New recreational and light sport aircraft are entering the market in a constant stream, mainly from the old Eastern Bloc countries like the Czech Republic, Ukraine and Solvenia.
But now a new one has emerged from one of the most unlikely of places: Texas, USA.
The Texas Aircraft Colt, recently certified under LSA rules, is a high-wing single constructed largely of metal, powered by a 100-hp Rotax 912 ULS. Although manufactured in Hondo, Texas, the Colt has Brazillian heritage. Company co-founder Caio Jordão was the brains behind the INPAER Conquest 180 from which the Colt has largely derived.
According to Texas Aircraft, the Colt has been engineered an built with safety, reliability and durability as the priorities.
The airframe is aluminium fastened with solid rivets surrounding a chrome-moly frame crew survival cell. The wingtips, engine cowl, fairings and spats are carbon-fibre.
Coupled with a custom-made Sterna three-bladed composite prop, the Rotax gives the Colt a book 75% cruise of 110 KTAS for a fuel flow of 18.5 lph, standard fare we have come to expect from this engine. The typical empty weight of 379 kg leaves 221 kg of useful load.
The Colt will hold 120 l of avgas, but with both seats occupied by standard-weight people, a load of 83 l becomes more likely, giving an endurance of over four hours.
Avionics are Dynon Skyview HDX and Texas Aircraft offers the option of a ballistic parachute system.
The Colt comes with one of two interiors: a plush interior including leather-wrapped yokes and seats, or a more austere interior with more durable, but less luxurious, coverings.
The Colt has been priced at $US167,000.
More information is on the Texas Aircraft website.