China Watch Blog has learnt that French company LISA Airplanes has commercially launched a stunning amphibious ski-plane: The AKOYA – a unique light airplane that is able to land on either ground, water or snow, offering previously unthinkable transportation possibilities.
After presenting the aircraft on several occasions in France, its home country, LISA Airplanes, which has developed the two-seater AKOYA, now brings this innovation to the international market. AKOYA is an airplane with a unique design and a wealth of features that will delight those who love to travel and explore.
Featuring patented Multi-AccessTM technology, the AKOYA can take off and land as easily on water or snow as on the ground. In addition, pivoting wings enable it to be stored or transported with ease. This technical feat is made possible by the development of SeafoilsTM, a unique innovation in the world of aviation.
Located under the fuselage, these hydrofoils are connected to a retractable landing gear equipped with skis and pivoting wings. This abundance of new features enables the AKOYA to reach unprecedented seaplane performance levels. With just 70 liters (18,5 US Gallons) of unleaded gasoline, the AKOYA can fly over 1100 km (680 miles) at a speed above 210 km/h (130 mph).
In other words, taking off from the Washington suburbs and landing in a lagoon in the Gulf of Mexico, going from Madagascar to the Seychelles or taking off from a snow-covered surface in the Swiss Alps, making a stop at a cove in Sardinia and continuing on to Tunis are just some examples among many of the choices offered by the AKOYA.
“In addition to its design, which immediately captivated me, the AKOYA is a very pleasant airplane to pilot. The Seafoils are truly revolutionary and offer both fast lift-off and stability. They also considerably simplify landing maneuvers and taking off from water. In spite of its impressive technical capabilities, the AKOYA is a very accessible aircraft that will fully satisfy future purchasers,” says Gérald Ducoin, professional EPNER test pilot.
Entirely designed in composite materials and powered by a 100 hp Rotax engine, the AKOYA can take off and land over less than 200 m (650 ft). Private land, airfield, airport, lake, river, sea or snow-covered runway: the possibilities are such that users can land as close as possible to their destination, thus considerably reducing overall travel time.
“Offering more than just another new plane on the market, LISA Airplanes brings a further dimension to light aviation by developing the concept of recreational flying, where going from Point A to Point B becomes both simpler and faster, making it a real pleasure once again,” explains Erick Herzberger, President and co-founder of LISA Airplanes.
The AKOYA is a completely equipped, high-end airplane. Numerous safety devices have been included to assist the pilot in all phases of flight, leaving only the pleasure of piloting and travel.
To guarantee absolute passenger tranquility, the AKOYA has a full parachute that will bring the plane and its passengers to ground in total safety in case of a major problem. To ensure that the concept of recreational aviation takes on its full meaning, LISA Airplanes includes tailored services in the €300,000 (excluding tax) sales price.
These services include pilot training for the three types of landing, personalization of the aircraft, three years of maintenance and full-time customer assistance.
After finalizing the first prototype test trials in 2009 and completing industrialization, LISA Airplanes is currently carrying out flight tests on its pre-series airplane on the runway of the Chambéry-Savoie Airport and on the nearby Lac du Bourget in France.
LISA Airplanes anticipates receiving LSA (Light Sport Aircraft) certification – the new American standard that is to become an international standard – in mid 2012, followed by immediate delivery to first customers. Already supported by investors including a French investment fund, LISA Airplanes opens its capital to boost its business development on a global scale.