LSA weight requirements Sling vs RV

Discussion in 'Home Builders and Sport Pilots' started by jaymark6655, Dec 14, 2017.

  1. jaymark6655

    jaymark6655 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I spent all day looking for this after comparing the Sling 2 to the RV-12 and finally found it in the Title 14 1.1 General Definitions, I did not see anything else anywhere covering this in the FARS.

    "Light-sport aircraft means an aircraft, other than a helicopter or powered-lift that, since its original certification, has continued to meet the following: (1) A maximum takeoff weight of not more than—(i) 1,320 pounds (600 kilograms) for aircraft not intended for operation on water; or(ii) 1,430 pounds (650 kilograms) for an aircraft intended for operation on water."

    My understanding is a sports pilot can fly anything that meets the performance definitions of weight, airspeed, seating, etc. Here it specifically says maximum takeoff weight with no mention of gross. So if the weight and balance was based on 1320 lbs., but the gross much higher was something else could the sport pilot fly it? The reason I started thinking about this was primarily the Sling. As a certified LSA its Gross is 1320, but as a EAB it is 1540. Generally it is accepted that a sport pilot can fly an EAB if it meets all the requirements, which the sling would be excluded if this was gross and not takeoff weight. So if you tests your EAB at 1320 and have a weight and balance done for 1320 a sling can be flown by a sport pilot, but what if you had down everything for 1320 and 1540 could a sport pilot fly it using the 1320 weight and balance and the private pilot fly it using the 1540 weight and balance since the only thing changing between the two is how much fuel you are putting in the aircraft? The quoted bit from the FARS sure makes it look like you could, AOPA and the EAA pages on goggle searches word it as "Gross Takeoff Weight", which does not match the FAR and would make a Sling EAB not a LSA unless you specifically made it as ELSA reducing its gross to 1320. Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
  2. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Pretty sure this one has been decided. If an aircraft ever had a legal gross weight greater than 1320 on its certificate then it isn’t and can’t be LSA.
     
  3. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    For an EAB, the gross weight is whatever the builder declares the gross weight to be. Could be declared at 1540, could be declared as 1320 (and could be flown under S.P. rules) or you could hang an IO-540 on the front and declare the gross weight to be 3000 pounds (but that might be a bad idea).
     
  4. C-1 PILOT

    C-1 PILOT Pre-Flight

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    The Sling is definitely an odd bird. The plane as built and certified as an S-LSA is 600kg or 1320 lbs. Built it yourself or change it to EAB and you can fly it at 700kg or 1540 lbs. it's all a paper shuffle. They is no difference in the a/c.

    Have Murphy intervene, say on landing and you are found to be a few pounds over and you are in violation. It's ridiculous. The Sling comes standard with 39.6 gallon tanks, whereas most LSA's come with 20.

    To the OP, it's (SLING) One hell of a plane, as is the -12.
     
  5. jaymark6655

    jaymark6655 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yeah the SLING and RV-12 seem like the same bird unless you step outside the sport pilot world. The only real difference seems to be tank size and the one can have a higher gross that is still within designer's recommendations. So if you went EAB would you have to specify it as a gross of 1320 and never switch it or a sport pilot couldn't fly it? I thought sport pilots could fly EAB aircraft as long as they meet the requirements? 21.190.b (2) states, "The aircraft must not have been previously issued a standard, primary, restricted, limited, or provisional airworthiness certificate, or an equivalent airworthiness certificate issued by a foreign civil aviation authority." to be certified as LSA, which doesn't seem to apply to EAB. Since EAB you get to determine the gross. What happens you initial started 1540 lbs., but then changed it to 1320 lbs.? Not looking for a loophole, I was actually asked to compare the SLING 2 to the RV-12 by a friend. Seeing the recommended higher gross made me wonder if you started with PPL and then moved into the sport pilot world and had a SLING 2, could your plane adapt with you or would you have to buy another or could a PPL and a sport pilot share the same aircraft, but allow one to make full use of the tanks? Personally my choice is between a SLING 4 or a RV-10; completely different AC, but not an easy choice. I like both, but can only afford one.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
  6. Dana

    Dana Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It's all about the wording, as quoted above: "Light-sport aircraft means an aircraft, other than a helicopter or powered-lift that, since its original certification, has continued to meet the following:) A maximum takeoff weight of not more than—(i) 1,320 pounds..."

