January 20, 2014
By Alton K. Marsh
If you travel with a lot of "stuff," not necessarily heavy stuff but large in quantity and volume, then you may want to look at a light sport aircraft call Sirius. It is sometimes called the clown car because after it arrives, a great many things can emerge from it.
The secret is a large cargo area behind the two passengers. Light sport aircraft are limited to two people and a total of 1,320 pounds (1,430 for seaplanes unless there is a weight exemption for slightly more). One of the differences among the 123 models (seven are out of production) is the amount of space for cargo. Sirius has plenty of that.
The Siruis, with a full fuel load, can carry 302 pounds, allowing one person a lot of baggage, or a light passenger. The aircraft cruises at more than 100 knots true airspeed at 75 percent power. The aircraft can take off in 370 feet, or 1,400 feet over a 50-foot obstacle.
The aircraft has a base price of $129,000, but the one that showed up at the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, Fla., had plenty of options for a total of $155,000. Still, that beats the more common LSA price these days of $160,000. Luxury LSAs sell for much more.
You can see one for yourself at Swan Air in the St. Louis area.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
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