Many GA pilots have discovered that there are significant advantages in Experimental-Amateur Built aircraft over traditional certified models. E-AB aircraft offer superior value and performance, increased flexibility, allowing you to utilize the best technology, and the opportunity to become intimately familiar with the aircraft in a way that non-builders will never be.
For newcomers to the E-AB world, though, the prospect of building their own plane introduces them to unfamiliar territory. Lancair’s Builder Assist Program is here to answer your questions and guide you through the process of assembling and outfitting your Lancair. A Lancair aircraft build can range from 100% individually built in the owner’s garage or hangar – a process often measured in years – to a ‘fast track’ build with the bulk of the hours contracted out and minimal effort on the part of the owner – an option that can result in a complete aircraft in only a few months. Our Builder Assist Program will help you navigate to the “sweet spot” for your schedule, budget and mission needs.
Note, too, that major portions of the aircraft are not covered by the 51% FAA requirement, such as avionics, interior, paint, and many other systems and options. Considerable time savings can be achieved by subcontracting some or all of these areas and, where possible, performing them concurrently with the airframe assembly.
There are several benefits to the Builder Assist Program. The first is knowledgeable assistance in building the critical parts of your aircraft. The second is the use of our alignment fixtures and tools, resulting in accurate fit and finish. The third and most important is the instruction and confidence you receive by learning the basics of composites. In addition, the Lancair Build Center provides an efficient, purpose-built environment for the assembly process and, as the manufacturer, we have all parts and fixtures readily available during the build. Moreover, our previous expertise in the certified aircraft world is put to good use in our materials tracking processes. Composite materials and adhesives are often subject to degradation over time. Our careful material tracking frees you from any worry about the shelf life of your bonding materials.
The Builder Assist Program is conducted at our climate-controlled Build Center in Uvalde, Texas. Builders typically start with the 2-week Builder Assist Program. In two weeks, you’ll be able to close out both wings, the horizontal stabilizer and elevators and install the door(s), windshield and windows. More extensive Builder Assistance programs are available ranging from a 4-week program up to a “fly-away” option, and/or contracted 3rd party builder assistance from a variety of experienced Lancair “Build Shops”.
When people see a finished Lancair it can be somewhat overwhelming. It really is a sleek, beautiful airplane that looks rather intimidating to build. But that is the beauty of composite construction: It only requires the same basic five or six steps done over and over. There is no long list of specialized knowledge and skills that need to be acquired. The same skills that are acquired in the first week will be used on the entire airframe.
By participating in building your Lancair you will really get to know all the aircraft systems in detail. So, if there were ever an issue in flight, you would know exactly what course of action to take. In essence, knowing your aircraft inside and out makes you a better pilot. Owners that have gone through the building process with Lancair’s professional guidance report that it was one of the most rewarding things they have ever done.