Arion lightning pilots

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

  1. Tony R

    Tony R Filing Flight Plan

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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 Cleared for Takeoff

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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 Filing Flight Plan

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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 Filing Flight Plan

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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 Filing Flight Plan

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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 Cleared for Takeoff

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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 Filing Flight Plan

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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 Filing Flight Plan

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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 Pre-takeoff checklist

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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 Filing Flight Plan

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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 Filing Flight Plan

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

    Stan Cooper Cleared for Takeoff

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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 Filing Flight Plan

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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 Pre-takeoff checklist

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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 Filing Flight Plan

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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 Pre-takeoff checklist

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

    Tony R Filing Flight Plan

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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 Filing Flight Plan

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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.