Lancair's LC-40-550FG Columbia 300, 350, and 400 are high performance, composite construction factory built aircraft from a company famous for its high performance kit aircraft.
While the Columbia 300 is Lancair's first production aircraft, the Redmond, Oregon based Lancair was established in 1984 by Lance Neibauer, and since that time has built more than 1500 high performance two and four seat aircraft kits, including the Lancair 235, Lancair 320 and Lancair 360 two seaters and the Lancair IV, Lancair ES and Super ES and Tigress four seaters.
Lancair announced it was developing a high performance four seater intended for production, designated the LC-40, in 1996. An aerodynamic prototype of the design began test flying in July 1996 while the first certification prototype first flew in early 1997. The type's first public appearance was at the 1997 Oshkosh Airshow as the LC-40 Columbia 300. Certification was awarded on October 1 1998. Deliveries of production aircraft (built at a new factory at Redmond's Bend Municipal Airport) began in February 2000.
In common with Lancair's kitplanes, the Columbia 300 features composite construction allowing a smooth, low drag external finish. Power is from a six cylinder 225kW (300hp) Continental IO-550. The 300 features a 402 litre (106US gal/82Imp gal) fuel capacity in two tanks, advanced IFR avionics and fixed undercarriage.
Lancair announced the even quicker turbocharged Columbia 400 in early 2000. The 400 is based on the 300 but features a twin turbocharged, twin intercooled 231kW (310hp) Teledyne Continental TSIO-550-G, giving a cruising speed of 426km/h (230kt) at 18,000ft. First flight was in June 2000. The Columbia 400 will take the mantle of the world's fastest production fixed undercarriage light aircraft from the Columbia 300.
The 400 will also introduce Lancair's HITS (Highway in the Sky) advanced IFR avionics platform, designed with AvroTec (displays), Avidyne (software) and Seagull, under sponsorship of NASA's AGATE program, for improved IFR situational awareness. HITS features a primary flight display that presents flight data in an integrated format, and a multifunction display for moving map displays, StormScope, radar, up-linked weather and traffic avoidance programs. Another advanced feature to be introduced with the 400 will be a FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine Controls) engine management system, allowing single lever control for power, mixture and the propeller. FADEC uses sophisticated microcomputers to monitor and adjust the operation of each engine cylinder several times each second, which has many benefits in economy, pilot comfort, and performance. HITS and FADEC will be offered as options on the 300 in 2001.
On April 5, 2002 Lancair announced a new model, the Columbia 350. This is an all-electric version of the normally aspirated Columbia 300. The 350 features a dual bus, dual battery electrical system that eliminates the dual vacuum pumps found in the Columbia 300. FADEC is available as an option. The first public appearance was made at Lakeland's Sun 'n Fun display in April 2002. After certification, first deliveries are planned for late 2002.
NASA is using a Columbia 300, designated Columbia 300X, as a test aircraft at Langley for in-cockpit displays like 4D "pathway guidance" and real-time traffic and weather displays to develop technologies for separation of aircraft without Air Traffic Control.
Copyright Airliners.net, some information Copyright Aerospace Publications
Back to Aircraft Data & History section.
Back to frontpage of Airliners.net