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Most efficient light-sport airplanes

by generalAviation
light-sport airplanes

Light-sport airplanes are getting better and better and better. If are looking for a light sport airplane? Buckle your seat belts, let’s review some fast cruisers, Trainers and Bush planes.

VL3 Evolution

VL3 Evolution
VL3 Evolution


The first airplane we are going to look at is the VL3 Evolution. Sometimes you want to get from A to B as quickly as possible and let’s be honest, speed is fun! Sometimes you can compromise comfort for speed but the Evolution offers comfort, stability and a lot of speed. The VL3 is one of the fastest side-by-side seating aircraft on the market, and it exists both fixed and retractable landing gear and is fully personalized to your needs.

The VL3 Evolution uses the 100 hp Rotax 912 engine, which helps it to cruise at 160 mph, climbs at 1300 ft/min, with a range of 1600 miles. Burning only 5 gallons per hour, the hourly fuel cost for the VL3 runs at an average of $20 per hour. With $160,000, you can get this airplane brand new.

ICON A5

ICON A5
ICON A5

Kicking off with Fast cruisers, whether you are seeking your next adventure or simply want to reinvent the weekend getaway, the ICON A5 makes flying more exciting and more accessible than ever before. The Icon A5 is a fast-little plane, capable of speeds in the 100 miles range, this is achieved with its highly aerodynamic airframe, a Rotax engine behind and a constant speed propeller. From the biggest airport to the smallest airstrip, the icon takes you there, you can although put this airplane down on a beach.

The best thing is that the wings can be folded aft for ground transport and you can store it in your garage at home, so hanger or tie-down fees are not for you. Visibility in this airplane is great, with its Cockpit layout designed to resemble an automobile dashboard. Using the Rotax 912 engine, this Icon A5 cruises at 100 mph, with a range of 1400 miles, burning only 3.5 gallons of fuel. Hourly fuel costs on this airplane are about $14 to $18 per hour. The downside is that this airplane is not cheap, a brand-new Icon A5 will cost you at least $350,000.


Bristell B23

Bristell B23
Bristell B23

The Bristell B23 is another great airplane to consider. Introduces in 2010, while the airplane looks very similar to the classic aero Bristell, the fuselage is longer and the tail is larger, with an aluminium rudder; the flaps and stabilizer are bigger and better; the composite main landing gear legs have been redesigned completely to be able to carry much higher loads than previous Bristell models, and the aircraft’s handling characteristics are much improved. In addition, the B23 comes standard with the BRS ballistic parachute rescue system.

This aircraft is a popular modern trainer used by flight schools. With its lovely glass cockpit, which ensures excellent visibility, and the use of a Rotax engine, making it is a good economical choice. The Bristell B23 uses the 100hp Rotax 912 engine, which helps it to cruise at 1300 mph, climb at 700 ft per minute, with a range of 800 miles. Burning about 5 gallons of fuel per hour, hourly fuel cost in the B23 will cost you about 13 dollars per hour. With $230,000, you can get this airplane brand-new.


Vans RV8

Vans RV8
Vans RV8

if you want performance, then consider the Vans RV8. A lot of you might be wondering what the RV8 is doing on this list because it is basically a speed machine. Yes, the Vans RV8 does not completely qualify as light-sport aircraft because the performance is far above the limit for light sports. The RV8 is undoubtedly one of the most efficient airplane on this list. It achieves unprecedented efficiency through careful aerodynamic shaping and lightweight structure. For the owner, this represents significantly lower operating costs and simplified maintenance.

This airplane uses the Lycoming IO 360 engine, which powers it to cruise at 210 mph, climb at 1900 feet per minute, with a range of 1000 miles. You can build this airplane for less than $100,000, for the exact build price, please head to the Vans aircraft website for estimates.


Swiss Excellence Risen

Swiss Excellence Risen
Swiss Excellence Risen

If you want extraordinary efficiency, then consider the Swiss Excellence Risen introduced in 2015. This airplane is an exceptional performer of innovative design, with unparalleled efficiency and safety, with top-level avionics included. In terms of safety, Risen featured a ballistic parachute, anti-explosion and anti-fire fuel tanks, as well as shoulder belts that can be cocked for flight through turbulence. For additional protection, the cabin is surrounded by strong carbon reinforcement.

