Arion lightning pilots

Discussion in 'Home Builders and Sport Pilots' started by Tony R, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. Tony R

    Tony R Pre-Flight

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    I spoke to a couple of Arion Lightning pilots and they say that it is a docile plane that likes to fly. Just manage the speed at landing and it is easy to fly.

    Anyone else have seat time in an Arion Lightning? What are your thoughts?
     
  2. zaitcev

    zaitcev En-Route

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    Lightning is rather rare.... I heard there were only 6 made before the production switched to LS-1. You aren't in New Mexico at Mid-Valley by any chance?
     
  3. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Pattern Altitude

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    Well, there's the Lightning Classic kit which isn't LSA compliant (130 knots cruise) and the Lightning LS-1 which is LSA compliant and is available as a factory built S-LSA or as an experimental E-LSA.

    According to the Arion website there is a new model in the lineup, the XS, with a 160 hp or 180 hp/CS prop engine with cruise speeds of 150 and 170 knots respectively.

    This Dan Johnson review of the Lightning LS-1 might be useful.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
  4. Warmi

    Warmi Pre-takeoff checklist

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    As far as I know LSA-1 is what people refer to as Arion Lightning..

    http://www.flylightning.net/ls-1.html

    There are something like 150+ of them flying around.
     
  5. zaitcev

    zaitcev En-Route

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    Thanks, I see what happened. My hangar mate had an Esqual, not LS-1. It had a slightly shorter wing than LS-1, so it was faster (before later Lightnings started coming with more powerful engines).
     
  6. Tony R

    Tony R Pre-Flight

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    Hi Zaitcev,
    I'm in Connecticut. I spoke to "Buzz" Rich who has test piloted a number of Arion Lightning. (Side note: he is an awesome human being who spent a bunch of time on the phone with me discussing the Lightning) Buzz told me to be careful with the Esqual. They are very fast but they have issues with the firewall that should be addressed. The Esqual is very fast and a very capable plane, I think too fast and too capable for my 0 hours of experience.

    I'm going to buy a plane because there are none to rent near me for my instruction. I will fly at least 3 days per week to avoid traffic... perhaps not a time saver, just a cool thing to do. So I want a plane that I won't out grow in 1 year.

    -Tony
     
  7. Jfly67

    Jfly67 Filing Flight Plan

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    How did you get a
    hold of buzz ? I would like to speak to him also
     
  8. Tony R

    Tony R Pre-Flight

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    I will pm you with his linkedin account name.
     
  9. Flyvulcan

    Flyvulcan Filing Flight Plan

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    I have a Lightning XST with the T being for Turbine in my workshop. We will be fitting our 200hp turboprop engine to it next year. Our XST has not yet flown. I have a close friend that is currently flying off the first 40 hours on his Jabiru 3300 powered Lightning XS. He is very happy with it. His only issue is in moderate to strong crosswinds where he struggles a bit, but he admits that it may be his flying skills that are limited, rather than the aircraft having any adverse characteristics. He has close to 800 flight hours on his previous Lightnings so is a reasonably experienced Lightning pilot. Even if he has difficulty in a cross wind, he still loves his Lightnings.
     
  10. Tony R

    Tony R Pre-Flight

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    Thank you for the pirep!
     
  11. Roger Smith

    Roger Smith Filing Flight Plan

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    I just flew off my 40 hours in my Lightning XS. I have a Titan IOX340 with duel E-mags, fuel injection, and cold air induction. The prop is a 3 blade MT (electric) content speed. Electronics are all Garmin G3x touch, 2 - 10" panels and 2 axis autopilot. It's a great flying plane as long as you get some transition training. Very forgiving in the air. Takeoffs are easy after you have done a few, but as previously advised speed management on approach and getting used to the sight picture is a must. I get 160 knts true at 10, 000' burning 7.2 gph. The plane will go faster if I want to use more fuel.
    Btw, I'm in New Mexico and my airport elevation is 7171', so 10k ft is pretty normal.
     
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  12. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Pattern Altitude

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    Welcome to PoA, Roger! That's one heckuva first post. :thumbsup:

    Congratulations on completing your phase 1.
     
  13. Tony R

    Tony R Pre-Flight

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    Roger. Awesome pirep! Did you build it in Shelbyville or AZ?
     
  14. Roger Smith

    Roger Smith Filing Flight Plan

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    Los Alamos, NM (KLAM)
     
  15. Roger Smith

    Roger Smith Filing Flight Plan

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    My website is rlsmith3.wix.com/rogersplanes
     
  16. Tony R

    Tony R Pre-Flight

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    Cool pics, any vids? So it looks like you have built before so no factory assistance required. I'm thinking for me a used mkii tail with a jabiru. Gen 2 or newer. Youtube needs a lightning tutorial that shows preflight walk around and takeoff checklist.
     
  17. WmInce

    WmInce Pre-Flight

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    Congratulations Roger!
    That is a beautiful airplane and I like your setup.
    Enjoy and take good are of your new toy.
     
  18. PtownDreamer

    PtownDreamer Filing Flight Plan

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    I am currently looking for a good LSA plane to buy, and I had 2 Arion Lightning LS-1 in my favorites, then I started running the numbers.
    With an empty weight of 850 lbs and a LSA max of 1320 lbs and a fuel capacity of 40 gallons, you better be skinny if you want to fly one as a sport pilot. LOL
    It sure doesn't allow much weight for a passenger, or a "normal" sized pilot.
    So sadly, I had to remove them from my "favorites" list, but I do have to admit I love the looks of them.
     
