Lancair 400 -- The Fastest Certified Piston-Engine Aircraft?

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Hot off the press and delivered fresh to Sun 'n Fun, Lancair's latest data sheet (and aircraft) lists a maximum recommended cruising speed of 235 KTAS -- at FL250 -- and an approximate useful load of 1100 pounds for the 310hp turbo-charged dual-system-all-electric (no, not the engine) Lancair Columbia 400. The Lancair Company's Mark Cahill told AVweb yesterday that the performance numbers don't tell the whole story. "The 400 is a product of the company's ongoing philosophy of preventive medicine as opposed to remedial medicine." Our translation: Lancair engineers have worked extremely hard to design aerodynamic features that will keep you out of trouble over an extremely broad performance envelope. Lancair has asked AVweb to keep the specifics of the aeronautical innovations under wraps until the 400's official unveiling, Friday. We'll guess the timing will be none too soon for 140 buyers currently waiting for backordered aircraft. The company is currently meeting the demand with one aircraft every two days. Seeking to improve upon current designs (company officials tell AVweb they expect the 400 will soon offer de-ice packages and that retrofit packages will be made available for models already shipped). While the company does not currently offer a pressurized version of the 400 it is likely that the option (already available on Lancair experimental aircraft) will make its way to the certified aircraft line as the market dictates.