I’ve flown a lot of Lancairs over the years, and while a lot of them were really, really fast, the two I like, the Evolution and the ES, were designed to be plenty fast while still flying squarely in the middle of the Part 23 envelope. Both are kits, of course, and as such need no blessing from the FAA on their flight characteristics…but the company figured out that safety sells and it focused its design efforts on making a great flying, slow-landing airplane that’s fast when you want it to be and slow when you need it to be.
When Lancair and Evolution split late last year, many wondered how the Lancair legacy would live on. When an Uvalde, Texas company purchased the non-Evolution side of the Lancair business, those concerns were alleviated. The owners of the new company have long expertise in extensive aircraft modifications, maintenance and refurbishment on everything from jets to singles. And their facilities are first rate, too.
Recently, the new Lancair announced the Mako, an evolution of the ES. As you might know, the ES was the genesis of what is today the Cessna TTx, a fast, comfortable fixed-gear cruiser that owners rave about.
Lancair expects the Mako, which is closing in on its first flight, to be very fast—better than 225 knots in the turbocharged version—but with Part 23 landing speeds of around 60 knots.
There are a few really unusual things about the Mako. First, it’s got a retractable nose gear as an option. Lancair thinks that tucking the nose gear will add better than five knots to cruise while retaining, according to Lancair, the lower insurance rates for fixed-gear planes. Second, it’ll feature two doors, to make it easier for everybody to get into and back out of the plane. And there's even a ballistic parachute as an option.
Lancair hasn’t quoted a price yet but says it expects it to as much as 50 percent less than certificated airplanes of similar design. Those are, of course, the Cirrus SR22 and the Cessna TTx. Mooney’s new Ultras, the Acclaim and the Ovation, would surely be in on that conversation, as well.
The big difference is that you won’t be able to buy a completed Mako, but Lancair will make it as easy on buyers as possible, with an in-shop builder’s assistance center that will take all of the guesswork out of the project while greatly speeding it up, too, by allowing builders to do a lot of the critical and most time consuming work at the factory.
Expect to hear more details at AirVenture.
Learn more at Lancair.