Having completed the company’s relocation to Uvalde, Texas, Lancair’s new owners were excited to introduce their first new model at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin last month.
Mako over SS
Purchased in February 2017 by father and son team Mark and Conrad Huffstutler, the revitalized kit plane pioneer Lancair International is now in operation at their new five-hangar complex at Garner Field Airport. The new team has been hard at work since the company’s purchase, unloading and organizing multiple container loads of parts and manufacturing equipment into their new home.
A family aviation team
Lancair International’s new leadership is headed by longtime aviation veteran Mark Huffstutler and his accomplished son, Conrad. Both are passionate pilots who bring a broad spectrum of aviation experience to the well-known kitplane company. In the early 1980’s Mark founded Sierra Industries, a pioneer for over 30 years in FAA-certified performance modifications for piston and turbine-powered Cessna and Beechcraft aircraft. Though a generation younger, Conrad started his own warbird restoration company, Wild Warbirds and flew away from the 2013 EAA AirVenture with multiple awards for his painstakingly restored WWII Grumman FM-2 wildcat. In addition to their business acumen, Mark and Conrad hold ATP ratings and more than 15,000 flight hours in aircraft ranging from gliders and helicopters to warbirds and business jets. Both are also certified A&P mechanics and perhaps most importantly, Lancair owners, sharing a Lancair IV-P and 320 between them.
Lancair Mako: four seats, two doors, zero compromises
The first new product since the relocation of experimental aircraft pioneer Lancair International is the four-place MAKO, made its first appearance at this summer's EAA AirVenture event in July. Focused on setting a new price/performance benchmark, the new design features dual gullwing cabin doors, a first for a Lancair model. Newly designed low-drag "scimitar" wingtips incorporate lightweight LED lighting and, along with other aerodynamic refinements including an optional retractable nosewheel, are expected to add some 8 to 10 knots to the aircraft's cruise speed.
In another first, the aircraft’s spacious four-place cabin will feature 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, allowing piloting from either front seat. Other options include a new electric air conditioning system and a ballistic parachute recovery system.
Optimizing airflow around and through the engine is essential to MAKO’s performance goals. The engine cowling features an improved precision induction system and redesigned exhaust fairings with improved aerodynamics. A variety of engine options will be available, ranging from the standard 210hp Continental IO-360 to a 350 hp turbocharged Lycoming TIO-580. Typical non-turbo cruise speeds will be in the 215kt range, with the turbocharged models exceeding 250kts.
Whether normally aspirated or turbocharged, MAKO is designed to go head-to-head with contemporary certified aircraft like the Cessna TTx, Cirrus SR-20 and SR-22. With its optimized aerodynamics, weight and power, MAKO is projected to easily outperform both aircraft in climb rate, range and useful load. As of this writing, pricing is still being finalized but count on it being substantially lower than TTX/SR-20/22 pricing, likely in the neighborhood of 50% or more. Full-scale Mako production is anticipated in Q1 of 2018 and advance deposits for production positions are being taken now.
Support for over 2,200 Lancair owners worldwide
Existing Lancair kit and aircraft owners around the globe can look forward to full support for new and replacement parts, technical assistance and support documentation. While still unpacking file cabinets and organizing equipment, the company has already begun offering a variety of aircraft services from the new location. Maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), inspections and avionics support services are available for both experimental and certificated aircraft, including piston and turbine-powered planes. Drawing on an experienced local aviation workforce, the Uvalde airport location also features on-site paint and interior refurbishment, making it a true “one-stop shop” for regional owners and operators of private aircraft.
Lancair’s new CEO, Mark Huffstutler observes, “We’ve already seen a groundswell of interest and we’re looking forward to some exciting announcements in the months to come. I invite you to join us at the 2017 EAA AirVenture in July, and the 2017 LOBO Landing in August and get a close-up look at the future of Lancair. We'll be out in force at both events; I hope to see many of our long-time supporters there.”
The company’s new product roadmap includes a number of new products and significant model upgrades in the near future. Lancair anticipates returning to full-scale kit manufacture in the near future, bolstered by a new spirit of optimism in the US business sector. “We are looking forward eagerly to new developments in US aviation.” states Mr. Huffstutler.
Lancair International, Inc., has been doing business for over three decades manufacturing advanced composite aircraft structures. The innovative company has established proprietary relationships with hand selected vendors in the USA, Europe, Australia and South Africa.
Lancair’s class-leading aircraft hold nearly 100 speed, endurance and altitude records around the world.
Their innovative high-performance designs almost single-handedly spawned the “Sport Class” Race Division at the annual Reno Air Races, where Lancair models have won a record 45 times!
Worldwide, Lancairs are owned and operated in 34 countries on five continents. There have been more than 2,200 Lancair kits sold around the world. Over a thousand owners are flying various Lancair airplane models, with tens of thousands of flight hours logged. Lancair continues to promote the highest standards of safety in the industry.
Mark Huffstutler (Left) and Conrad Huffstuter (Right)