SPORT FLyIng: On ThE hORIzOn
When compiling the models we showcase in this story, we employed some admittedly arbitrary selection criteria. To wit, the aircraft must be certified under LSA or SLSA regulations (not experimental); capable of taking off and landing on the water with two persons; capable of being launched and retrieved with a conventional crane or davit that could also launch and retrieve the yacht’s tender; designed with the saltwater environment in mind; and have folding wings so as to eliminate the problems associated with fixed wings that might hinder docking. here’s what we found on the drawing board (in alphabetical order): Vanessa Troillard, marketing manager for Lisa Aircraft, says the Akoya is “tailor-made and matched with services, equipment and accessories adapted to our clients’ tastes, desires and uses, including options such as an electric actuation of the folding wings.”
Akoya is semi-custom and offers three design themes with a variety of interior options. The aircraft is designed to operate on land, water and snow, thanks to a pair of “Seafoils” that are incorporated into the hull and skis that are integrated into the landing gear. Steve Pugh, CEO of MVP Aero, says the company expects to begin building its MVP Model 3 prototype in 18 to 22 months, with production starting in four years. Like all aircraft in this report, the Model 3 will be trailerable and is designed for use in the marine environment. In addition, it has a hard point for lifting and a compact footprint. Company CEO Paul Vickers says the Wave is the only LSA amphibian that has automatic folding wings and a water thruster that will allow for on-water maneuvering without the engine running. Vickers also says the Wave’s hull design will allow the aircraft to operate in rougher water than any other amphibian on or coming to the market.
FAA LSA certification is expected in late 2016 or early 2017. Standard equipment will include a BRS full aircraft parachute, Dynon avionics and the water thruster. Options include air conditioning, transport trailer and superyacht configuration that includes a davit hook and extra protection against corrosion. —M.M.