    For the sake of this discussion, "gross weight" and "maximum takeoff weight" are the same thing.

    It's not that odd a situation, though the rules are dumb. Yes, a Sport Pilot (or a Private with an expired medical, etc.) can fly any aircraft that meets the LSA rules, regardless of how it's actually registered.

    In the case of the Sling (like many other aircraft) you have a plane that can be registered in one of three ways:

    Factory built, registered as SLSA, 1320 gross max, a SP can fly it
    Kit built, registered as ELSA, 1320 gross max, a SP can fly it
    Kit built, registered as E-AB, gross is whatever the builder says it is. If 1320 or less, a SP can fly it.

    It looks like the Sling was designed for a 700kg (1540#) gross. However, for aircraft registered as SLSA or ELSA, the gross is artificially (on paper) reduced to 1320 to make it legal. Doesn't mean it's unsafe to fly heavier and I'm sure a lot of people do, but you'd be in violation. If you buy a Sling kit and choose to register it as E-AB, you can set the gross to whatever you want. Set it to 2000 lbs or even more, it's legal to fly (but not by a SP), though perhaps not safe. If you set the gross to 1320 (and test it at that weight during "phase 1 testing" (the initial 40 hour test period), a SP can fly it even though it's registered as E-AB. If the owner chooses, he can put it back in phase 1 at a later date and retest it at a higher weight... but then that particular aircraft can never again be legally flown by a SP, even if the gross weight is later reduced back below 1320.

    If the aircraft was registered SLSA, it can later be converted to ELSA (gives the owner more flexibility regarding maintenance). But it can't be converted to E-AB to get a weight increase to more than 1320, so it will always be LSA.
     
  7. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Then you couldn't fly it under the sport rules because it hasn't continuously since certification met the definition of LSA (1320 pounds).

    A sport pilot can fly a "Light Sport Aircraft". The definition of "Light Sport Aircraft" is that found in 1.1 and does not contain restrictions on the type of aircraft - just weight, seats, etc.

    S-LSA and E-LSA happen to be some, but not all, of the aircraft certification methods that can result in a "LSA". Don't confuse "LSA" as in "what a sport pilot can fly" with methods of certification.

    If you have a Sling and want to fill the tanks, that's not a problem as long as the fuel + lard in the seats do not take you over 1320. And when it was certificated it, it was certificated at 1320 or less (S-LSA, E-LSA, E-AB, Part 23, or the old CAR rules: doesn't matter).

    Note: The difference between an E-LSA and an E-AB that happens to meet LSA requirements is that the E-AB has to meet the so called 51% rule, and an E-LSA has to be built to the same design as an S-LSA.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
  8. jaymark6655

    jaymark6655 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I am trying to keep "what a sport pilot can fly" and "what can be called a LSA" separate and that is the base of the question. An EAB is not registered as a LSA and never could be, but it can be flown if the takeoff weight is 1320 or under base solely on you saying it is and you can change the take off weight of a EAB if you go back to phase 1, so I do not see how the fact that the maximum takeoff weight used to be something else that applies to aircraft trying to be certified as LSA has any bearing on if a sport pilot can now operate it when previously he could not.
     
  9. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    But reducing the weight that way doesn't make it flyable by a sport pilot since you are not getting a new airworthiness certificate and, thus, fail the "continuously since certification" part of the definition of what can be flown by a sport pilot.

    61.303 says a sport pilot may operate a "light sport aircraft".

    1.1 says: "Light-sport aircraft means an aircraft...that, since its original certification, has continued to meet the following:
    (1) A maximum takeoff weight of not more than—
    (i) 1,320 pounds..."

    Once over 1320, forever not eligible to be flown under the sport pilot rules.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
  10. Vance Breese

    Vance Breese Line Up and Wait

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    In my opinion a factory built aircraft cannot be converted to an experimental amateur built aircraft.

    Experimental, Amateur built appears to me to require an amateur to complete things on the 51% list.
     
  11. wanttaja

    wanttaja Pattern Altitude

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    Look at 14CFR Part 1, "Definitions." It defines what a Light Sport Airplane is. 14CFR Part 61.315 says, "If you hold a sport pilot certificate you may act as pilot in command of a light-sport aircraft..." To use Sport Pilot privileges, either as a Sport Pilot or a Private Pilot, all you have to do is fly an aircraft that meets the Part 1 LSA definition. Doesn't matter what type of license the plane has.

