Lancair demonstrates how an aircraft manufacturer can survive—having a good idea and continuous development of that idea. From the original “Lancer 200,” to the third (or fourth) generation Mako and Barracuda, the core Lancair line has continued to develop and improve on the original aircraft design.Lancair founder, Lance Neibauer, a successful graphic artist, had grown up around aviation and had learned to fly at an early age. His uncle founded Meyers Aircraft Company which eventually became part of Rockwell International. The operation that would become Lancair, was established by Neibauer in 1981.
As pilots, we all have memories of certain flights or events in our aviation journeys. Perhaps it was an ILS approach on a low visibility day, or maybe it was a beautiful sunset over the water, or maybe it was an emergency that happened and was handled with ease. For those with many hours in the cockpit, some of these events eventually blend into the memories of a career well flown and, frankly, get kind of jumbled up and mixed together.
And then—there’s those things you will NEVER forget! Things that will forever be there for your recall because they were so monumental in your experience: your first solo, your Private Pilot check ride, carrying your first passenger, or experiencing your first cross country flight to name a few.
And I suspect, if you’re like me, perhaps it was when you failed your first check ride.
So, you have outgrown your 4-seat aircraft.
More kids, more friends, more stuff—the time has come to look at something larger with six seats. And you are still cost conscious or just have not upgraded to a multi-engine rating.
There are four practical candidates in the six-seat single engine market that may provide the solution you are looking for—each with enough individual features to give you real choices. The six-seat class includes the Cessna 206, Piper Six, Beechcraft A36, and the Piper Malibu.
In the 1950s, the Air Force discussed the need for a small utility jet. Lockheed built the prototype JetStar in anticipation of the formal request for proposal, but the request was never issued. Lockheed decided to continue development and promote the JetStar as a business aircraft.A product of Kelly Johnson’s Skunk Works division, the JetStar (Lockheed designation L-1329 and L-329) went from concept to a flying prototype in 241 days. The JetStar’s first flight was in September 1957 and production aircraft entered service in 1961—just one year ahead of the smaller North American Sabreliner (first flight Sept 1958). The registration number of the first aircraft was N329J—the “J” was for Kelly Johnson.
The Aero Commander was a Class Leader that could not quite keep up with its markets. Aero Commander appeared to have it all: performance, ease of flight, passenger comfort, distinctive design, access to most airports, high-profile air show performances, first-to-market, even a Presidential endorsement... Despite its popularity, Aero Commander faced serious safety issues.