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Fri, Oct 15, 2021

ION Aircraft, LLC Acquired by Venture Capital Geode

Angel Investor Buys Forlorn LSA Manufacturer

ION Aircraft, LLC, has found a buyer in Geode Capital Management, of La Jolla, California. Details are sparse at this time, but Geode’s website indicates further investment in “Ion Aircraft and eVTOL” as well as aircraft manufacturing. 

Ion is the designer of the 120, a twin boom LSA, sporting a pusher layout, tandem seating and a glass panel. Throughout the development process, Ion pared down their intended offerings to the 100, the kit aircraft, and the 120, the factory-built aircraft meeting light sport requirements. The company’s small size made the transition from research, development, and design to production too hard to make without outside help. In November of 2020, Steve Schultz, CEO, made an announcement: 

“Ion Aircraft is for Sale!:

Why? Why is the company for sale instead of selling airplanes? Simple answer: We are good R&D folks and not good production folks. The skill set and background needed for production are not our strengths, and despite wishing super hard on every shooting star we see it seems we are not magically going to get better at production stuff.” Wrote Steve, “It's a fun, nice, desirable airplane and rather than let it die on the vine due to our own imperfections, the logical thing to do is to get the company and the plane into the hands of someone who can actually make them.”

Their offering was successful, with venture-capital investor Geode Capital completing the purchase in September 2021. It would seem that production is expected, as the Ion Aircraft website is back, with additional Geode branding. 

If the Ion can come to market, it could prove to be a strong competitor in the LSA segment. It doesn’t just have eye-catching styling and “fighter cockpit” seating, but a 552 lb useful load, a 500 ft. ground roll, and a 132 kt cruise. Currently, it advertises G3X avionics, a Rotax 912 ULS, and a 3-bladed warb drive carbon fiber pusher. 

FMI: www.ionaircraft.com, www.ugcm.us  

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