The only one I'm familiar with is the Mooney Mite, and that was before my (and probably your) time.Ron, you fly a single seat airplane. I don't think any single seat airplane* has ever been certified in my lifetime.
When the burden is such that no small business can comply, then it is effectively a ban on single seat low powered airplanes.
However, is the bar to single-seat production-type aircraft the certification cost, or the perceived lack of market? The Mite didn't do well. I'm pretty well tied into the Fly Baby world, and I see planes for sale for a long, long time. Lack of performance might certainly be a factor, but when most people are going to spend a bunch of money for an airplane, they want (at least) a second seat.
How wealthy did he need to be, to pay for a two-inch stack of paperwork? Remember, everybody expected it to be much, much higher. I doubt his money reduced the paperwork burden....made it easier to pay, yes, but not the overall requirements.I don't see how this effective banning of light airplanes and leaving homebuilts as the only option serves any purpose since homebuilts don't meet the standards.
Frank was a wealthy businessman that could afford to pay the cost (much less decades ago) for an old style design that hardly differed much from the 40's Cub.
Starting an aircraft manufacturing company *from scratch* is NOT a low-cost effort. Certification certainly adds to it, but what's the cost compared to the need to build facilities, hire and train employees, pay subcontractors, etc?
But then, of course, marketing raises its ugly head. We've talked about how single-seat airplanes are a hard sell. If a company is going through all the expense to set up factories, hire and train workers, etc., will they make their investment back quicker on a four-seater? After all, a four-seater is nothing but a two-seater with *killer* baggage space. I think a new company'd be more likely to develop a replacement for the 172 than the 162.
As I understand it, this is what the Light Sport program was set up to do. Looking solely at the SLSA/ELSA records, 65 Vans RV-12s entered the FAA rolls last year, plus 47 LSA CubCrafter Cub clones. That's over half of the total number of SLSA aircraft (not weight shift, etc.) added in 2013. Not a real strong market...no other LSA types added more than 20 planes to the rolls in the entire year.It isn't that easy to get anything approved now. What is needed is relaxed burdens for one and two seat airplanes.
But I assume you're looking for higher performance than allowed under SLSA.
I don't disagree with relaxing the certification burdens for single-seaters... let the pilot take the risks, just like we're not required to carry ELTs. But I'm afraid anything like "Make it more like homebuilts" is not going to fly, within the FAA. Homebuilts are perceived as having a much worse safety record than certified airplanes (FAA's estimate is roughly seven times the accident rate for certified aircraft...even my analysis shows we're 40% higher). The pilots may be OK with it, but the FAA is concerned about the deaths of passengers who may not understand the higher risks.