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Lightwing introduces Speed aircraft

Australian light aircraft manufacturer LightWing confirmed the 5th sale this month for its 2 or 4 place low wing Light aircraft range branded the SPEED. The Australian designed 2 seat version is designated the SP-2000 and the 4 seater, the SP-4000. CEO Howie Hughes conformed the 5th sale, an SP-4000, to an Australian kit builder located in the southern state of Victoria. In mid August the company reached a major milestone in its approval to manufacture and certificate its aircraft range under newly introduced LSA regulations. Howie Hughes Commented " this is a major step forward for us and the entire team is ecstatic about the SPEED project and the companies future". With a half million dollars worth of orders in the first 2 months of production, Howie says the company is already adding 1200 sq meters of manufacturing space and 4 new staff to its facility at the Ballina airport, (Ballina is located about the middle of the east coast of Australia), */an in-house metal work training facility is also planned to be developed in conjunction with the NSW government on the Ballina airport site./*

Both the 2 and 4 place SPEED aircraft use mainly traditional methods of airframe construction with a welded lightweight safety cage framing up the fuselage. A sleek semi structural fiberglass body "keeps the wind out" as Howie puts it while the wings are high tensile 6061T6 aluminum. What Howie calls FE technology has been developed to enhance manufacturing procedures and add to the strength of the airframe. Howie would not provide any additional details about exactly what FE means, " it's a new method of installing composite components into a metal airframe watch this space" was his only comment.

Gull wing doors provide access to the SPEED's roomy cockpit and the choice of the Rotax 100 or 115 hp engines power the 2 seater. The 4 seater is powered by an IO360 Lycombing. LSA certification permits the company to fully build the aircraft and the 2 seater can be issued with a special certificate of airworthiness permitting commercial operations.

In order to improve speed and climb performance (the 2 seat SPEED cruises at 120 kts), an in-flight adjustable prop was developed by the company early in 06 and ten of the 2 blade cockpit adjustable props have been sold around the world as of August 06.

"Its been a dream run so far" Howie commented, " the prototype aircraft has performed faultlessly so far The first SP-2000 flew just on a year ago and flight testing carried out so far confirms compliance with the LSA standards ".

With companies like Cessna entering the LSA arena, Howie hopes the British Aviation Authority will soon recognize LSA as a viable alternative for 2 seat recreational and semi commercial aircraft design, certification and manufacture.

Press release issued by Hughes Group on August 22, 2006


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