    Aircraft *licensed* as Special Light Sport or Experimental Light Sport meet the LSA definition in Part 1.
    That is correct. In fact, NO airplane can be "converted" to Experimental Amateur Built. It must be originally built for education or recreation and licensed, new, as an E-AB.

    However, as Dana said, an airplane licensed as a Special Light Sport Airplane *CAN* be converted to an Experimental Light Sport Airplane. Owners of ELSAs have similar privileges to those of E-AB owners. There are different rules as to who can perform the yearly condition inspection.

    Ron Wanttaja
     
  12. Dana

    Dana Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You mean an E-LSA has to be built to the same design as an S-LSA.

    It's stupid, but that's how the rules are written. I suspect it was written that way to support the manufacturers of new LSA aircraft by excluding older aircraft that could be otherwise recertified at the lower LSA weight.

    Not opinion, but fact. A factory built aircraft can be converted to other experimental types, though... a SLSA can be converted to ELSA (which is not the same as E-AB), and other factory planes can be converted to experimental-exibition, or R&D, etc., but the operating limitations for the latter classifications will be much more restrictive than ELSA or E-AB.
     
  13. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    I think this has been covered, but to be clear...

    If you convert an SLSA to ELSA, you are free to modify the aircraft. BUT, you cannot make any modification that takes it out of the LSA class.

    For instance, I would love to put a constant speed or flight adjustable prop on my ELSA Sky Arrow, but can’t, since it would no longer be an LSA if I did. Of course, the same thing applies to the 1,320 lb LSA weight restriction.

    Your post is confusing - it implies you can convert a factory built SLSA to EAB. You can’t. And while converting to ELSA has many benefits, increasing gross weight beyind 1,320 lbs or other LSA Limitations are not among them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  14. jaymark6655

    jaymark6655 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That is part of the confusing part of the SLING, there is a LSA SLING and an EAB SLING. Here I am focusing on the EAB model, but not registering it as an ELSA.
     
  15. jaymark6655

    jaymark6655 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I feel a little stupid the wording of the definition covers what I am talking about. "Light-sport aircraft means an aircraft, other than a helicopter or powered-lift that, since its original certification, has continued to meet the following:" So even though 21.190 does not apply to the EAB, the sport pilot cannot fly a plane that once had its max takeoff weight higher than 1320 per the definition. Now as an EAB it could start at a weight of 1320 lbs. and be flown by sport pilots and then be changed to manufacturer recommended weight of 1540 lbs.; but once that occurs, even if it is switched back to 1320 lbs., a sport pilot can no longer fly it. Kind of confusing and a little pointless.
     
  16. easik

    easik Filing Flight Plan

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    I've only flown the sling so my take would be a bit bias :)
     
  17. Gmonnig

    Gmonnig Pre-Flight

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    I have time in both the Sling 4 and the Sling 2. Both awesome flying machines. I am one of the few that does actually compare the RV10 and Sling 4. I Currently own a plane that beats an RV10 in all areas except for modern avionics, but I still find myself looking for an efficient 4 seater. The Sling 4 is exactly that and then some. Great all around airplanes that The Airplane Factory is putting out there. Little bit of a rant but I feel like they deserve a serious look!
     
  18. tsts4

    tsts4 Line Up and Wait

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    What do you own?
     
  19. easik

    easik Filing Flight Plan

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    Might I also add that the sling 4 is technically not in the LSA category and is capable of IFR cross country flights (if properly equipped). Here is a review I did on the airplane a year ago

     
  20. Gmonnig

    Gmonnig Pre-Flight

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    Comanche 250 with a lot of mods, Tip tanks, gap seals, wing root fairing, brake reversal with wheel covers. Get 160ish TAS on 12.5gph, 1000NM range with 45min reserve etc etc. I paid $50 and put about $20K into it, so about the 1/3rd the cost of an RV10
     
  21. Gmonnig

    Gmonnig Pre-Flight

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    Loved your video on the Sling 4. Actually have an hour in that very aircraft.
     
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  22. tsts4

    tsts4 Line Up and Wait

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    The Comanche is a really good airplane. However, it's apple to oranges comparison to an RV-10: old (used) vs new (even if used), retract vs fixed gear, standard certificated vs E-AB, etc. The RV-10 is a nice all-around performer, but it's not great at anything. One has to factor in what's important as far as performance, price, features, insurance, and ops/maintenance costs and make the decision that best suits their mission and budget.

