The deck is stacked against real light airplanes. A company that would design and certify a four-seat Part 23 model in today’s regulatory environment had better pencil in a line item for around $100 million dollars. That’s just how much it costs, in part because it’s such a complex process and in part because it takes a long time to complete and requires teams of engineers to pull off. For a start-up airplane maker, that means doing “business” for a number of years, likely seven to 10, before getting to deliver a single product. Just in terms of investment and risk, I can think of better businesses to be in, like any other one. As a result, the stories of light airplane certification programs are almost without exception harrowing affairs, characterized by delays, bankruptcies, relocations and, increasingly, foreign investment.