Greetings from The Aero Experience Team


The Aero Experience is a celebration of Midwest aviation and aerospace achievement. We invite you to join us as we explore the treasures of Midwest aviation through first-hand experiences. Our contributors take turns flying lead, and we are always looking for new destinations. Check in with The Aero Experience frequently to see where we will land today, and then go out and have your own aero experiences!

Blue skies,

Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Midwest LSA Expo Will Bring Leading Light Sport Aircraft and Buyers Together in Mount Vernon This Week

Fred Harl and Carmelo Turdo highly-anticipated 6th Annual Midwest LSA Expo will be held at Mount Vernon Outland Airport in central Illinois September 4-6.  The Midwest LSA Expo is a very important marketplace for the light sport aircraft manufacturers to demonstrate their products for serious customers.  Chris Collins, Mount Vernon Outland Airport Manager, told The Aero Experience that the focus of the event is to place aircraft buyers and sellers in one convenient location.  Collins mentioned that aircraft suppliers and customers come from across the country and Canada to this event, further illustrating the importance of the Midwest LSA Expo to the growth of the aviation community beyond the region.  The event organizers have provided free parking, free admission, free camping, and free shuttles to local hotels to help make everyone's experience there a pleasant one.

The Aero Experience continues our week-long coverage of the Midwest LSA Expo with this extended preview of the event and profiles of the anticipated exhibitors.  We have combined this Midwest LSA Expo preview with some material we collected on the LSA manufacturers from our recent trip to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014 sponsored by Air Associates of Missouri and Air Associates of Kansas.  This post features more views of the LSA aircraft scheduled to be at the Midwest LSA Expo in the coming days.  

The Aerotrek A220 conventional landing gear (pictured) and A240 tricycle landing gear LSAs have a wing folding feature that allows the aircraft to be trailered to a garage or off-field operating area.  The aircraft are manufactured by Aeropro CZ in Slovakia and distributed in the U.S. by Aerotrek in Bloomfield, IN.

Arion Lightning       

The Arion Lightning is a composite, low-wing LSA built to use the Jabiru 3300 engine. It's 5.5 gal/hour fuel burn and 40 gallon fuel capacity gives this LSA impressive range.  The aircraft can be purchased in kit form or factory-built from U.S. suppliers from the Shelbyville, TN headquarters.    


AutoGyro is the premier supplier of gyrocopters.  The company produces one unit per day at their plant in Germany, and distributes their aircraft in over thirty countries.  The MTO Sport, Calidus and Cavalon are pictured at left. 


The all-new Sport Cub and Carbon Cub SS are outgrowths of Jim Richmond's efforts to improve the Piper Cub's ability to operate in the bush environment (from Alaska to the jungle).  New aircraft kits or pre-owned aircraft are available, and current aircraft can undergo a rebuild program to extend the service life.  The factory is located in Yakima, Washington.

Jabiru USA

Jabiru USA Sport Aircraft is the largest distributor of Jabiru aircraft and engines in the world.  Importing the Jabiru kits and engines from Australia, Jabiru USA has grown into a successful LSA manufacturer of these kits for the American market in Shelbyville, TN.  The J-230D pictured is the latest model and offers excellent performance and larger cargo space than most LSAs.   Mount Vernon's Jabiru dealer is Evans Aviation.

Pipistrel USA

Pipistrel began producing powered hangliders and later powered gliders in Slovenia after the breakup of Yugoslavia.  The Virus pictured represents the type that won the NASA Centennial Challenge in 2007 and 2008 for fuel efficiency.

Rans Designs

Rans Designs is a Kansas-based producer of kit and factory-built LSAs.  The company produced Sailtrike wind/man-powered land craft in the early 1970s and later the Coyote ultralight.  Current offerings are more sophisticated, including the S-19 Venterra aluminum monoplane pictured at left.

Pictured below: S-7, S-12F and S-19.


Skyreach Bushcat

The Skyreach Bushcat is designed to perform well in bush and float plane environments.  The aircraft is produced in South Africa and distributed by Aerosport in the U.S. The aircraft boasts impressive payload and amphibious flight performance.

Tecnam U.S.

Tecnam U.S. is the distributor for the Tecnam line of Italian LSAs.  The company offers aircraft in the LSA, General Aviation and twin-engine airborne Surveillance classes.  The P2008 and P92 Eaglet are pictured at left.   

Also pictured below: Astore and P2006T

Vans Aircraft

Vans Aircraft produces the iconic RV series of homebuilt aircraft.  Over 8,000 kits have been delivered from the previous North Plains, OR and current Aurora, OR plants.  The popular RV-9A is pictured at left near the Vans Aircraft exhibit.
Aircraft models labeled below:











Zenith Aircraft

Mexico, MO-based Zenith Aircraft is the producer of Zenair kits from designer Chris Heintz.  Zenith aircraft are known to be builder-friendly and the company offers hands-on factory workshops  The CH 650 low wing, CH 701 utility and CH 750 STOL aircraft are very popular LSAs.

TL Ultralight

TL Ultralight produces the Sting and Sirius LSAs in the Czech Republic using advanced composite material construction.  The TL-3000 has impressive performance and can effectively be used in the training environment.  The aircraft is imported by Sportair USA, and the Midwest's preferred distributor of TL Sirius aircraft is Swan Air.


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