July 1, 2013
By Jim Moore
Lam Aviation announced June 25 test results that show significant gains in airspeed, climb rate, useful load, and fuel efficiency realized with a new aileron design—and a smaller wing made possible by that aileron.
A Lancair Columbia retrofitted with a new wing and a Lam Aileron logged an airspeed increase of 12 to 16 knots, a 40- to 50-percent increase in climb rate, a 20- to 30-percent reduction in fuel burn, and a 200-pound increase in useful load. The FAA has approved further testing, the company announced, adding that a second round of venture capital funding has been raised.
The new aileron design allows for a smaller wing to be mounted on any number of different aircraft, reducing drag and boosting performance. In addition, the company said, it allows any combination of aileron and flap spans, and also allows both functions to be combined in a single control surface. The company said the new design may also improve low-speed performance and stall characteristics, possibly increasing resistance to spins. The company envisions a wide range of potential applications by aircraft designers and builders.
The flight test aircraft will be flown to EAA AirVenture 2013 in Oshkosh, Wis.
“Our aileron increases the range of variable geometries for airplanes, helping to maximize the benefits of trailing-edge devices like flaps and ailerons,” said Lam Aviation CEO Michael Lam. “All aircraft designs that use flaps can gain performance, efficiency and safety from the Lam Aileron.”
AOPA Online Associate Editor Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys competition aerobatics.
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