French Amphib Seeks LSA Nod

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A French company says it's preparing to certify as an LSA an amphibious aircraft that can also be equipped with skis. The Akoya, developed by Lisa Aircraft, first flew in 2007 and has been flying regularly ever since, according to the company. Along the way, they say it has proved the validity of several design innovations, including a pair of seafoils that give it stability in the water and serve as the surface-tension-breaking mechanism for getting it unstuck on takeoff. The aircraft sports an electrically powered canopy, retractable gear and folding wings, but has a useful load of more than 500 pounds as an LSA, the company says.

Lisa says the aircraft will get airborne at 13 knots and reach the LSA-mandated speed limit of 120 knots with a range of up to 1,000 miles. It's powered by a tail-mounted Rotax 912 ULS in tractor configuration and there are plans for a hybrid version with solar cells on the wings and horizontal stab. The company says the aircraft owes its relatively light weight to the use of sandwich structures of foam core and carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic along with aluminum and titanium for the metal parts. The company has not set a date for LSA certification.