Arion LS-1 Lightning

Talk about airplanes! At last count, there are 39 (and growing) FAA certificated S-LSA (special light sport aircraft). These are factory-built ready to fly airplanes. If you can't afford a factory-built LSA, consider buying an E-LSA kit (experimental LSA - up to 99% complete).

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BrianL99
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Re: Arion LS-1 Lightning

Postby BrianL99 » Sun Sep 27, 2015 7:33 pm

Hasn't the Australian government, grounded all airplanes with the Jabiru engine?

The President (of founder?) of Jabiru was one of the original investors in Arion, which is why the airplane has that engine.

rgstubbsjr
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Re: Arion LS-1 Lightning

Postby rgstubbsjr » Sun Sep 27, 2015 9:47 pm

Castoring nosewheel. Toe brakes both sides, handles very well on the ground.
The plane I tested had no BRS, so the weight penalty was minimum.
With 2 up, I could climb at over 1,000 fpm.

No, Jabirus aren't grounded. Most of the issues in Australia are political, not mechanical.

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zaitcev
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Re: Arion LS-1 Lightning

Postby zaitcev » Wed Sep 30, 2015 8:44 am

Remember that Aussie gov. grounded all Bonanzas recently, too. They are ridiculously trigger-happy, but they weathervane with the best of them.

As far as LS-1 goes, I was offered a 1/4 of a Lightning. The current owners swear that it's no big deal to fly and land, just a shade hotter than most LSAs. It's not a Lancair anyway.

Mark Gregor
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Re: Arion LS-1 Lightning

Postby Mark Gregor » Sun Nov 01, 2015 8:58 am

We just traded a 2012 Lightning LS-1 in on a new Tecnam Astore. It has around 400 hours, no damage history.
Was originally a factory demo plane and looks to be very well taken care of. Priced to sell at $67,500.00

Mark Gregor
507-327-9465
Tecnam US Inc.

c162pilot
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Re: Arion LS-1 Lightning

Postby c162pilot » Thu Nov 05, 2015 8:38 pm

Hi Jake, would be interested in your opinion of the Astore. Which engine and avionics did you choose?

Jack Tyler
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Re: Arion LS-1 Lightning

Postby Jack Tyler » Sun Nov 08, 2015 6:57 am

Richard, depending on how genuine is your interest in the Lightning, I don't think I'd consider buying any Jab-powered a/c without first mining the recreational flying forum centered on Australian aviation. You'll find it here: http://www.recreationalflying.com

Jab's performance history is quite checkered over a lengthy period of time and includes many incidents in Jabiru brand aircraft, which one would think should be well designed to accommodate the Jab-built engine. Incidents span across home-built, factory-built, privately flown and training-mission aircraft. And there are also many happy Jabiru engine owners, too. It's always seemed to me that one can gain a perspective on the build quality of Jab planes and engines if you just look at Bundaberg on Google Earth and read a bit about this small, relatively remote town. It's not like they have a lot of technical depth available in the job market in Bundy, and one key person leaving the factory might have a ripple effect for a while on how things are built.

Unlike Howard, I wouldn't put much faith in what you learn from visiting the LS-1 importer/assembler. I've visited with them at Sebring and Sun 'n Fun, found them to be nice folks and proud of their product (and the Jab a/c line, as well) but they sell planes. Instead, I'd seek out some current - and especially, former - owners, burrow in on the few key Q's you have, visit with a few of them to beg or perhaps exchange rides, and then form your own opinion. I would not invest nearly the same time if shopping for a Rotax-powered a/c as I would a Jab-powered one.

Whether you evaluate the numbers, inspect the cockpit layout/volume/design, or just stand back and look at the Lightning, it's pretty obviously an a/c with an intentional, fairly narrow mission. 'Fast fun' might best sum it up. Some a/c - LSA or certified - have a fairly wide mission envelope, which makes them adaptable for a given owner and also more marketable to the buyer population. Other a/c - take a Just Highlander Super-STOL for example - have a much narrower mission envelope but perform much better within that envelope as a result. Seems to me the Lightning falls into that latter category.
Jack
Flying in/out KBZN, Bozeman MT in a Grumman Tiger
Do you fly for recreational purposes? Please visit http://www.theraf.org

Jfly67
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Re: Arion LS-1 Lightning

Postby Jfly67 » Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:12 pm

Anyone have updates on the Arion or have they purchased one. I am very interested but have many of the same concerns. The jabiru seems to have a checkered history for reliability and the landing gear seems to be marginal at times. I don't think its all heavy handed pilots either no one is immune from bouncing one in once in a while or being a bit crossed up during heavy winds. I am currently flying a Sling 2 and they take abuse at our local school with zero problems. If you look at the pictures of the landing gear its seems to be on the light side for sure. If you read up on the accidents they all tend to be related in landing gear issues as a direct or indirect cause of the accident.

Atrosa
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Re: Arion LS-1 Lightning

Postby Atrosa » Tue Nov 26, 2019 4:39 pm

I think the landing gear issue is just the last in the chain of events. It is a very slippery plane. If you don't manage landing speed and you try to force it down the result will be PIO and then landing gear failure. I understand that if is not right.... go around. Close enough works in 152's and pa-28's but not in the lightning. Just like an older porsche 911, putt putt and it will be fine, get it wrong and lift around a corner.... well the back becomes the front.

