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 $20-30K. Or an award winning Cub restoration with a zero time engine for half of what a new Legend or Cubcrafters Cub costs.Which planes are you thinking about specifically? Without looking, I can't think of a certified aircraft that's well below 100K US$? Or are you thinking about 2nd hand, older aircraft?
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.... 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 ?
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 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...
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.I am surprised by the limitation on 'no passenger rides' in LSA --as BBerson states this would make most FBO glider operations unviable
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).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 .
The missionaries go forth to Christianize the savages-- as if the savages weren't dangerous enough already.