Initial Response From Readers and LSA Veterans... "Overwhelming"
Well... we waited a while to get started on the next generation of the SportPlane Resource Guide... over a decade, actually, and now we're more than pleased to see that our sense of timing appears to be RIGHT on the mark. After the meltdown of much of the kit industry that so populated sport aviation in the 80s and 90s, there is NO question that the very nature of the sport aviation world has not only changed... but that we can expect much more of the same.
As we have previously noted, if there is a true focal point for possible/positive change, it belongs to the much hyped and poorly marketed LSA industry... a business that is regrettably filled with confusion, bizarre hype, amateurism, unfulfilled promises and yet... extraordinary potential. THAT is the reason why the THIRD EDITION of the Sport Plane Resource Guide will concentrate, primarily, on this vital industry segment.
We've been doing some truly enlightening surveys among a few of the LSA veterans that have earned our respect and are getting TREMENDOUS feedback... but it occurs to us that the most valuable surveying we might do MUST really concentrate on YOU... our readers, listeners and viewers. That being the case, we'd like to invite YOUR input on what must be included in the next guide so that it has the greatest possible value to YOU.
As such, we wanted to enlist your aid in attempting to update the most comprehensive book ever published on the SportPlane industry... and to not only update it for current attitudes, market forces, info, and issues… but to specifically target it to what YOU want to know about the ever-so-critical world of LSAs, Affordable Aircraft and related aircraft -- TODAY.
- What needs to be covered in the next guide?
- What questions should we ask and attempt to answer?
- What subjects (via 'How-To' Chapeters and the like) should we cover?
- How should we document and survey the planes, the companies, and the accessories that are a part of this industry?
- Are you more interested in a print copy... or an electronic (E-Book) copy?
We are particularly interested in specific survey questions that need to be asked to properly document the LSA segment, as well as "How-To" chapters that might aid in the reader's comprehension of this (sometimes) confusing industry segment.
This is going to be a massive effort... and a pivotal one. We're still getting requests and calls about the book series we started over twenty years ago... one that has been cited as pivotal in the buying decisions of THOUSANDS of customers, pilots and businesses. The SportPlane Resource Guide, which will feature an extensive aircraft and equipment directory as well as informative how-to sections (for both S-LSA as well as E-LSA), will provide impartial specifications and analysis of an aircraft's capabilities. It will also provide specific direction to those interested in flying light-sport aircraft as a sport pilot. Question after question from the readers of ANN, about the LSA market, over the years, centered on specifics about the planes, engines, parts, accessories, necessary tools... as well as the value, trustworthiness, and true capabilities they possessed. You told us, time and time again, "We want (a lot of) information on the LSA industry!"
BUT... make no mistake... this will still be what you (over the years) told us you liked best about our efforts... You will still get our 'Zoom Reports' on the planes we know -- the majority of them. We'll still be the only guys who rate your risks with a particular design or vendor. We'll still have more detail on more types than anybody in the business. We'll still (gulp) tell you when something sucks or when something is truly cool. And yes, we'll believe it when we tell you -- so will YOU. And finally, it'll still be heavy, I'm afraid -- at least in the print version. Don't let your daughter put it in her book bag or the grade school will turn you in for child abuse.
No kidding… the Second Edition was more than 1100 pages, over 800 aircraft, thousands of references and suppliers, dozens of chapters, How-To's… the works. The thing was a complete and utter monster -- and we have no idea where this one is going to finish up... and mind you, we're looking at both print as well as E-Book formats for final distribution (so, please tell us what you think about that... are you E-Readers? If so, what devices do you use most?).
So... YOUR thoughts please!
Care To Do Some LSA Homework?
AND for those of you with a little extra time on your hands, we have prepared a quick sampler from the old guides... an Adobe acrobat file (PDF) that contains the last version of our SPRG cover, its Table of Contents, the last versions of our survey forms, and a few sample pages showing some of the aircraft description and evaluation pages as well as a few of the opening pages to some of the tech chapters -- to jog your memory (warning... BIG file... over a megabyte--and it requires an acrobat reader).
We have not yet updated ANY of these surveys or the Table of Contents, because we wanted to seek YOUR input, raw and uninfluenced by our considerations as to what YOU think needs to be added, dropped, updated or otherwise reconfigured to not only make the book relevant to today's industry, but also to the special needs of those looking to get involved in the LSA and Affordable Flyer segments (both E-LSA, as well as S-LSA and a few 'fringe' aircraft). If you want to REALLY dive in, send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll include you on the sample survey... so long as you're willing to spend some time looking over what we've done and are ready to help us determine what we must do in the future.
Folks... this is all about YOU. We're not playing the old EAA or current AOPA games where we're going to tell you what we want you to know (whether you like it or not) because (they) think they're so God-awful smarter than you... WE truly want to know what YOU want so that we can deliver it to you. We're astounded, now that we look back, at the effect that this book had in the last two decades, but we believe, in no uncertain terms, that its most important missions are ahead of it... and that it can play a significant role in getting LSA back on track... honestly, concisely, accurately and with genuine enthusiasm -- and that the LSA segment holds incredible promise in helping all of aviation get back to healthier, more prosperous times.
Please take whatever time you might have and let us know what YOU think we need to do.
Special Note To LSA Industry Companies and Businesses
Well over 40,000 copies of the previous editions went out to people who wanted to read up on ALL that was SportPlane. Readers told us, in no uncertain terms, that the SportPlane Resource Guide was used in their decision-making process when they went out and spent big money in this industry. To those of you who are struggling to survive in this business (in other words… all of us), that means that this book is one of the most important things you need to be a part of… and with YOUR help and insight we can make sure that this next edition blows the doors off everything we’ve done previously AND injects some reality, life, and TRUTH into a market segment that has been short on all three. So... we need to hear from you, too.