Lisa Airplanes is readying its second and final Akoya prototype for flight testing in April, and plans to launch production of the light, amphibious piston-single in the fourth quarter of this year.

The latest test aircraft features a new, retractable landing gear, fitted with electronically adjustable skis, allowing the Akoya to operate from water, snow or land. “This feature is designed to make the aircraft as versatile as possible,” says Lisa Airplanes general manager Benoit Senellart.

The upgrade is among the last design changes to the two-seat, Rotax 912 ULS-powered Akoya, which was launched in 2007 with a proof-of-concept aircraft. The first prototype made its debut flight in 2011 and had notched up over 100 flying hours before the global financial crisis forced Lisa into receivership the following year.

Based in Le Bourget-du-Lac, southeast France, the company was rescued in 2013 by private investors and the programme remains fully funded and supported, says Senellart. “It’s tough bringing a new aircraft to market [as a start-up],” he notes. “But we have never given up on our ambitious goals.”


Lisa Airplanes

Despite the Akoya’s slow progress, he says there is still a gap in the small seaplane market for a model with very short take-off and landing capabilities. “We are looking at a take-off performance of around 200m [656ft], as we want the Akoya to be able to land on as many lakes, or other small water-based landing sites, as possible,” says Senellart.

He describes the Akoya’s orderbook as “healthy”, and is keen to start delivering aircraft shortly after certification, earmarked for the end of the year.

The Akoya is the first of a family of aircraft planned by Lisa. “We have a number of designs on the drawing board – all targeted at the personal transportation market,” says Senellart. “These include larger seaplanes, landplanes and flying cars. There is so much possibility within this sector, but first we have to assess the market to see what people are looking for.”

Lisa’s immediate priority, however, is to bring the Akoya to market and start delivering aircraft to customers, Senellart says.

Priced at around €300,000 ($379,000), the Akoya is equipped with an emergency parachute, hydrofoils and foldable wings. It has a projected range of 865nm (1,600km), a maximum speed of 135kt (250km/h) and consumes 5.6 litres (1.5USgal) of fuel per 100km.

Source: Flight International