|STANDARD DATA: (LA-4) Seats 4. Gross wt. 2,400. Empty wt. 1,600. Fuel capacity 40. Engine 180-hp Lycoming.
PERFORMANCE: Top mph 135. Cruise mph 131. Stall mph 51. Initial climb rate 800. Ceiling 14,000. Range 627. Takeoff run (land) 650. Takeoff run (water) 1,125. Landing roll (land) 475. Landing run (water) 600.
STANDARD DATA: (Buccaneer) Seats 3-4. Gross wt. 2,690. Empty wt. 1,555. Fuel capacity 54. Engine 200-hp Lycoming.
STANDARD DATA: (LA-250-270) Seats 4-6. Gross wt. 3,140. Empty wt. 1,850. Fuel capacity 90. Engine 250-hp Lycoming IO-540-C4B5/ 270-hp TIO-540- AA1AB.
The Lake Amphibian takes it heritage from the development of a plane formerly known as the Skimmer, which was built by Colonial Aircraft Corp., founded in 1946 by David B. Thurston and Herbert P. Lindbad. Both had worked for the Grumman Company on the Goose and the Widgeon. Their entry into general aviation was a design called the Skimmer. Various versions of the Skimmer were produced in the 1950s in limited quantities. In 1959, the name of the plane was changed to the Lake, and improvements were introduced. From 1958 to 1970, the standard engine was a 180-hp Lycoming, and the airplane was designated the LA-4 Amphibian. In 1970, Lake removed the retractable gear from some LA-4s and offered them as seaplanes with detachable beaching gear. Also in 1970, Lake fitted a 200-hp fuel-injected Lycoming engine to the LA-4 and renamed it the Buccaneer. Performance increased substantially, as did the price tag. Lake has since discontinued the LA-4 and the Seaplane and is concentrating on production of the Buccaneer and the Renegade. Standard fuel tanks in the Lake were 40 gallons until someone decided that the pontoons could also be used as fuel links. The new auxiliary tanks took 7-1/2 gallons on each side, and the total capacity increased to 55 gallons. The extra 20 hp in the 200-hp Buccaneer has increased cruising speed by 12 mph and top speed by 14 mph. Allowable gross weight also increased an additional 200 pounds. During the sagging economic times for general aviation during the 1980s, Lake aircraft played musical chairs with powerplants. In 1984 the Buccaneer’s engine was upgraded to a 250 hp Lycoming IO-540-C4B5, creating the LA-250 Renegade in a modestly enlarged airframe. The model offered four to six passenger seating, improved useful load and 90 gallons of fuel on board. In 1987 turbo charging was added via the Lycoming TIO-540-AA1AB, resulting in 20 more horses to the Renegade and a ceiling of up to 23,800'. That same year the Buccaneer model was put into retirement. Latest models of the 250 and 270 hp Lakes are all marketed under the name Seafury, and incorporate improvements in corrosion protection for operation in salt water. There are also two military variants, the SeaWolfe and Ranger, which use 290 hp engines and feature hardpoints for mounting ordnance.