|LISA debuts its sleek, stylish AKOYA this week.
By Marino Boric, EAA European Correspondent
After years of testing and tuning work, LISA Airplanes' AKOYA is being presented for the first time to the American public here in Oshkosh. LISA Airplanes was established in 2004 by Erick Herzberger and Luc Bernole.
The uncommon, stylish AKOYA can land on water, hard surfaces, and even snow. Its first public appearance was in Europe at AERO 2007, and the final version was completed at the end of 2011. This fully composite, high-wing design completed its first trial phase by mid-2011 and has been flying regularly-an average of four days a week-since early May 2012.
AKOYA is a high-end aircraft that is "different" than other amphibious airplanes. The sleek, all-composite fuselage allows AKOYA to reach 135 knots maximum speed in the European ultralight version. The U.S. LSA version has a top speed of 120 knots.
What makes this French airplane unique? The 100-hp Rotax 912S engine is mounted on top of the vertical stabilizer in a tractor configuration. The fuselage buoys the aircraft during water operations. And, unlike many amphibious planes, AKOYA incorporates two hydrofoils on an otherwise clean, round, step-less fuselage design.
LISA claims it has proved the validity of AKOYA's shark-like fins on the fuselage underside just below the passenger compartment. These patented sea-foils give the AKOYA stability in the water and serve as the surface tension-breaking mechanism for lifting it from the water.
The most remarkable AKOYA capability is that it can land on snow in skiplane configuration; even with skis the gear is retractable. By the way, the aircraft was born with a tricycle retractable gear before it was changed recently to a tailwheel configuration.
AKOYA sports an electrically powered canopy and manually folding wings, with an optional electric folding wing. Maximum takeoff weight is 1,430 pounds, with a useful load of 550 pounds, according to the company.
The French manufacturer is preparing to certify it as an LSA amphibious aircraft and plans to have an LSA certification prototype built by mid-2013.
LISA says the aircraft needs 650 feet to take off and land. It will fulfill the LSA-mandated stall speed of 45 knots with flaps retracted. Standard range is 670 nautical miles, extended to 1,080 nm with the optional 29-gallon fuel tank. A hybrid version with solar cells on the wings and horizontal stab is also in the pipeline.
The company says the aircraft owes its relatively light weight to the use of sandwich structures made of foam core and carbon-fiber reinforced skins along with aluminum and titanium for the metal parts. The price is $390,000, but LISA is trimming $20,000 off the price this week for customers who deposit $5,000.
The price includes complete pilot training for the AKOYA, a three-year warranty, and three years of maintenance and three years of hotline assistance in its full package price. It also includes aircraft customization.
Learn more at the LISA exhibit, No. 446-457. www.LISA-Airplanes.com.