The speed increase is dramatic, but the lower drag translates into increased fuel economy – and this is perhaps even more exciting.
Oshkosh, WI (PRWEB) July 26, 2016
LAM Aviation, Inc. today announced that it has achieved breakthrough performance and safety improvements with the Columbia Volant, the first aircraft to integrate LAM Aero System TM anti-spin and high-lift technology. LAM’s test aircraft achieved an airspeed 26 knots faster than the unmodified Columbia’s max cruise speed, while simultaneously improving landing, takeoff performance and controllability. The results underscore LAM Aero System’s ability to deliver wing designs that provide performance envelopes previously not possible, leading to improved high speed performance, along with better control and enhanced safety in slow flight.
Volant Test Results
In testing this month, LAM’s Columbia Volant reached both its highest and lowest airspeeds and highest rate of climb to-date. The aircraft exceeded 206 KTAS. At 56 knots, the Volant has a lower stall speed than the unmodified airplane (one knot slower than stock, both at gross weight), but with much improved roll and yaw control in slow flight – making it the fastest and safest four-place normally-aspirated general aviation aircraft ever built.
“The speed increase is dramatic and quite exciting, but the lower drag translates into increased fuel economy – and this is perhaps even more exciting,” said Greg Cole, LAM chief aerodynamicist. “Using metrics that might be more familiar to laypeople, we see over 22 mpg at speeds over 200 mph at gross weight. You quickly get used to the improved handling because it is just as it should be, but the speed is always remarkable.”
Additional test results show dramatic speed performance at various power settings and altitudes:
● 206 KTAS (238 MPH)
● 197 KTAS (227 MPH) at 12,000 FT using 2600 RPM (not full power cruise)
● 179.5 KTAS (206 MPH) at 22.2 MPG at 17,000 FT 2200 RPM
● 172.8 KTAS (199 MPH) at 23.1 MPG at 17,000 FT 2100 RPM
● Stall speed: 56 knots at the same gross weight as the stock Columbia. (Note: the Volant is a lighter airframe.)
● Volant roll control and flight handling characteristics in the landing configuration and slow flight are equivalent to cruise.
The LAM Columbia Volant uses the original stock engine, a normally aspirated 310 HP Teledyne Continental IO-550N.
"Flying our Columbia Volant is like getting Ferrari supercar performance from a large sedan,” said Erik Stephansen, LAM president and CEO. “It's amazing to fly something this fast and with such wonderful handling qualities through the entire flight envelope. I expect both pilots and their insurance companies will love it.”
Novel Wing Design
The LAM Aero System is based on a novel, patented approach to using aileron and flap panels that exploits new interactions between the panels. The system is a combination of flight control surfaces driven mechanically and electro-mechanically. It uncouples the traditional interdependent sizing relationship between ailerons and flaps, and also allows for interaction between the panels. Resulting configurations limit loss of control and stall/spin departure by allowing a smaller wing to produce more lift, while also improving roll control at slow speeds.
LAM spin resistance provides a foundation for envelope protection enabled by LAM’s underlying aileron technology. The LAM Aero system prevents inadvertent departure from controlled flight, tolerates aggravated control inputs, is highly non-spinnable, and anti-autorotative in a spin. The Lam Aero System is also fully redundant. If the LAM electro-mechanical system were to fail, the aircraft’s independent mechanical system would by itself provide control.
LAM System Commercially Available
LAM recently announced commercial availability for its system. The company is initially offering the LAM Aero System as a modification on Columbia 300, 400, and Cessna Corvalis models, converting them to the Volant configuration as demonstrated in the Columbia 300 conversion. LAM Aviation will also be licensing its technology to provide safety and performance benefits in a system package that can be applied to any general aviation (GA) aircraft.
The company is meeting with various aircraft manufacturers to offer the LAM Aero System on GA aircraft in both experimental and certified versions. For more information, visit LAM Aviation this week at booth #646 in the North Aircraft Display at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh or go to http://www.lamaviation.com.
About Lam Aviation
Lam Aviation engineers active wing control systems and is the leader in antispin technology. The LAM Aero System (LAS) is the first major new wing flight control system since the introduction of the aileron and flap. LAS improves aircraft fuel efficiency, range, useful load, and both high-speed cruise and low-speed performance. Its innovative design is ideal for any aircraft that uses a wing trimmed by a tail. The system can be retrofitted on existing aircraft or designed into new aircraft. Lam Aviation is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area and backed by a veteran team of aviation engineers, award-winning aircraft designers, and accomplished investors. To learn more about LAM innovations, visit http://www.lamaviation.com.
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