When Lancair began transforming the high-performance experimental aircraft world with its composite kits in the 1980s, who knew its advances would reverberate all the way into the backcountry? But with the optional Rough Service Landing Gear (RSLG) introduced last year, opening grass, gravel, and other non-paved surfaces to the turbine-powered and pressurized Lancair Evolution, the company has seemingly created the ultimate bush plane—a rugged four-place with a 1,800-pound useful load and a near 300-knot cruise speed.
Doug Meyer, Director of Sales and Marketing of the Redmond, Ore., company, chuckles at the suggestion—after all, you’re not going to squeeze an Evolution in and out of a 300-foot clearing like some light fabric aircraft on balloon tires. Besides, customers have been buying and building Evolution kits since 2007 for speed, performance and turbine reliability. But, Lancair has customers “in Brazil, Russia, the Czech Republic and South Africa who say, ‘I need to be able to land on the road,’ or wherever.” That’s what sparked development of the ruggedized gear.