    Also, IMO comparing the Sling 4 (which also looks like a really nice airplane) to an RV-10 is like comparing a 172 to a 182. Yes, they superficially look like the same plane, and have common attributes (ie wing location, 4 seats, etc) but that's where the comparison ends.
     
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  23. jaymark6655

    jaymark6655 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I think comparing a SLING 4 to an RV-10 is allowed since they are both 4-seat, aluminum built, E-AB aircraft. All other things help you decide which one is better or the better aircraft for you. Looking at 75% cruise, the SLING is better in terms of fuel consumption (5.8 GPH vs ~14 GPH) and range (slightly ~ 80 NM more), but the RV has the speed with an extra 50 knots at 75% cruise. The RV stalls 10 knots faster and has a landing distance of 150 feet longer. The SLING has the longer takeoff distance by 200 feet and only half the rate of climb. Difference in luggage capacity is 12 pounds in favor of the RV. The SLING wins in price and the ability to use unleaded. For me I think I am going to have to fly both to really figure out which one to build. I like the price and fuel consumption of the SLING, but I really like the RV for the fact that if I can land somewhere I can takeoff from that strip. If I need to get somewhere fast fuel prices be damned the RV is certainly the plane. Granted it won't compare to a retract, but I like fixed gear for the simplicity. Buying used cert is a cheap way to get into flying, but I fear getting a turd or into a plane that all of a sudden needs serious maintenance to keep flying. The RV numbers aren't far off from the Commanche: 156 knots at 55% with a fuel consumption that will allow 1086 NM if you have the extended range tanks. I think that is flying ROP and I suspect LOP would increase that distance, but who wants to hold it or sit for 7+ hours. 70K is about half the RV-10 cost.
     
  24. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route

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    I'd look really carefully at the Sling's performance claims. A 2,024 lb airplane with 115 hp isn't likely to climb well, yet they claim 900 FPM. It isn't beyond the laws of physics, but is way out there on the performance curve.
     
  25. jaymark6655

    jaymark6655 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The 4 performance spec I saw said 750fpm at 2028 lbs. The 2 climbs at 900 fpm, but gross is 1320 and it has less HP. I believe their specs, there was an article in FLYING that three adults with 29 gallons of fuel, some gear, and 103 degree air temp climbed at 600 fpm.
     
  26. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route

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    The spec's are towards the bottom of this page:

    http://www.airplanefactory.com/aircraft/sling-4-kit/

    Enthusiast magazines almost always have favorable reviews. When was the last time you saw an unfavorable review in Flying, AOPA, etc? Much less Road and Track, Car and Driver, etc. Their business is selling ad space, and they don't do that by hammering their advertisers. Flying was also a big proponent of the BD-5 back in the day, and we know how that turned out. If you're interested in the Sling, go fly one and see if it meets your needs. That's the real test.
     
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  27. tsts4

    tsts4 Line Up and Wait

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    Well sure, you can compare anything that's got 4 seats, is aluminium and E-AB, just like you can compare a 172 to a 182. For real world context, my RV-10 will do 160 KTAS at my GW of 2700lbs (1655 empty, 1045 useful) on 11 gph (LOP). It will also climb in excess of 1500fpm at that same GW. At 14 gph I'm in low 170 KTS territory. With only 60 gals, the RV-10 won't win a range contest but that's OK for me as generally I really don't like flying more than 3 hour legs. I also like the cabin versatility as I can remove my rear seats in about a minute giving me lots of cargo space if I don't need the seats. The downside is there are no cheap IO-540s.

    A couple of things I like about the Sling are the incorporation of the parachute in the design and the factory build assist option.

    At the end of the day it's not about which is the better plane stat wise, it's which plane is the best fit for your mission, assuming you want to go E-AB.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2018 at 6:50 PM
  28. easik

    easik Filing Flight Plan

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    I flew the sling 4 myself. The claims are very true, saw about 1000fpm although the nose was pulled steeper than I'm used to. Keep in mind also that the plane can be fitted with the new Rotax 915 engine which should see some better performance.
     
  29. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route

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    How close to gross were you?
     
  30. easik

    easik Filing Flight Plan

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    Not sure how much fuel we had onboard but we were 3 grown adults in the cabin, I'd say about 540 pounds.