French Company Flies Land-Water-Snow Amphib

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LISA Airplanes, a French aircraft manufacturer, has successfully launched the first flight of its Akoya design, a two-seat amphibian that can land on the ground, the snow, and the water. Test pilot Gérald Ducoin flew the prototype for about 15 minutes on Aug. 22. "This maiden flight confirmed the very healthy general behavior of the Akoya," Ducoin said. The next tests will evaluate the various functions of the versatile aircraft -- skis, hydrofoils, flexible flaps, a swiveling wing for storage, a parachute, and more. The design phase for the airplane began in January 2006, and the company said first deliveries will take place within 16 months, at a price point of about 300,000 Euros.

LISA Airplanes was founded in 2002. The Akoya will have a range of 620 nautical miles and a maximum speed of 168 knots, the company said. The engine is a 100-hp Rotax 912S.