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Brazil's ACS aims Sora at US light sport aircraft enthusiasts

Brazilian light-aircraft company ACS Aviation is making a bid for the US market with its Sora light sport aircraft, which made its 46min maiden flight in June.

The São José dos Campos-based developer says the two-seat side-by-side aircraft is Brazil's answer to the flourishing US light sport aircraft market, although ACS has already logged a clutch of firm orders from local customers. Powered by either a 115hp (85kW) Textron Lycoming O-235 or a 100hp Rotax 912 engine, the Sora relies on a composite airframe stressed to +6g/-4g, clearing it for most acrobatic manoeuvres, says ACS.

The aircraft has a 600kg (1,320lb) maximum take-off weight, a 135kt (250km/h) cruising speed and a flight endurance of nearly 5h. It is equipped with a FlightTech electronic flight information avionics suite and an Aerovertical ballistic parachute. ACS says its has tapped into the expertise of São José dos Campos's extensive aerospace industry by appointing Tecplas - a traditional Embraer composite materials supplier - to provide components.

 ACS Aviation
 © ACS Aviation

ACS says: "We are gearing up to begin series production during the second half of 2008, ramping up to 10 units monthly by 2013."

The USA is the main market for the Sora. ACS says it will shortly transport the prototype there for certification work to comply with US Federal Aviation Administration light sport aircraft requirements. With a preliminary price pegged at $85,000, ACS is confident it will capture a significant segment of the US LSA market. The Sora will also be targeted at the European market once the European Aviation Safety Agency identifies its LSA certification requirements.