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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drseti
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Re: Arion LS-1 Lightning

Postby drseti » Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:53 pm

Jfly67 wrote:I am on the fence on what to buy with the lingering rule change


I wouldn't exactly call it lingering. Right now (and for the past year and a half) it's highly anticipated and much discussed. I wouldn't call it lingering until the FAA actually puts out an NPRM for public comment. After they do, there's a pretty good chance of a rule change within 5 years or so. :(
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Re: Arion LS-1 Lightning

Postby Atrosa » Wed Nov 27, 2019 10:24 pm

In what I've gathered for information on the Arion Lightning here are a few items to ask about:
1)What gen jab 3300? Gen 4s seem to have gotten the EGTs right. Most owners arent sure which ones they have so you have to get the jabs serial number to look up what gen.
2) Does the A/C have the Mark II tail? The FAA made them modify it so pitch wasn't so twitchy.
3) Has the elevator hinge been fixed?
4) Spar box cracking.
These are the major things to look for that I know of.
The sling is a better all round plane but the Arion looks better than anything in the air in my opinion. The Sport Cruiser is a close second in looks and a 48 inch cabin is sweet. Good luck in you search.

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Re: Arion LS-1 Lightning

Postby Atrosa » Thu Nov 28, 2019 9:04 am

One more thing to add. There were a few for sale a couple of months ago. They ranged from 28k to 52k. The 28k was out of annual since 2014 but looked in really nice shape. It had a dynon skyview HDX. Great deal even if you had to have the engine gone through. The 52k was a 2014 that had a nose gear collapse. There was a 2011 with no damage history also with a dynon skyview and the asking was 41k.

I called about the one on barstormers through TAMaircraft and was told that it was not an LSA but an EAB. When i asked why they put it in the LSA section of barnstormers they answered beciase they got no calls under the experimental. Hmmmm. So I'm not sure the process for converting a EAB to an SLA but it is probably more than saying now it is a LSA. As always do you own homework.

Either way the ones currently on barnstormers seem a little pricey.

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Re: Arion LS-1 Lightning

Postby drseti » Thu Nov 28, 2019 9:30 am

Be aware that what makes an aircraft an LSA is its performance specs, not how it was registered. With the right weight, configuration, and speeds, an E-AB can be an LSA. So can a certified aircraft. So can an SLSA, or an ELSA.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
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Re: Arion LS-1 Lightning

Postby Atrosa » Thu Nov 28, 2019 11:10 am

Great point Paul. Hey saw a video of you in a zenith. There is one locally for sale so i start to research those....and viola... Paul Hamilton in a Zenith. How did you like that machine?

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Re: Arion LS-1 Lightning

Postby Warmi » Thu Nov 28, 2019 12:35 pm

Ah Zenith .... now that no longer they have structural issues killing people , I guess it is a decent choice and plenty of people fly their high wings without any issues - they 701/750 family is probably one of the most popular EAB kits.

But after reading the story of how they handled the original issues back in late 2000s I am with MrMorden on this - wouldn’t trust them personally.
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Re: Arion LS-1 Lightning

Postby Sling 2 Pilot » Thu Nov 28, 2019 4:35 pm

Atrosa wrote:Great point Paul. Hey saw a video of you in a zenith. There is one locally for sale so i start to research those....and viola... Paul Hamilton in a Zenith. How did you like that machine?


Paul Hamilton, from Las Vegas?

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Re: Arion LS-1 Lightning

Postby Scooper » Sat Nov 30, 2019 2:32 am

Atrosa wrote:Great point Paul. Hey saw a video of you in a zenith. There is one locally for sale so i start to research those....and viola... Paul Hamilton in a Zenith. How did you like that machine?

A few comments on the Zenith 601XL Zodiac if I may. I bought a CH601XL quick build kit in 2006 and began work on it when several unexplained fatal mid-air breakups occurred. Chris Heintz, the designer, insisted that nothing was wrong with the design and that builders hadn't properly tensioned control cables to the specs in the kit instructions. The European regulators grounded the airplanes and the FAA stopped issuing new airworthiness certificates pending the outcome of an intensive design review by Zenith, the NTSB, and a number of independent consultants. I stopped work on the kit waiting for the investigation to be completed and recommendations for structural modifications to the design published, along with kits made available to builders at cost by Zenith. When the structural upgrade kits became available in 2010, I bought one and resumed construction. Years went by without my making much progress, but there were no more unexplained mid-air breakups to airframes that had been modified. In fact, the 601XL is the most critically scrutinized LSA design since the light sport rule was codified and published in the Federal Register in 2004, and the safety record since the design review and airframe structural modifications incorporated has been enviable.

Because progress on my kit was so slow, a close friend suggested I'd be dead before it was finished, and if I wanted to fly I should just buy one that was already flying. I took his advice and sold the partially completed kit, and bought a low time 2008 factory built AMD CH601XL with the structural mods performed in 2010 by a certified FAA repair station. After owning and flying it for three and a half years, I am confident it is a safe, reliable airplane. Because of the design history, resale value has remained depressed making them a relative bargain.

