First Lancair Synergy Built for Colombian Air Force in Flight Testing
October 14, 2010 — The first of 25 Lancair Synergy training aircraft being built for the Colombian air force is completing its flight testing in Colombia. The aircraft are being built through a multi-company partnership that includes the government-owned Corporación de la Industria Aeronáutica de Colombia S.A (CIAC), which was contracted by the Colombian air force to provide a training aircraft. CIAC selected Sudamin A&D and its U.S. subsidiary, Sudair, which partnered with Lancair in the bid. The modified two-seat fixed-gear trainer draws attributes from both the Lancair Legacy and Evolution.
In creating the trainer for the air force, Lancair based the design off the Lancair Legacy but lengthened the wings and increased the size of the flaps. The vertical stabilizer and rudder resemble the Evolution, which Lancair’s Manager of Innovative Composite Structures Robert Williams said will give the trainer more stability at slower speeds.
For the $6 million contract Lancair provides the parts, molds, and some of the technical build support; however, all of the building is taking place in Colombia by CIAC and the air force. CIAC has been instrumental in starting up the manufacturing process, making the aircraft skins and other preassembly work, but Williams says that Colombian air force personnel are taking a large role in the construction process, such as in engine setups and building the avionics panels.
“One [Synergy] is complete and going through flight test, with two to be done by the end of this year,” Williams said.
The air force wanted the Synergy to be as close to a production-certified aircraft as possible and therefore selected certain certified components such as the 210-hp Lycoming IO-390 and a Hartzell propeller. The Synergy is designed as primary trainer and will not have aerobatic capability. The air force hopes to have the final 22 aircraft completed by the end of 2011.