA permits.
Reason #2 - It Has 2 Really Cool Features You Could Grow To Love
The one thing I really like about this airplane is the fact that the joystick is between your legs verses on the left side of the pilot. I think this is good for a lot of reasons - first being that if you are right handed, you can still control the airplane without having to worry about relearning in your bad arm.
The other thing I like about the joystick being in between your legs is the fact that you can change hands while you are flying it. If your on a cross country flight, being able to control the airplane with either hand is a very important feature.
One of the great things about the Lightning is the fact that the canopy hinges at the front and opens backwards. This is a great feature because it gives you lots of room to get into the cockpit and move around. You don't have to crawl in through some small door like some of the other planes.
It's Great If Your Tall
So if your tall, you are hopefully not going to have to worry about putting your back out when you get in this aircraft. Some of the other 2 seaters on the market are very hard to get in and out of. But the Lightning looks to be pretty easy in that area.
All in all, this is a very nice & very fast airplane that you really should have a second look at if you are in the market for a 2 seater airplane. You have some really good power, speed, cool features & a nice looking airplane.
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References: #1 - Sourced 02/13/2012 http://www.planeandpilotmag.com/aircraft/pilot-reports/arion-aircraft/arion-lightning-ls-1-smokin-lightning.html
References: #2 - Sourced 02/13/2012 http://www.flylightning.net/images/pdf/2012%20LSA%20Brochure%20(B).pdf
References: #3 - Sourced 02/13/2012 http://www.flylightning.net/images/pdf/2012%20LSA%20Brochure%20(B).pdf
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