At the Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, FL, this week, MVP Aircraft president Derrell Lynds told Plane & Pilot that the company’s progress toward production on its unique MVP amphibious flying boat is progressing well and revealed details about its design that set it apart from other flying boat designs, most notably the glitzy Icon A5.
The MVP was conceived in 2012 and made its public debut at Oshkosh AirVenture two years later in 2014. The airplane, made of a blend of carbon fiber, fiberglass, steel and even fabric is so different it looks a lot like a novelty. Unlike other amphibs, the MVP, Lynds said, is intended to be useful once you arrive at the destination. Toward that end, it features a cockpit cover that swings the avionics up and out of watery harm’s way and transforms the pilot space into a fishing platform.
Importantly, Lynds said, the wings of the plane fold while it’s in the water, the only plane, he said, he’s aware of that can do that. The end result, he said, is that the MVP pilot can stow the wings and pull into a slip at a marina intended for a small boat. Planes without that feature are left with 30-plus feet of wingspan and few practical options. Lynds added that this feature allows the MVP to be stored in a boathouse, and to be lifted by most common boat lifts, again something the competition’s designs can’t do, he claimed.
First flight of the MVP is still 18 months off, but the company has another first it’s focusing on for now, the first float, scheduled for spring of 2017. The MVP differs from its competitors, Lynd added, in that it has been designed to be tolerant of uneven weight distribution. So if both occupants sit on one side of the plane when it’s in water, nothing much happens, which is not the case, he said, with other LSA flying boats on the market, which will drop a wing when the weight load moves left or right.
Lynds says that in addition to its float characteristics, the MVP will undergo extensive use testing in the water, so if any unforeseen problems arise, the team can tackle them at that that stage of the game.
First flight will take place about six months later, in the second half of 2017, Lynds estimates.
The company is taking deposits for the $200,000-plus airplane. Buyers have the option of putting down just $5,000 for a delivery position or making a big investment with a $100,000 deposit for an early position.