PICTURES: New Colombian air force trainer makes flight debut

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Lancair International has performed the first flight of its new Synergy ab initio trainer for the Colombian air force, following the kit aircraft's assembly by state-owned aerospace company CIAC.

Lancair test pilot Pete Zaccagnino made the initial flight with the two-seat aircraft from Madrid, Colombia on 29 September. The trainer "performed well and met expectations", the company says.

 
© Lancair International

Two more Colombian-assembled examples will be handed over to the air force this year under a 25-aircraft order, with the rest to enter use during 2011.

With a fixed landing gear and powered by a 210hp (155kW) Textron Lycoming IO-390 engine, the Synergy will replace the service's remaining Cessna T-41D Mescaleros.

The new aircraft is based on Lancair's Legacy general aviation platform, but features a 20% larger wing with longer flaps, plus a redesigned vertical stabiliser and rudder.

 
© Lancair International

"These changes yield a high-performance aircraft that is a stable, easy-to-fly training platform with a low stall speed," the US company says.