Glasair Aviation Pauses Kit Sales, To Move Production to China


Glasair Aviation has announced that production of the Sportsman kit will be moving from its ancestral home in Arlington, Washington, to Zhenjiang, Jiangsu province, China. Kits already on order will be completed before the move but no additional kit orders are being taken. Also, according to the company, parts orders placed before the end of July will be fulfilled from the U.S., while those placed afterward will be shipped from China once the facility is up and running. The estimated timeframe for that is two years, according to the company.

The company is making moves to give existing Sportsman (and GlaStar) builders and owners some support. Some assets will be maintained in the U.S., including paperwork that would allow the company to issue bills of sale for those builders who may have lost them. And they’re working on developing new molds for consumable composites—wingtips, cowlings, other fairings, but not the main fuselage—to help support airplanes under construction or already flying. As with most homebuilts, the majority of the common wear items in the GlaStar or Sportsman are off-the-shelf pieces and other model-specific parts (such as landing gear legs) were produced by third-party vendors who are still in business.

Glasair, which has been Chinese owned since 2012, suffered significant setbacks in 2020 as the pandemic forced the Two Weeks to Taxi program to be suspended, while supply-chain issues after that hampered the company’s recovery.

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Marc Cook
Marc Cook is a veteran special-interest journalist who started as a staffer at AOPA Pilot in the late 1980s. Marc has built two airplanes, an Aero Designs Pulsar XP and a Glasair Aviation Sportsman, and now owns a 180-hp, steam-gauge-adjacent GlaStar based in western Oregon. Marc has 5000 hours spread over 200-plus types and four decades of flying.


  1. Nothing like having your kit plane made in China! Think about that when go flying.
    We need to go back to scratch building!

    • I agree. Im looking at the until I saw this. I recently bought an LED headset and found it was made in China. Similiar to ym American made ones. But the thing wont work right and is cheaply made compared to the older versions which are still working. I hope they go under.

  2. That will doom the company, So many are unhappy about Chinese ownership of Cirrus and others.
    I don’t think they will recover from this move and 2 year production delay.
    I am a Glasair 1-RG owner, thankfully the 2 companies split some many years ago.

    • Anything Ive ever had made i8n China has turned out to be Junk and not durable. Even trying to deal with them for a return is a pain. I hope they do go under and fail. American Companies shouldnt be allowed to be bought by our Enemies.

  3. Meanwhile other companies are pulling out of China. China is not known for quality control. They like to cut corners and swap materials to save money.


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