Lancair Offers UAV, Adds BRS Chute To Evolution


Lancair is now working on an optionally piloted version of its Evolution turboprop, and also is delivering a BRS parachute with its Evolution kits, company spokesman Doug Meyer said at EAA AirVenture on Wednesday. “It will be the first turbine-powered aircraft to have a BRS system,” Meyer said. “It was something we envisioned when the aircraft was developed, and it was shelved for a long time.” The company worked together with BRS to develop the new chute design. It’s now a standard feature on the aircraft, though owners can elect not to install it. It will add about $60,000 to the airplane cost, Meyer said, bringing the full cost of a ready-to-fly Evolution to about $1.45 million. Meyer also provided details about a new pilot-optional Evolution that is now available; the prototype is on display this week at Oshkosh.

The Evolution Optionally Piloted System allows the operator to fly the aircraft remotely. The sensors can be controlled by a safety pilot riding in either the right or left seat, or remotely via datalink. The system is controlled by a touchscreen-based ground station that can be installed in either fixed or mobile sites. The aircraft also will be equipped with hard points on the wings and belly to carry additional payloads such as radar and surveillance gear or fuel tanks. It will be useful for missions such as pipeline patrol or railroad surveys, Meyer said. A completely outfitted example will be flying later this year, the company said. Meyer also said the Evolution kit design has been tweaked to provide better airflow for the engine. Most of the fleet runs in the 290s he said, and with the improved airflow, the airplane “now is definitely getting 300 knots.”