11:47 PM

Has Lancair Designed
the Perfect GA Plane?


We've all known Lancair International has designed some of the coolest flying hot rods in the sky. Every Lancair is a work of art, and they all scoot through the sky with performance that would have blown the mind of either Wright Brother.

But when you design such awesome ships, what can you possibly do that will "wow" anyone? How about speed? No, the Lancair IV can crank out 330 miles per hour. That is unimaginable in a GA prop-driven plane. What can they do to top that? How about this, from the Lancair site:

Lancair is introducing the Lancair Evolution, the most technically advanced, performance-driven aircraft ever. Developed entirely through Computer Aided Design, the Evolution will shatter all your pre-conceived notions about aircraft performance, control and safety. A powerful PT6 engine by Pratt & Whitney propels the Evolution to speeds of more than 385 miles per hour.
Oh. My. God.

The performance of this plane is just amazing. With a rate of climb of 4,000 fpm, it takes just eight minutes to reach FL240...yet stalls at just 61 kts. The pressurized Evolution has a maximum operating altitude of 28,000 feet, yet burns just 39 gallons per hour.

After buying their "Fastbuild Kit" for $250,000.00 and dinking around in the shop for a while, you will end up with your own private rocket that can carry 814 pounds of people and gear after full fuel just a shade south of 400 MILES AN HOUR! If you are not quite sure what a "fastbuild" kit is, here is an explanation from Lancair:
All major structures are installed for you in the wings, horizontal stabilizer, elevators, and vertical fin. The fuselage also sees major component installation performed for you using our massive alignment fixtures, which include the firewall, nose gear tunnel, engine mount, nose and main gear assemblies, fuselage bulkheads, etc. Also included is the wing mating feature that aligns and attaches the wing into the fuselage. Main gear doors are also trimmed out for you. Recently added to our pre-assembly is the wing fuel system that includes fuel caps, drains, slosh doors, pickup and return line fittings, vent lines, and tank sealer.
Like me, I am sure you have some questions about building a "kit" plane. Here are a few answers from Lancair's FAQs [note, they do not have updated info here about the Evolution, so the next best thing is their "Propjet/Sentry"]:
It will take you about 1,500-1,700 hours to build the Lancair IV-P/Propjet/Sentry. These hours do not include firewall forward installation, electrical, paint or upholstery. The kit includes all the major components of the airframe, but no engine, propeller, avionics, paint or interior. When a Propjet/Sentry is done, you will have spent about $400,000- $450,000. And if you would like builder assistance from Lancair, you can spend up to 26 weeks (possible more for the Evolution?) with them and will build your own plane under their watchful eye. Lancair technicians offer technical assistance and guidance during this build time, at a cost of $4,000.00 per week.
Now I must be honest, I'm a guy who would never attempt to even change the oil in my Cherokee 235, so building an airplane is far outside my realm of imagination. Having said that, wouldn't it be super groovy to go to Lancair, spend several weeks in their Builder Assist program...crafting your very own Evolution?

I can think of no better aviation moment one could enjoy then departing Roberts Field in Redmond, Oregon in a 385 mph, fire-breathing rocket ship you built with your own two hands.

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