SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Lam Aviation, Inc., has successfully flown a Lancair Columbia (now Cessna Corvalis) airframe retrofitted with a new wing equipped with a simple version of the Lam Aileron.
Flight test and evaluation show that the modified aircraft realizes improved performance by every measure when compared to the production Corvalis, company officials said. The plane will be on display at the Innovations Pavilion at AirVenture.
Flight test results have demonstrated dramatic improvements in fuel economy, cruise performance, rate of climb and flight handling, including roll rate, roll authority at slow speeds and stall speed, company officials report. The modified aircraft also has an increased useful load and range.
Key test results of the airplane equipped with Lam Aileron include:
- Improved Cruise Performance – at equivalent power settings, the modified airplane cruises 12-16 knots faster.
- Decreased Fuel Consumption – at equivalent airspeeds, the modified airplane consumes 20-30 percent less fuel with corresponding increases in range.
- Increased Rate of Climb – 40-50 percent greater rate of climb after modification.
- Increased Useful Load – aircraft useful load increased by 200 pounds.
- Improved Flight-Handling Characteristics – roll rate is increased and stick forces decreased. Roll authority and flight-handling characteristics are improved in slow flight.
Test pilot Len Fox, a former naval aviator and US Navy test pilot, said: “From the pilot’s perspective, operation of the Lam Aileron is seamless. With the Lam Aileron, a slower stall speed was achieved with a smaller wing. The reduction in wing area contributed to a higher cruise speed. It was determined that the horizontal tail required to provide optimum stability will also be smaller, resulting in yet faster cruise speeds.”
The Lam Aileron uncouples the traditional interdependent relationship for sizing between ailerons and flaps, allowing wings to be equipped with ailerons and flaps of any span, without the use of spoilers or flaperons.
The Lam Aileron enables aircraft to use smaller wings that weigh less and produce less drag, yielding higher cruise speeds and rates of climb, lower fuel consumption and improved ride comfort through turbulence, while also improving roll control and slow-speed flight handling, according to company officials.
The Lam Aileron also allows the traditionally separate functions of flaps and ailerons to be mixed, providing additional functionality for more operations, including speed brakes and drag rudders, and may offer more effective methods of spin avoidance and recovery.
“Our aileron increases the range of variable geometries for airplanes, helping to maximize the benefits of trailing-edge devices like flaps and ailerons,” said Michael Lam, CEO of Lam Aviation. “All aircraft designs that use flaps can gain performance, efficiency and safety from the Lam Aileron.”