The Most Fuel-Efficient LSAs

Light sport aircraft are typically the most fuel-efficient aircraft. But which are the most fuel-efficient LSAs?

The Flight Design F2 CS-23 version was certified by EASA in December. [Courtesy: Flight Design]

Many pilots enjoy talking about fuel economy because it is among the factors in aviation over which we have some degree of control. Carefully adjusting power settings and other elements of our flight profiles can cut fuel expenses significantly.

It also pays to consider fuel consumption when buying an aircraft. Like cars, some airplanes seem to sip fuel while others guzzle. More so than with cars, though, finding an airplane with a minimal appetite for fuel often comes with compromises that affect your mission or even scuttle it altogether.

While an individual pilot’s technique—and variations even among aircraft in the same model line—can affect fuel consumption, it is clear that certain models have advantages over others. 

Using information from operating handbooks, manufacturers’ data, pilot reports and industry analysts, including Conklin & de Decker and others, we compiled the following list of LSAs and their fuel economy in nautical miles per gallon.

[Courtesy: Aeromarine]

Aeromarine Merlin PSA: 28.3 nmpg
As a single seater, the Merlin keeps things especially light and achieves economy-car fuel efficiency. The company notes that many pilots spend nearly all of their time flying solo anyway. 

Flight Design F2: 24.4 nmpg
A light sport pioneer, Flight Design struggled for decades to shore up funding for development and production until its acquisition by Lift Air, a division of Lift Holdings, in 2017. 

[Courtesy: Remos]

Remos GX: 23.2 nmpg
Like many LSAs, the Remos GX is a European design, in this case from Germany, that is available as a kit for amateur builders or fully built and ready to fly.

Jonathan Welsh is a private pilot who worked as a reporter, editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal for 21 years, mostly covering the auto industry. His passion for aviation began in childhood with balsa-wood gliders his aunt would buy for him at the corner store. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @JonathanWelsh4

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