Machine Design

First American Special Light Sport Aircraft

The Thorpedo, a version of the certified Thorp T211, received Special Light Sport Aircraft (S-LSA) certification from the FAA in June.

A handful of imported planes, mostly European, have earned the new S-LSA, but IndUS Aviation, Dallas, says its plane is the first designed and built in America. The components are made in India but the plane is assembled in Dallas.

The renowned Thorp T211, originally certified as the T11 in the mid-1940s, was designed by American John Thorp. The main difference between the T211 and the S-LSA version is the engine. The certified model uses a Continental 0-200 while the S-LSA plane has a six-cylinder Jabiru motor, which is lighter and produces slightly more horsepower. A fourcylinder version of the plane, called the Sky Skooter, is expected to get FAA approval soon.

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