All things ballooning
LimeLite is a new company that builds systems in the "Light Sport" category. It seems to me that these could finally fill the void left by the Aerostar Aurora: a small, inexpensive "People's Balloon". Does anybody know anything about them besides the informaton on their website? or about Light Sport balloons in general?
I have heard (Somebody please say differently if this is not true because I don't really know...I have just heard) that a type certificate is very expensive to complete. I recently heard it was an estimated 1 million dollars for each model for type certification and if that is true I just don't see it. These balloon are a GREAT shot in the arm for ballooning. They make it so much easier for someone to get into ballooning. Heck with some of the manufacturers out there you are talking more for the price of their basket than it costs for one of these full systems.
Good point. Im hoping Andy can let us know what the difference between Full certification and LS certification would be. Gander it still costs a bit for LS as well... Would be nice to see what the insurance companies think as well about Light Sport certification.
The main difference is in the paperwork required. To get an LSA certification you work to ASTM standards and are allowed to self test and self certify. For standard certification, the FAA requires outside testing and FAA oversight of each stage of production. You also have to prove that you meet FAA standards. There is little difference between good engineering standards (ASTM) and FAA standards. There is a lot of difference in the cost of testing and the cost of the FAA examiners who oversee the process for standard certification. The pile of paperwork is also very expensive.
Absolutely no disrespect intended, but something we can all keep in mind is that via LimeLite, Andy isn't doing anything magical here; he's simply tapping into a resource that's been available to us all for quite a few years now. He's just the first one to go this far with it. As James described it above, it's a paperwork/certification difference due to different standards met (ASTM vs. FAA overseeing the whole process).
Additionally, LSA LTA weight limits are set high enough that many current type certified balloons that we are all used to would qualify as Light Sport Aircraft. A "light sport aircraft" actually doesn't have to be "light" comparatively with what we are used to. 1320 lbs isn't light! Look at all of the wonderful things that are said about the Aerostar Aurora...think about how much lighter even IT could be: As it is, it's still a wicker basket, heavy burner, steel cables, and 1.9 oz ripstop. As well regarded as it is, even it could have been better. This is where new generations of manufacturers and builders come in...
I don't really need to add much here, you guy's have it pegged. I am not re-inventing the wheel... I am just capable of selling the wheel cheaper then other manufacturer's... And the balloons produced here are extremely tough, well built, long life system's. In my opinion this is exactly what ballooning needs... a shot in the arm, and a new path to get new people involved in our wonderful sport!. Fly safe!!!
Now with this "Light sport" Type, can you fly this envelope over a Cameron bottom end or lidy. ect? Also what are the prices for the Envelope only?
yes we can build just envelopes for your lower end.
the accessory page on www.limeliteballoons.com has prices for only envelopes listed on it.