​​​Proud Manufacturer of the Lightning Line of Aircraft
Exclusive US Distributor of Jabiru Engines and support                 

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the 3rd class medical exemption mean for the Lightning?

It means you don't have to wait around for the FAA to pass it. If you don't have a medical, then build your plane to LSA standards and get flying now. When the exemption passes, spend a few weeks fitting up new fairings and a prop swap and you can take full advantage of the capability of the plane.

How long has the Lightning design been flying?

The prototype Lightning flew for the first time on March 3, 2006.

How many Lightning's are flying?

At last count there are over 200 Lightning's flying world wide, with over 20,000 hours on the fleet.

Does the Lightning EAB meet the 51% rule?

Yes, the Lightning kit meets the 51% rule. Although not on the 51% list yet, the kit complies with the intent and scope of the rule. If a kit is not on the list, it is up to the builder to prove that they have done the work. Each of the over 90 flying EAB Lightning's have been individually checked for compliance with the 51% rule, with none having any issues.

Can I build this kit at home?

Yes you can. Many builders are building and completing the Lightning kit at home. There are no special tools required. Only basic mechanical knowledge and the ability to read some simple CAD drawings is needed.

If I don’t have the space at home, can Arion Aircraft help me build it?

Yes we can. Arion Aircraft, and many of its dealers offer comprehensive builder assistance programs to help you realize your dream of building and flying your own plane.

What engine choices do I have?

The Lightning was specifically designed around the 120 hp Jabiru 3300, but the great thing about experimental aircraft is the builder can do just about anything he or she wants. If the engine is similar in weight and horsepower to the Jabiru, then the builder might expect the same performance. The Lightning XS introduced at EAA 2013 is designed for larger horsepower engines. Engines such as the Superior XP320 (Lycoming) 160 hp. Most recently we have installed the Continental Titan XIO340 180hp engine for ballistic performance. 

What if I just want to fly, and not build?

The SLSA Lighting LS-1 is the perfect choice for you, a ready to fly version of the Lightning kit with all the same great qualities.

Where can I fly the Lightning?

Any of the dealers listed on the website can help you get a demo ride, just call and set one up.

What does the Lighting typically weigh empty?

A basic Lightning Classic can weigh as little as 800 lbs empty. But most aircraft equipped with full EFIS systems, auto pilots, steps, and leather interiors can weigh in the 850 lbs range. The XS model comes in 1050-1100lbs empty. 

What is the Gross weight?

Our SLSA factory Light Sport has a gross of 1320lbs per the FAA regulations. The experimental Lightning Classic has a gross weight of 1525lbs and load limits of +4 -2. the XS gets a boost to 1850 with bigger brakes and airframe changes for the larger engines. 

Can a sport pilot fly it?

Yes, a sport pilot can fly the S-LSA LS-1 Lightning, or a builder can build the experimental version to meet the Light Sport rule.

What are the differences between the EAB and LSA version?

The prop is different in size and design, wing tip extensions are added to increase area and span, and the speed fairing kit is eliminated and replaced by simpler wheel pants only--no leg fairings at all.

How much does it cost?

Both kits start at $44,500.  The Jabiru engine cost is $19,900, Other powerplant cost depends on whether you want new or used, however a new Titan IOX340 is right at $41,000.  After that it depends on paint, avionics, interior, and other items you want to add. A builder at home can finish one for $100,000. The factory built LS-1 starts at $130k. Builder assistance costs greatly depend on what the customer wants.