The risen is fitted with a Rotax 914 Turbo engine generating 115 hp, which helps it to cruise at 200 mph at 9000 ft over 1000 miles, with a rocket climb of 1600 ft per minute. Burning about 7 gallons of fuel per hour, hourly fuel cost for the risen run about $25 per hour. With $215,000, you can get this airplane brand new and the best thing is that you can fly it with just a recreational pilot licence.


Pipistrel Virus

Pipistrel Virus

If you want an excellent modern training platform, certified for both Night VFR and intentional spin the consider the Pipistrel Virus Introduced in 1999, based on the design of the Pipistrel Sinus, the Virus is still similar to the Sinus except that its wingspan is shorter and this makes the aircraft fly faster with the compromise being reduced glide ratio.

This is a very capable touring aircraft. With long-range tanks, it has 7 hours endurance at 120 knots and with a higher wing loading, it cuts through heavy turbulence with ease, unlike its competitors that easily get bounced around in the air. The Virus is certainly an efficient and economical aircraft, the fast roll rate and excellent visibility make it perfect for sight-seeing flights.

Overall, the Virus is an extremely nice package that will fit in most hangars. With a range of 900 miles, the cruise speed in this aircraft is around 170 mph using the 100 hp Rotax 912 engine, which is significantly faster than most of its light sports rivals. Burning only 4 gallons of fuel per hour, the hourly fuels const in this aircraft run as little as $15 per hour. With $180,000, you can get this airplane brand-new.


Diamond DA20

Diamond DA20
Diamond DA20

The next airplane we are going to look at is the Diamond DA20. Do you ever wonder how it will feel to add wings to your favourite sports car and take it into the sky? That is the feeling you get when you are in the two-seat DA20. Sporty, sleek, and exciting, yet surprisingly affordable, the DA20 offers outstanding performance with impressive durability and economy for commercial training.

The DA20 uses the Continental IO-240 engine, which helps it to cruise at 159 mph, climb at 1000 ft per minute with a range of 629 miles. Burning a little over 3 gallons per hour, with Avgas typically costing about $6 per gallon, hourly fuel cost for the DA20 run about $19 per hour. With $200,000, you can get this airplane brand-new.


CTLSi

CTLSi
CTLSi

The next airplane we are going to look at us the Flight Design CTLSi. Introduced back in 1997, this Flight design is one of the most popular light aircraft in the world, due to its great overall performance, sporty handling and class-leading safety features. It is certainly well built, ergonomic and cheap to operate, best known for its ultra-comfortable cabin and Cessna like handling characteristics.

This plane has no wings struts, which gives it good visibility and better aerodynamics. Using the 101 hp Rotax 912s engine, it cruises at 130 mph, climbs at 960 ft/min, with a range of 1200 miles. With a fuel burn of 7 gallons per hour, the hourly fuel cost on this airplane run about $23, with $160,000, you can get this airplane brand new.


Superstol

Superstol
Superstol

If you want a STOL, then consider the Just Superstol. If you are willing to trade speed for versatility, it does not get much better than just superstol. Simplicity and durability are the defining characteristics of the Superstol, the excellent control harmony at low speed it offers will make you want to keep on flying. This is a plane that will take you directly to your destination, even if your destination has only a 400-foot space with a swamp at one end and a two-story building at the other, the superstol can take you there.

This airplane is made to fly from pastures, clearing and driveways, any runway is more than adequate. Even if there is no runway at all, you have no problem. With a fuel burn of only 4 gallons per hour, the hourly fuel cost in this aircraft runs as little as $15 per hour. Using the 100 hp Rotax 912U engine, this airplane cruises at 100 mph, climbs at 1000 ft per minute, with a range of 450 miles. With $75,000, you can build this aircraft for yourself.

Vans RV-12

Vans RV-12
Vans RV-12

The last airplane on our list is the Vans RV-12. If you are looking for a fun, fast, affordable, and high-performance aircraft, the falls within the LSA category, the RV-12 is a good choice. The RV-12 is a tremendous little airplane, fast enough to go cross country and economical enough to just put around and do some sightseeing flights. It has excellent performance with a takeoff roll of just 400 feet and even less if you are flying solo. In-flight, the control is very smooth and responsive.

Since introduced in 2008 and one of the main selling points since then is its low operating costs. Using the 100 hp Rotax 912 engine, the RV-12 cruises at 130 mph, climbs at 900 ft per minute with a range of 500 miles. With a fuel burn of just 5 gallons per hour, hourly fuel cost in the RV-12 will run between $12 to $15 an hour. With $130,000, you can get this airplane brand-new.

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