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designrs
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Re: Arion LS-1 Lightning

Postby designrs » Tue Nov 26, 2019 5:15 pm

Yes, the Lightning seems like a very sexy, fun, but slippery plane, for the right type of pilot, and even then with some inherent higher risks. (IMO only. Not fact.)
- Richard
Sport Pilot
Ground Instructor
Previous Owner: 2011 SportCruiser

Atrosa
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Re: Arion LS-1 Lightning

Postby Atrosa » Tue Nov 26, 2019 7:46 pm

Richard, I think your conclusion is accurate. One must accept that a plane that does not slow down easily is by it's very nature harder to land. Therefore more risky. In fact the insurance quotes I received for a Lightning concur. The Lightning was more than twice of a Sport cruiser. (3,500 vs 1,500). In fact it was very difficult to even get an insurance company to even quote me on a Lightning.... DO I still want one, you bet, but it might be my 2nd plane.

Jfly67
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Re: Arion LS-1 Lightning

Postby Jfly67 » Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:23 pm

758F7D28-2DDF-4D66-8BFF-7BE1948E37B2.jpeg.4ea7413259dc55d66b377ba3bd6272ee.jpeg
758F7D28-2DDF-4D66-8BFF-7BE1948E37B2.jpeg.4ea7413259dc55d66b377ba3bd6272ee.jpeg (83.3 KiB) Viewed 994 times



This is a picture I found and the landing gear seems very minimalistic at best with no real way to absorb any shock. I still want one but has to be a concern.

Atrosa
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Re: Arion LS-1 Lightning

Postby Atrosa » Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:47 am

I would call and talk to Nick Otterback at Arion. He can answer you questions about the plane.

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Re: Arion LS-1 Lightning

Postby 3Dreaming » Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:48 am

Jfly67 wrote:758F7D28-2DDF-4D66-8BFF-7BE1948E37B2.jpeg.4ea7413259dc55d66b377ba3bd6272ee.jpeg


This is a picture I found and the landing gear seems very minimalistic at best with no real way to absorb any shock. I still want one but has to be a concern.


The gear leg itself is a spring. A similar system has been used on aircraft for years. In fact a Cessna 152 uses a similar leg, the only differenc is it is covered up by a bulkier fairing.
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Cessna gearleg.jpg
Cessna gearleg.jpg (3.73 KiB) Viewed 962 times

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foresterpoole
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Re: Arion LS-1 Lightning

Postby foresterpoole » Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:09 pm

Sounds like a Mooney: slick plane but if you carry too much energy/airspeed and try to force it you'll regret the attempt. I used to want one of these very badly, I still sometimes consider maybe one day purchasing one. Then I started researching accident rates and looking at used aircraft on the market. Most have damage history unfortunately. The insurance, aforementioned accident rates, and the plethora of used Sportcruiser and Tecnam aircraft on the market make it much less desirable of an option than it did 3-5 years ago. Also, I am waiting to see what happens (maybe years who knows) with the Sport Pilot re-write. If the current crop of 2 seat certified singles (Ex. 152) qualify then that opens up a whole other world of aircraft. At the present I'll keep putting around in a Tecnam P-92 as a cost effective way to enjoy aviation. Occasionally I'll rent a 172 or the Arrow if I need more seats or speed (which is very seldom).
Ed

Jfly67
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Re: Arion LS-1 Lightning

Postby Jfly67 » Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:12 pm

foresterpoole wrote:Sounds like a Mooney: slick plane but if you carry too much energy/airspeed and try to force it you'll regret the attempt. I used to want one of these very badly, I still sometimes consider maybe one day purchasing one. Then I started researching accident rates and looking at used aircraft on the market. Most have damage history unfortunately. The insurance, aforementioned accident rates, and the plethora of used Sportcruiser and Tecnam aircraft on the market make it much less desirable of an option than it did 3-5 years ago. Also, I am waiting to see what happens (maybe years who knows) with the Sport Pilot re-write. If the current crop of 2 seat certified singles (Ex. 152) qualify then that opens up a whole other world of aircraft. At the present I'll keep putting around in a Tecnam P-92 as a cost effective way to enjoy aviation. Occasionally I'll rent a 172 or the Arrow if I need more seats or speed (which is very seldom).


How do you like the Tecnam ? I have been looking at the p2008 with a 914 rotax.

I am on the fence on what to buy with the lingering rule change that's what interested me in the Arion Lightning so much up potential if and when the rule change comes. I have read a lot of reports of damage and a lot being related to landing gear? To me the design of the front nose wheel has no ability to absorb any shock most aircraft have some sort of spring or shock ? I am no aircraft designer but just what I see. I am unsure how the main gear attach to the fuselage but there was a case that a pilot knocked one off and in the panic stalled the plane before attempting an emergency landing. Arion actually addressed the issue in one of their news letters claiming all pilot errors but with that being said you have to build a plane that the average pilot can be safe in. They even claimed to have retested the landing gear. I am still interested and planning on discussing further with Arion. It very well could be a more then sufficient design for all I know.


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