Founded in 2017 at South Texas Regional Airport in Hondo, Texas, startup Texas Aircraft Manufacturing (TAM) made a splash at last summer’s EAA AirVenture Oshkosh when they introduced their new-generation Colt Light Sport Aircraft (S-LSA). Now, just months later, the company has announced that the Colt has received full FAA ASTM (American Society for Testing and Standards) certification.
The Colt is powered by a 100-horsepower Rotax 912 ULS engine, and cruises at 105 knots at 75 percent power while burning just 4.9 gallons of fuel per hour. Takeoff and landing distances are both just over 1,000 feet, with a “full flap” stall speed of 38 KIAS. The Dynon SkyView HDX avionics suite with advanced state-of-the-art ergonomic design features an intuitive 10” EFIS touchscreen interface for increased situational awareness and usability.
In testing, TAM stressed the Colt’s wings up to 6gs, which is higher than what is required by ASTM S-LSA standards. Now that the Colt is approved, TAM will focus on ramping up production. “We want to manufacture something around six Colts this year and ramp up to one a month next year. By the end of the year, we intend to bring it to two or three a month,” TAM’s co-founder, Matheus Grande said.
The company takes great pride in the fact that many of its skilled assembly technicians are ex-U.S. military aircraft maintainers, all tasked with using the latest modern technologies and design elements to produce a Light Sport airplane that will be affordably priced. “The Colt is a robust flight trainer, and interest is high with flight schools. Really though, anyone can learn to fly in a Colt and have lots of fun,” Grande added.
The Colt-S is priced at $156,000, and the Colt-SL with autopilot, airframe parachute and full paint is $167,000.