The Colombian Air Force (CAF) successfully flew its latest training aircraft, a Lancair kit-built design called the Synergy, for the first time last month, setting it among a handful of designs ever assembled in Colombia. The Synergy is a fixed-gear, two-place, side-by-side, Lycoming IO-390-powered design similar in appearance to the Lancair Legacy high-performance kit-built aircraft, but with a larger wing and tail. It was created as the result of a partnership between Lancair and the CAF. The test flight reportedly went well and the aircraft performed to expectations. The CAF plans to build and fly two more examples before year-end and complete the remainder of its 25 aircraft Synergy fleet by 2012.
Compared to the Lancair Legacy, the Synergy sports a wing that's 20 percent larger, with longer flaps. The vertical tail and rudder are also larger and more similar in shape to the Lancair Evolution. In the air, the changes make the Synergy a more docile training platform with a lower stall speed and more forgiving flight characteristics than the very high-performance Legacy. In the cockpit, the Synergy offers a center stick intended to facilitate the transition to higher-performance aircraft for trainee pilots.