A website touting Lancair’s newest model, a piston-powered Evolution that normally uses a turboprop engine, launched April 1. The new model gives owners a less expensive aircraft that can easily be converted to a turboprop power at a later time, said Kevin Eldredge, director of business development for Lancair.
The piston-powered Evolution is planned to make a dramatic arrival with a fly-by at the Sun 'n Fun International Fly-In and Expo in Lakeland, Florida, on April 6 and then be put on display.
The aircraft is powered by the 350-horsepower Lycoming TEO-540-EXP iE2 engine with electronically managed mixture and propeller. It has a mechanically linked throttle. The aircraft costs $850,000, while the turboprop Evolution runs $1.5 million. The Evolution has the BRS emergency airframe parachute system.
Lancair tried to bring the aircraft out in 2009 at the start of the recession, Eldredge said. The one arriving at Sun 'n Fun is the first piston-powered Evolution to be delivered to a customer. The customer won’t fly it home, however. It will continue to be used as a demonstrator. The aircraft had 40 hours on it before Eldredge completed final flight tests and flew it to the Los Angeles area for a media demonstration.
Eldredge said the aircraft can cruise at 242 knots true airspeed at 25,000 feet burning 28 gph, but he said he prefers to throttle back to 22 gph and sees 232 knots on an average trip. It’s a huge savings in gas with a loss of only 10 knots, he explained. Eldredge’s other job is an air racer at Reno where he has clocked 393 mph in the Nemesis NXT race plane.