Judson, what would be your own suggestions for bringing the cost of a light sport aircraft down? Lets say you start right at the beginning with a pen & a piece of paper -
& test again
redesign during building
correct any other issues
Eventually, possibly the plane is ready for the market.
And in your finished product, would you have a nice gadgety Garmin with all the great features they offer? Or would you stick to the steam driven instruments of old?
What sort of engine? A Continental, tried & tested, but modified to make it lighter? A Jabiru? A Rotax?
What sort of structure/skin - aluminum? Or something less traditional? Or even more traditional - tube & fabric?
I don't know the exact prices on everything. I don't disagree that the current LSA, modern aircraft are not cheap, but if you add all the aircraft components, and processes a manufacturer has to go through to get the plane to the point of selling 1 single aeroplane, how can they build them cheaper, and survive in today's market? It almost seems like a catch 22 - to get the prices down, you have to sell lots of them, but how can you do that if the prices are above most folks price range?
Or you end up like the Eagle LSA aeroplane. The company managed to make a couple of them, then disappeared... It is not a cheap & easy, quick process. The prime example is the Skycatcher - all that flight testing over & over again. It may cost more, but I know which plane I'd rather get in to fly! The one where someone an awful lot braver than me has done all the dirty work & possibly scared themselves before I get any where near it.