Looking good and going fast…on a budget

Most pilots love a fast-looking aircraft that looks as great on the ramp as it does in the air.

Sure, gnarly backcountry airplanes on giant tundra tires and tall gear struts have huge ramp appeal. Float-equipped aircraft and seaplanes also draw strong interest. Yet aviation’s leading draw may be speed — more is better, right?

If that’s an accurate assessment, then let the drooling begin over this beautifully contoured flying machine that can race 135 to 190 miles an hour for a fairly modest investment. I’m talking about Lightning from Arion Aircraft, available as either a Light-Sport Aircraft (SLSA or ELSA) or as an Experimental Amateur Built version.

The Arion Lightning. (All Photos Courtesy Arion Aircraft)

LS-1 is a true Light-Sport Aircraft that meets all the parameters and succeeded in passing a detailed FAA audit with flying colors a few years back. Owners I’ve spoken to love the Lightning and its speedy ways. Lightning XS is the Experimental model on which you can install a more powerful engine.

That all these handsome aircraft are also 100% designed and manufactured in the USA may be sweet icing on the cake for many pilots.

Bolts of Lightning

Lightning LS-1 is an all-composite design accented with metal hardware elements. All components are made in house by Arion’s experienced staff. More than 100 Lightnings are flying American skies. The company reported 160 Lightning models are flying world wide dating back to Lightning’s first flight on March 3, 2006.

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