The first new product since the relocation of experimental aircraft company Lancair International to Texas is the four-place MAKO.
First flown on July 18, 2017, the MAKO flew for more than 40 hours before making its public debut at EAA AirVenture 2017 at Oshkosh.
According to company officials, the new aircraft “performed admirably, meeting or exceeding all performance expectations.”
Fully instrumented flight testing will follow shortly after the close of AirVenture.
The four-place composite aircraft features 25 improvements, including dual gullwing cabin doors, a first for a Lancair model, according to company officials.Newly designed low-drag “scimitar” wingtips incorporate lightweight LED lighting and, along with other aerodynamic refinements, adds 12 knots to the aircraft’s cruise speed.
Much of the increase is due to the optional retractable nose wheel’s “cleaning up” of the turbulent slipstream behind the propeller, company officials explain. The nose gear is operated by a fully automatic retraction/extension system that requires no action by the pilot.
In another first for Lancair, the aircraft’s four-place cabin features enhanced control options. In addition to the optional right-side entry door, the MAKO offers an optional center control stick, with throttles on both sidewalls, improving ergonomics and allowing piloting from either front seat. Other options include a new electric Freon air conditioning system, articulating seats, and a ballistic parachute recovery system.
Optimizing airflow around and through the engine is essential to MAKO’s performance goals, company officials note. The engine cowling features an improved precision induction system and redesigned exhaust fairings with improved aerodynamics, officials said in a prepared release.
In addition, the optional retractable nose wheel reduces turbulence behind the propeller, adding 12 knots to maximum cruise speeds.
A variety of engine options will be available, ranging from a normally aspirated 210-hp Continental IO-360 to a 350-hp turbocharged Lycoming TIO-540. Typical non-turbo cruise speeds are over 180 knots, with turbocharged models exceeding 225 knots, company officials report.
Whether normally aspirated or turbocharged, MAKO is designed to compete head-to-head with contemporary certified aircraft like the Cessna TTx, Cirrus SR-20 and SR-22, Lancair officials said.
While pricing is still being finalized, company officials say it will be “substantially lower” than its competitors, “likely in the neighborhood of 50% or more.”
“At the end of the day our objective is to offer a better performing aircraft at a fraction of the cost of the certified competitors,” said Mark Huffstutler, CEO of Lancair International.
Lancair’s Builder Assist Program is available to help buyers advance their aircraft to completion. Conducted at the company’s Uvalde, Texas, factory, the program allows new owners to close out critical airframe structures, providing fixtures, supplies and one-on-one training and support.
A new Mako Flying Club has also been created to support group construction and ownership for pilots in close geographic proximity to each other.
Full-scale production is anticipated in the first quarter of 2018 and advance deposits for production positions are being taken now, according to company officials.