Lancair Announces Piston-Powered Evolution

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Lancair, which had its painted and demo-flying turbine Evolution out on the flight line this week, today announced a further development of the airplane to use piston power. In a radical break from Lancair tradition, which has most recently relied on either Continental or Superior piston power, the upcoming Evolution will use a version of the just announced Lycoming TEO-540 six-cylinder powerplant. It will produce 400 horsepower, according to Lancair president Joe Bartels.

The FADEC engine will require a new firewall-forward configuration with what have become Lancair's trademark axis-symmetric round instruments. With the Lycoming churning away, the piston Evolution will be capable of 330 knots true at altitude at "less than turbine fuel flows," according to Bartels. A specific price for the piston Evolution has not been set, but the turbine version, using a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A, is estimated to cost between $800,000 and $1 million, depending upon options, avionics and whether the engine is new or overhauled. The piston engine and prop package should be less than $100,000, though Lycoming has not set prices on the FADEC system yet. The piston version will be developed alongside the turbine Evolution, which has just seen its first kit being delivered.