Friday, September 23, 2011

Three If By Sea

Some bright minds at LISA Airplanes, a French company, had a great idea to take the hydrofoil concept and apply it to an LSA seaplane.  I’d often wondered why hydrofoils haven’t been done before, it’s such a great concept.
AKOYA artist's rendering...but the airplane is flying.  Photos courtesy LISA
Anyway, the airplane is the AKOYA.  The technology for the entire package is patented and called Multi-Access, not the most sizzling name but what the hey, look at how cool those little moustache water wings look sticking out from the hull!
Now get this: the company claims AKOYA operates as easily from land as from water...or snow! First, to those water wings sticking out: they’re called Seafoils, a trademarked name, which adds a little more marketing sizzle to this steak.
They’re connected to a retractable gear that can be rigged with wheels or skis, I guess, and also to motor-driven, pivoting wings!  There's also a chute onboard.  Very neat.

LISA Airplanes _ AKOYA premiere from LISA Airplanes on Vimeo.
The airplane is spec’d out at 18.5 gallons yet can fly 680 miles at 110 knots!  No restrictions to local pond hopping for this seabird.
Gérald Ducoin, a test pilot who flew the plane, praises the revolutionary Seafoils which “offer both fast lift-off and stability.  They also considerably simplify landing manevers and taking off from water.”
Spacey interior...maybe AKOYA and ICON's A5 can go on a date
With a 100 hp Rotax, the company claims a 650 foot take/landing distance.
The company is clearnly not worried about it’s high price: €300,000!  That's Euros, cousins, not greenbacks.
I hasten to add that LISA will throw in pilot training for all three modes of landing, “personalization” of the airplane, and three years of maintenance and full-time customer assistance.
The more this LSA phenomenon grows, the more interesting it gets.
Skis...wheels...water...what's not to like?
AKOYA is in flight test mode in France and announces it expects to get LSA certification by mid-2012. 

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