July 28, 2016 - The president of Triton Aero-Marine hopes their new special light-sport aircraft will serve as a catalyst for the growth of general aviation in China.
Thomas Hsueh said the S-LSA plane, manufactured in their factory in Zhuhai, China, would be an affordable airplane for flight training schools that are needed to fuel the growth of general aviation there.
The factory employs 140 workers and has 30 airplanes in production, he said.
Called the SkyTrek, the plane is already certified by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), and Hsueh said he anticipated receiving FAA certification, maybe today.
Hsueh is optimistic that the timing is right. “The (Chinese) government is determine to catch up with the West, and they have a lot of catching up to do,” he said. “China has a handful of private pilots, about 1,000 small airplanes and no small airports at all.”
The new Chinese premier has announced an initiative to build generation aviation airports in most of its counties, Hsueh said. Approximately 2,800 new airports are proposed.
Hsueh had to build his own runway from scratch to do flight testing for the S-LSA, and he has proposed building approximately 40 more runways so they could do “serious instruction.”
Hsueh said he has had conversations with EAA officials asking if he could send young Chinese students to attend EAA’s new Sport Pilot Academy, provided they bring their own plane.
Eventually, his hope is that those first trained as sport pilots would train more GA pilots in China.
“I’d like to have people trained with safety in mind,” he said. “This would give us an opportunity to increase the Chinese flying public in a very short timeframe.”
Triton is a start-up composite aircraft development and manufacturing company with offices in Anacortes and Burlington, Washington. Triton Aerospace LLC acquired the remaining tooling, parts, assets, and intellectual property of Adam Aircraft in July of 2009. For more information, go to iflyairplanes.com.
Triton Aero-Marines Industries can be found at AirVenture in Booth 435.