My $.02.

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Re: Arion LS-1 Lightning

Postby drseti » Sat Nov 30, 2019 8:17 am

Atrosa wrote:Great point Paul. Hey saw a video of you in a zenith.


I think I'd better dispel a misconception here. The video you saw was of my friend Paul Hamilton (of Reno) in a Zenith. Since I've been participating on this thread, I assume this post was directed at me. But I am Paul Shuch (of Lock Haven). Easy mistake, as both Pauls are Sport Pilot DPEs, but Paul H deserves credit for being the very first one.

Further adding to the confusion is that Hamilton is sometimes referred to as Paul H, while my name is H Paul. But as cases of mistaken identity go, I find this one rather flattering, as Paul H is legendary in the LSA movement.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
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Re: Arion LS-1 Lightning

Postby foresterpoole » Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:45 pm

Jfly67 wrote:
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.



Jfly67, I love the Tecnam! I rent so I'm not quite sure about the exact operating cost/hour but I rent for $95/hr wet. That's $35/hour less than an old 172 at the FBO I rent from and I get pretty modern avionics (still steam gauges, but much better radios and GPS). The P92 is probably a little slower and more docile than a p2008, but I can't say for sure. I plan for a cruise right at 100 knots, but regularly see 110 (bottom of the yellow arc) by myself, full fuel and around 5000 RPM. The P92 has the 912ULS so just duel carburetors, no injection, it does have a form of electronic ignition rather than a magneto set up so that's better than say a 150/152. The plane has taken a pounding from student pilots (such as myself a few years ago) and has held up OK, there are some ongoing issues with the trim switch on the pilot side, but otherwise it's still flying with close to 5,000 hours on the air frame and on it's 3rd engine with no major engine or air-frame issues.

I'll tell on myself and at the same time give you an idea about how robust the plane is: I was recently flying it on a quick out and back that took about an hour. During the time I took off and the time I came back to my home field the wind had made a serious change not predicted until later in the afternoon and it became an 8G10 direct crosswind I was not expecting. With the gusting winds I was less than stellar with my corrections and ended up touching down in what I felt was a significant crab. In retrospect I should have gone around, but the plane handled it without incident and made it look like I had not screwed up to the onlookers who were oblivious to my error. As light sport planes go, I'd say it's pretty stout....
Ed

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Re: Arion LS-1 Lightning

Postby Jfly67 » Thu Dec 05, 2019 12:39 am

Thanks for the info !

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Re: Arion LS-1 Lightning

Postby designrs » Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:27 am

Great info Scooper! Glad that everything worked out for you! I’d love to fly in the part of the country pictured!

Paul, I always knew that you multitask well, but not that you were actually two different people. Either way, you are very talented. Your secret is safe with us. :D
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Re: Arion LS-1 Lightning

Postby AirBoss52 » Fri Dec 13, 2019 9:57 pm

Last fall, I found an incredible, low time, well maintained LS-1 S-LSA. The price was right, and I took ownership. The previous owner ferried her to Shelbyville for an immediate retrofit of the MK2 tail assembly and avionics upgrades. The team at Shelbyville were great, but extremely busy with build assists, and getting a very special Lightning ready for Sun&Fun. By spring, my LS-1 was ready. I scheduled several days for transition training. I had owned a Cardinal for 17 years, and had a lot of muscle memory to “unlearn”. Nick was very thorough, and after two days, the landings were coming easier. Then it all clicked.. I can grease her on now. After hearing my physical fate in the Dr’s office, I am continuously amazed that I have been able to find an aircraft (and an aircraft company) that has not only returned the sky to me, but has done so in such an exciting and fulfilling way.

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Re: Arion LS-1 Lightning

Postby Warmi » Fri Dec 13, 2019 10:03 pm

AirBoss52 wrote:Last fall, I found an incredible, low time, well maintained LS-1 S-LSA. The price was right, and I took ownership. The previous owner ferried her to Shelbyville for an immediate retrofit of the MK2 tail assembly and avionics upgrades. The team at Shelbyville were great, but extremely busy with build assists, and getting a very special Lightning ready for Sun&Fun. By spring, my LS-1 was ready. I scheduled several days for transition training. I had owned a Cardinal for 17 years, and had a lot of muscle memory to “unlearn”. Nick was very thorough, and after two days, the landings were coming easier. Then it all clicked.. I can grease her on now. After hearing my physical fate in the Dr’s office, I am continuously amazed that I have been able to find an aircraft (and an aircraft company) that has not only returned the sky to me, but has done so in such an exciting and fulfilling way.


Interesting story.
Are you getting similar performance with LS1 as with your Cardinal ? I would think you would get similar cruise but better climb rate ...
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Re: Arion LS-1 Lightning

Postby Jfly67 » Fri Dec 13, 2019 10:04 pm

Would love to her more about your ownership of the lightning ? How it fly's and true airspeed numbers etc


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