One you build, the other you buy. Both have a long lineage. The Evolution is designed atop three-and-a-half decades of Lancair’s homebuilding experience. Piper’s M350 is a direct descendent of the original Malibu of the early 1980s.
Both are pressurized. Both are fast. While many pilots prefer the flexibility and customization of a homebuilt, others prefer the consistency of a production aircraft.
At first glance, a 210-pound heavier max takeoff weight and a 320-pound lighter empty weight don’t seem like much on the Evolution’s 4,550-pound airframe, but they sure add up when it comes to useful load and payload.
On the other side of the equation, I’m not sure I have the stamina to take on building an Evolution, even with help.
|AIRCRAFT||Lancair Evolution||Piper M350|
|Length||30 ft||28.11 ft|
|Height||10 ft||11.4 ft|
|Wingspan||37 ft||43 ft|
|Max Takeoff Weight||4,550 lbs||4,340 lbs|
|Empty Weight||2,730 lbs||3,050 lbs|
|Useful Load||1,820 lbs||1,308 lbs|
|Usable Fuel||168 gal||120 gal|
|Max Payload – Full Fuel||800 lbs||588 lbs|
|Max Cruise Speed||242 ktas||213 ktas|
|Engine||Lyc. YTEO-540 iE2||Lyc. TIO-540-AE2A|
I know it’s not really a fair comparison — experimental vs. production — but both have pros and cons. What say you?