First Pressurized Owner-Built Lancair ES Flies

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It's been 16 months of hard work but what a prize Robert Simon got at the end. The Columbus, Ohio, pilot and homebuilder recently flew his Lancair ES-P for the first time. The P stands for pressurized but it could also mean pretty darn fast. Simon reports his four-place, fixed-gear aircraft (Lancair suggests a Continental TSIO-550-E) cruises at 260 KTAS at 25,000 feet with the occupants in shirt-sleeved comfort (Lancair's Web site May 21 said builders should expect 293 miles per hour at 24,000 feet in recommended trim). He says his aircraft has a high-speed range of 1,300 nm (Lancair's Web site currently quotes 1,200 statute miles for its kit). Simon plans to fly the plane to EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh this summer, where he expects to have it on display at the Lancair booth. Lancair has long(er) offered its IV-P retract kit, but Simon believes though several other ES-P builders are nearing completion, his aircraft is the first to fly. Simon, who had previously built a GlaStar on his own, took advantage of Lancair's builder assist program for his new bird. "I spent four weeks at Lancair's build shop, then moved into a private hangar where a building buddy and I worked together with a builder assistant," he told AVweb. "We had built my previous plane without assistance but wanted a steeper learning curve and faster build time on this one." Simon said he expects the new model to be an important part of Lancair's future marketing strategy. "Fast-build" kits for the ES-P aircraft run near $117,000 from Lancair.