LSA -coments on the rules as it affects design

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Dana

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Which planes are you thinking about specifically? Without looking, I can't think of a certified aircraft that's well below 100K US$? Or are you thinking about 2nd hand, older aircraft?
Yes... it seems really silly to buy a new $100K (or greater) LSA when you can buy a perfectly good Champ, T-Craft, or C-150 for $20-30K. Or an award winning Cub restoration with a zero time engine for half of what a new Legend or Cubcrafters Cub costs.

... there was no explosion of hang gliding immediately after Lilienthal demonstrated the possibility of having 'personal wings' --WHY did it take 70 years or more for the revival of hang gliding and then via powered hang gliders the ultralight aircraft ?
It took the 1960's and the attitude change resulting from the hippie era, with the perception that flying could be both fun and affordable.

... I can imagine "urban barnstorming" in the near future where aviation comes to the public rather than the public having to seek out some remote airstrip -- it worked then and would again...
No, the public is too jaded nowadays; flying isn't new and exciting any more. Though Richard Bach did some barnstorming in the mid 1960s with a 1929 biplane (Nothing by Chance). He found, unsurprisingly, that you have to find a good field close to town... but he was also selling the romance of days gone by, not a modern aircraft.

I am surprised by the limitation on 'no passenger rides' in LSA --as BBerson states this would make most FBO glider operations unviable
It's not a "ride"; it's an "introductory lesson"... just as all the BFIs were doing with their "ultralight trainers" until the BFI program was ended with the introduction of Sport Pilot.

As to operating "over" residential areas --of course we have suburban overflight but the regs read ("not below 1500 feet or such a height as to be able to glide clear of built up areas in event of power failure ") --this is a sort of "red flag act" provision in that it precludes flight to and from a residential location which is the objective .
I don't know about your regs there, but here the minimum altitude doesn't apply during takeoff and landing... though if it got common local municipalities would start outlawing aircraft operations withing city limits (already the case in many towns).

-Dana

The missionaries go forth to Christianize the savages-- as if the savages weren't dangerous enough already.
 

Aircar

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Yes Dana the "except for taking off and landing -from an aerodrome"- is the rest of the regulation here as well ( with specific exceptions such as the sports oval next door to me that infrequently thunders to the sound of a big chopper landing a medical emergency patient ) --at the airfield and gliding site (world championships in 1987) of Benalla the last row of houses is the other side of the boundary road of the airport and gliders doing normal circuits are only 100 feet or so over them --on returning on a final glide it is neccesary to dodge TV aerials if very low . point is that there has been no outbreak of mass hysteria or any observed deleterious effects from flying machines actually operating over houses in practice (we had two crashes into houses at Essendon airport --formerly the major international for Melbourne over fifty years of operations and in the second nobody was hurt (De havilland Dove lost all power went into houses )

How do you know that the public is jaded ? How many people you have taken for a first flight have been blase' or didn't like it ? Treat flying like a service or a utility rather than a pastime and see how many people would fly to save time or get somewhere they otherwise could not and then enjoy the sensations and view etc as bonuses (how many people just drive for the thrill of it ? how many people drive ? how many fly ? -thrillseekers don't add up to a market. (but Burt Rutan titles his talk about the Virgin Galactic space ride "It's all about the view stupid" --given that the view is through a tiny porthole for a couple of minutes @$200,000 (now -more in future) how much less justifiable is this sort of 'thrill riding' or " space barnstorming" ?

Is there nobody reading this who can at least see what we could be missing in terms of both involving more of the public and giving flying people a 'toy' at arm's length and useable without any long trip out of town (it's OK if you are living and working on a country airfield as I was in the US or later in Australia --you can walk over to an aircraft and just fly whenever (just like George Jetson ..) but for everybody ELSE getting into the air is a real hassle and is best avoided and only indulged in on special occasions . If you live in a country town then you might be able to ride a push bike to the airfield before you can drive and learn to fly first as I and some others did but I see precious few youngsters involved now and for those in big cities it is unthinkable ... the first hurdle is still just too high.
 

TFF

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Price matters when buying a toy and most dont think they are getting their moneys worth with new LSA much less regular airplanes. A 1965 Corvette and a 1965 Cessna 150 were about $6000 usd. With equal money in your pocket you had choices. In 1980 a 150 was $40000 and the Vette $16000. Price killed new GA and Cessna soon quit making small airplanes. If you are throwing money at what is a passtime, you will divert your money to what you think you will get the most enjoyment from spending equal. An average new Vette is $60000; 100-150K will never bring someone to buy considering bang for buck. For 150K I would be getting a Ferrari. Used RVs trade in the Vette range, and most of the US the LSA fliers are 65+ in age; they are not spending their retirement for a high dollar weekend toy.
 

Dana

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Yes Dana the "except for taking off and landing -from an aerodrome"- is the rest of the regulation here as well
"From an aerodrome" isn't included in the regulation here, but even if it was, the regulations define "aerodrome" as any place an airplane takes off or lands at; it doesn't have to be a licensed airport (then there are rules, both federal and local, about how often you can fly from any one location before you have to license it, but that's a different issue).

How do you know that the public is jaded ?
Easy. See how many people look up when an airplane passes over.

-Dana

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.-- Albert Einstein
 

bmcj

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"From an aerodrome" isn't included in the regulation here, but even if it was, the regulations define "aerodrome" as any place an airplane takes off or lands at; it doesn't have to be a licensed airport.
Sidebar... I read several months ago that at least one of the major dictionary publishers were dropping the word "aerodrome" from their list of officially recognized words, saying that it was an old word that is no longer used today.
 

Aircar

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You have hit the nail on the head --of course the word "aerodrome" is the key ( my proposed over-road ATOL apparatus is not an aerodrome as usually meant but serves to make accees to the air feasible WITHOUT flattening everything for half a mile around .

See "Brodie system" for an ancestor that could be morphed and transplanted into the midst of suburbia just as we now make roads and curbing etc to accomodate cars --I don't agree that people are jaded about flight as such ( airlines -yes but only because of the deliberate de sensitizing of the whole experience and the endless hassles . light aircraft flying over --well how many people look at cars driving by either --I still look up and IF people were familiar with self flying I think they would too --until (a) they become effictively silent and (b) so commonplace that you cease to bother --they are just background or "wallpaper" --eg the scenes out the windows in star wars ..

The recent success of Avatar owes a lot I think to the three dimensionality of all the flying sequences --the human urge to fly like a bird is still with us I believe -- maybe we are just like offering people 'tractors' to drive rather than sportscars and wondering why they are unenthusiastic... and they lack a REASON to fly --as I noted who just drives around the block to be driving? (except for everybody as soon as they have their licence..)

Someone out there - restore my faith in human nature or at least the lure of flight...
 
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