Liberty Aerospace Faces Challenges of Down Economy

Billing its XL2 as "the most economical certified aircraft" on the IFR market, Liberty Aerospace has nevertheless seen its workforce dwindle to some 32 employees-down from a high of 180. Company president Keith Markley reports the company has no intention of shutting down, and he hopes to continue production with the current staffing at Liberty's Melbourne, Florida, location and a contract facility in Romania. Liberty had delivered 100 of its two-seat aircraft by last February-priced at $188,000. Most went to flight schools and individual owners, according to the company. The XL2 model morphed from the Europa kit aircraft with its single main landing gear and wing-mounted outriggers. The current product is powered by a 125 hp fadec-controlled Continental piston engine.