  19. WDD

    WDD Line Up and Wait

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    Curious - your Vne is 180, so what is your Vno? I'm thinking must be close to 160 kts?
     
  20. Tony R

    Tony R Pre-Flight

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    Ptown. Also before plunking down hard earned money on one just be sure to get an insurance quote. They are double the rates of what a SportCruiser or Bristell is.
     
  21. Roger Smith

    Roger Smith Filing Flight Plan

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    You're right about insurance. I'm just over a thousand hours of personal flight time and just over 40 in the Lightning XS. My insurance is $2300/yr. Of course it also depends on how much coverage you want.
     
  22. Roger Smith

    Roger Smith Filing Flight Plan

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    Vno is set at 120 kts true
     
  23. Roger Smith

    Roger Smith Filing Flight Plan

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    Correction the Vno is 120 kts indicated.
     
  24. Roger Smith

    Roger Smith Filing Flight Plan

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    Don'tmost of the Lightning LSA's have 20 gal tanks?
     
  25. Tony R

    Tony R Pre-Flight

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    20gal on each side. 40 gal all in.
     
  26. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Pattern Altitude

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    Tony, the specs for the LS-1 say 22 gallons (11 each side) with an option of 30 gallons (15 each side). The XS has 40.

    EDIT - I stand corrected. I got the numbers above from the Wikipedia page. The Arion website does, indeed, say 40 gallons for the LS-1.

    http://www.flylightning.net/ls-1.html
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
  27. Tony R

    Tony R Pre-Flight

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    No worries Stan. Wiki is sometimes suspect. My source was a POH and my memory. The latter can be equally suspect as i just hit the big 50.
     
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  28. WDD

    WDD Line Up and Wait

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    If Vno is 120 indicated, isn't the Titan engine a bit overkill? You can't cruise any faster than if you had the standard Jabiru. I've got to be missing something.
     
  29. Tony R

    Tony R Pre-Flight

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    In non-turbulent air Nick Otterback has been planning for 160Kts cruise with the Titan. That engine is still being optimized for the plane. It is climbing in Excess of 2000fpm and can redline the engine. It needs more prop. at 2500PRM and 20 inches of manifold pressure so they are not working that engine yet. wait 6 more months for the testing to be compete and I think the final numbers will be eye opening. I don't know Nick personally, I follow the company and have talked to him a few times. What I gather is their philosophy is to under promise and over deliver.
     
  30. WDD

    WDD Line Up and Wait

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    So the existing Vno is because of the engine and not the airframe ?
     
  31. Tony R

    Tony R Pre-Flight

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    Sounds strange. I'm going to send Nick an email to see if I can get an answer.
     
  32. Andrew Morris

    Andrew Morris Pre-Flight

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    It’s a shame they aren’t looking at the Rotax 915 iS. That thing gives some crazy performance numbers up high in the Sling TSi.
     
  33. Fair Weather Flyer

    Fair Weather Flyer Filing Flight Plan

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    I am new to this site but I have owned an Arion Lightning LS1 for 6.5 years. Mine is a factory built SLSA. I have over 300 hours in this plane. I would be happy to share my experience with anyone who is interested. I live about 140 miles from Shelbyville, TN and they do my annuals.
     
  34. Tony R

    Tony R Pre-Flight

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    That would be great. I have a few questions if you have the time:
    What gen Jab do you have and any issues or quirks?
    Mk2 tail?
    How hard is the plane to land? I know it is slippery so what is your personal runway min lenght? Is it prone to porpoise?
    All trimmed in smooth air at altitude what are you seeing for speeds?
    Any annual surprises?
    Insurance premiums reasonable?
    A video would be amazing.
    Thank you
    Tony
     
  35. Fair Weather Flyer

    Fair Weather Flyer Filing Flight Plan

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    Hey Tony,
    Not sure what generation of engine I have, never bothered to ask. The plane and engine were both built in 2011 and the Jabiru serial number is above 2300; I tried to look it up on the internet but as yet, no success. I will let you know when I find out.
    The plane set up for over a year before I bought it, the original owner passed away and his wife let the plane sit for several months before she put it up for sale. the only issues I have had are due to the period of non use. Gum in the carb, vacuum leak and a couple of stuck rings; most of which were discovered before I bought it.
    It did not have the Mk2 tail when I bought it but I had it upgraded before I took delivery.
    As far as issues or quirks; mine was hard to start in cold weather (not sure if all Jabiru's are but based on what I have read; it is not uncommon). Part of that issue was partly because of the vacuum leak but as an upgrade I had electronic ignition on one side and since then; not problems in cold weather and it has never been a problem to start when hot.
    As far as hard to land; I was flying a CTLS before I bought the LS1 and I didn't have much trouble making the transition. My main learning curve was not having steerable nose gear. Most pilots that are going from larger/heavier planes have problems getting it to slow down.
    I have landed on a 3000 ft runway with no problem.
    Most of the time I see 115 to 118 TAS when I am trimmed out at altitude.
    I have not had any annual surprises.
    The insurance is less for this plane than what I pay for full coverage on my car, so yes I consider that reasonable.

    Johnny
     
  36. Tony R

    Tony R Pre-Flight

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    Great Pirep. Thank you. As far as gen it is based on serial number. I will try to find the link.

    Have you ever talked to Tony Gentile? He owns N2300X and is the editor of the flylightning.net newsletter. Super nice guy and generously spent a bunch of time teaching me about the Lightning.

    Blue Skies,
    Tony Rosa
    4B9