Lisa Airplanes Carries on its Successful Series of Test Runs and Freezes the Materials Choices for its Aircraft Akoya

LISA Airplanes, the French manufacturer of the revolutionary amphibious skiplane AKOYA follows up its flight tests from both the airport runway and the Bourget Lake. Lately, intensive taxiing tests on the lake proved the stability of the Seafoils and maneuverability of the AKOYA at low speed.

"The AKOYA flows easily upon contact with water at a speed up to 90km/h (49 knots), widening even more AKOYA’s capabilities. We’re thrilled with the Seafoils performance and with the maneuverability and stability they provide. We’ve broken the seaplane rules but the result of our work is now acknowledged by the most renowned aviation experts." explains Jean-François CLAVREUL, Research and Development Manager.

Flying every week, the first production AKOYA allows the validation of most of the announced performance. Recently, the test pilot Gérald Ducoin completed stall tests with several weight and balance configurations and different flap positions in which the aircraft showed a safe behavior. The AKOYA does not have a “nose-down” tendency, which means that at 45 knots, the airplane tends to go down but the nose of the aircraft always stays above the skyline. The airplane keeps its lateral and longitudinal stability; the pilot just needs to push the stick to restore the speed and reverse the stall. This behavior results from 4 years of experimentation in wind tunnel and in flight that enhanced our design choices related to pilot safety.

Meanwhile, LISA’s engineers are completing the AKOYA’s production preparation. All structural components and materials choices are now frozen. The fuselage, wings and many small parts are made of composite materials: fiberglass, Kevlar, and mostly light-weight sandwich structures made of polymer foam core material and carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) resin pre-impregnated (prepreg) supplied by Umeco. This composite is well-known for its great durability and its unequalled strength/weight ratio. The mechanical parts are made of aluminum and titanium, which excellent properties are well-attested. Besides, all parts are treated against corrosion.

This global weight optimization – aeronautics main obsession and even more at LISA Airplanes – allowed to design a 410kg (903lbs)-empty weight aircraft while featuring an impressive standard equipment and instrumentation package : Emergency airframe parachute, folding wings, electrically operated canopy, retractable landing gear equipped with skis, pearl painting, whole cockpit lined with high-end materials such as leather etc.

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Source: Lisa Airplanes
Date: Mar 23, 2012