Affordable High-Tech LSA Surprises the Market

Vashon Aircraft made a surprise announcement with the Ranger R7 LSA. Vashon Aircraft

The LSA market got a good surprise this week as Woodinville, Washington-based Vashon Aircraft announced the Ranger R7. With two airplanes already complete, this LSA is getting ready for delivery to its first customers. The company promises to have five airplanes ready to be delivered at EAA’s AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, at the end of July.

One reason that Vashon was able to pull this off without the need for a developmental announcement is that it is the sister company to highly successful avionics manufacturer Dynon Avionics, both founded by entrepreneur John Torode.

“I started Dynon to bring affordable, advanced technology to the aviation community,” Torode, who is also Vashon’s CEO, said. “Yet there still remains a need to innovate beyond the panel to bring affordable flight to more people. With Vashon Aircraft, I hope to empower the next generation of pilots with the tools they need to take to the skies.”

The Ranger is a rugged two-seat airplane. While it complies with the restrictive weight constraints of the LSA rule, it features an all-metal construction with a Continental O-200-D engine, a wide, comfortable cabin, heavy-duty landing gear with full-size 600-6 tires, and an instrument panel that provides all of the latest cockpit technology, including full ADS-B capabilities and angle-of-attack indicator.

With all of this capability, the Ranger’s price remains below the $100,000 mark, a target that most manufacturers that offer a capable LSA have far exceeded. The base price for the R7, which includes a Dynon SkyView Touch avionics suite, is $99,500. For only a little more money, an autopilot can be added as well.

Learn more about the Vashon Ranger R7 in the April issue of Flying.

Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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