Many of today’s pilots learned to fly in simple airplanes; some lacked an electrical system to power avionics or even a starter. What pilots did learn from these aircraft were the basics of aircraft control and, due to the conventional (tail wheel) configuration, the flight isn’t over until all the parts quit moving! Airmanship skills still serving them as they advance to more sophisticated and powerful flying machines. The Cessna 172, configured with tricycle (nose-wheel) gear has taught more people how to safely fly than any other model; but it too has grown complicated, heavy and expensive. The Sporty’s 172LITE has been developed from spinner to tail in order to fill a fundamental need in aviation – the basic trainer.
The 172LITE begins as a legacy 172. Sporty’s crew of certified technicians thoroughly inspect the airframe and make any necessary repairs. Worn tires, brakes and wheel bearings along with cracked or sun-damaged windows and plastics are replaced. Old style incandescent bulbs give way to modern efficient LED lighting. The entire airplane is painted enhancing ramp appeal and providing that like new look. Optional wheel pants can take the appearance of the 172LITE a step further.
The original interior is removed from each 172LITE. Insulation is replaced, plastic trim is repaired or replaced and a new vinyl floor covering is installed. The sidewalls, pilot and co-pilot seats are reupholstered using approved materials. Ergonomics are advanced with modern visors and the old “orange juice cans” are replaced with Precise Flow Air Vents. For its mission as a basic trainer the rear seat is not installed maintaining the highest possible useful load. The rear seat is available as an option.
The old panel and sub panel is replaced with custom powder-coated metal ones. The electrical switches are replaced and an avionics master switch is added. Existing avionics are removed in favor of a new reliable intercom/communications radio and transponder. Unneeded cabling is removed. Needed wires are inspected and replaced as required. The result is a clean modern panel easily customized by Cincinnati Avionics, Sporty’s own avionics shop. Additions to the panel can be specified during the initial build or later if you determine optional avionics are required.
The traditional “six-pack” instrumentation allows instructors to cover unnecessary instruments that only serve to confuse beginning students. The instructor is then free to introduce them one at a time consistent with the student pilot’s progress.
To provide hours of uninterrupted service the engine and propeller are replaced with overhauled units. a new starter, alternator, vacuum pump and engine mounts are installed with new cooling baffles and seals. After completion the aircraft is flown to ensure the engine is properly “broken in” and to flight test all aircraft systems and rigging. The process is completed once the airframe is rechecked by Sporty’s technicians.
Every effort is made by our staff to manufacture an airplane to make flight schools more efficient and flying more enjoyable. To learn more about available 172LITE aircraft click here or contact Charlie Masters at: (800)908-4359 or firstname.lastname@example.org