Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Bye bye Sport Cruiser kit?

Once upon a time there was a Sport Cruiser. Now there's the Piper Sport. That should be a good thing. There will be good support, good parts service and at a stroke (well almost) the USA will have a network of engineers who understand the Rotax 912. The Piper Sport will also get a few small improvements that will make it an even better aircraft.

Of course where there's an upside there's often a downside or two. Let's start with the price. The Piper Sport is more expensive that the Sport Cruiser. The mid-range model (There are three versions Basic, LT and LTD) will set you back $129,900, plus delivery, plus tax. That's right around £100,000. Then there's the fact that Piper is an aeroplane manufacturer and as such has no real interest in selling kits. Nothing is official yet, but my understanding is that the factory has no great interest in kits either, so the Sport Cruiser kit is pretty much a thing of the past.

Looking at the good and bad together I think aviation is a winner. What was a great aeroplane gets the support of a major manufacturer, and people looking to replace much of the worldwide training fleet now have even more choice.

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