Lancair has lined up financing to increase production of its certificated light aircraft and catch up on backlogged deliveries, including those for two new models.

The manufacturer has been turning out aircraft at a rate of only one a month and has faced mounting delays to the delivery of its new Columbia 350 and Columbia 400. Lancair had delivered just 56 aircraft, all Columbia 300s. But it has an outstanding order book of 180 aircraft, including about 100 of the more powerful Columbia 400.

Sales manager Mike Schrader says Lancair plans to increase its production rate to eight a month in December and 10 a month next year, pending the completion of the financing deal. Lancair has not disclosed who is providing the cash or the amount involved.

Meanwhile it has stopped selling the Columbia 300 in favour of the more advanced 350 and 400, but deliveries of the 350 will not begin until late this year. Certification delays have forced Lancair to postpone initial deliveries of the Columbia 400 from this summer until at least October.

Schrader says three factors are contributing to the hold up: slow responses by the US Federal Aviation Administration; a lack of funding and delays experienced by Teledyne Continental in certifying the full authority digital electronic control (FADEC)-equipped TSIO-550 engine, which will be fitted as standard on the 400.

The prototype aircraft does not have a FADEC engine, but Schrader says the data compiled from the test flights conducted so far would not change once the new engine is fitted.

Source: Flight International