Is This The Do-All LSA?
By Tom Woodward
Form follows function? Function follows form? I can never remember, but the Akoya, like no other LSA, has it covered.
This may be the first do-all LSA ever introduced into the US market. See if you can find something this airplane doesn't do?
The Akoya, an amphibious ski-plane, built of corrosion and UV resistant carbon fiber materials will do 135 knots, (120 knots for the US LSA market) and can travel 1250 miles on 2.9 gallons per hour! Yes, you read that right. Fuel capacity is either 23 or 29 gallons as an option and did I mention 11 liters per hour? Yep, that's still 2.9 gph, giving the Akoya a 42 mpg efficiency!
If that was all, that might be enough. But CEO and co-founder Erick Herzberger has thoroughly thought out both the form and function of the Akoya.
Development began in 2004 and it flew for the first time in 2007. The airplane will be available in Europe in 2013 and in the US in 2014. Additional features include a BRS recovery parachute, folding wings which require nothing but the push of a button with automatic control hookups, and an electric-actuated one-piece canopy.
The Akoya comes equipped with the ability to land on snow, land or water. Attached to the wheels are snow skis which retract into the fuselage along with the landing gear so as to not detract from the aircraft's slick, shark-like appearance. Part of that shark-like profile is the result of strakes or hydrofoil like appendages that provide both stability and lift in the water. There are two additional strakes just below the water rudder which in itself is integrated smoothly into the main rudder. According to Company representative, Benoit Senellart, the water handling capabilities are so stable that the pilot need not get up onto the step prior to liftoff. In fact, the same attitude deck angle on the water is the same attitude maintained while lifting off of the water, requiring very little stick adjustment. During a 360 degree turn one will not even touch a wing tip.
The Lexus-like cabin is a wide 51 inches and the interior colors and materials are customizable by the customer. There is enough baggage area for quite a few number of toys. Useful load is 550 lb. and the company says a slow 45 knot stall speed makes it docile to fly.
The company offers a three year warranty, repaired through US dealers now being selected. The Oshkosh special gives you ground and flight training, free US delivery and a reduced $5000 deposit. Pre-deliver sales are moving along in Europe but so far none here in the US. Be the first, but be ready to unload your yacht to pay for it because at $370,000 it's a bit higher than most LSA's. It is pretty ... and pretty costly.
Is the Akoya the first do-all LSA offered to the public? This beautiful aircraft boost a useful load of 550 pounds, a stall speed of 45 mph and a top speed of 155 mph while sipping only 2.9 gallons per hour and on top of that you can land on land, sea and snow. Beautifully designed with customizable interior materials and colors the French aircraft company Lisa will back it with a three year warranty and provide you with ground and flight training. At $370,00 you'll may just want to tie up to the back of your yacht.