March 6, 2013 - The first flight of an all-new design is a thing of beauty when all goes well, and that's exactly what happened on February 26 as the highly anticipated SAM LS became airborne at Lachute Airport near Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
"Liftoff was perfect, in about 300 feet," said Thierry Zibi, president of SAM Aircraft. "We were not at gross weight, so our climb of nearly 1,300 feet per minute felt like a rocket."
Test pilot Raphaël Langumier reported that the initial handling was exactly as expected. "With the prop set at a climb setting, we saw a maximum level speed of 127 mph," he said.
The 21-minute flight covered the basics: 30-degree banks, straight flight, and gentle control. "There is a lot more to test," Zibi said, "but all indications are that the aerodynamics are exactly what we have expected all along."
The SAM LS is a roomy tandem, retro-look metal aircraft, powered by the 100-hp Rotax 912S and sporting the Sensenich ground-adjustable composite propeller. It's available ready-to-fly or as a kit in three configurations (short, long, and standard wing). As an (available) 250-hour quick-build kit, the SAM LS was designed to have the distinctive classic look of a warbird trainer. SAM Aircraft calls it comfortable, rugged, easy to repair, economical, and fun.
It also comes equipped with a 10-inch Dynon SkyView panel (and an available 7-inch Dynon system for the rear seat), +/-5.2g limit load factor, and modern design in the classic style sure to be a distinctive sight on the ramp.
Deliveries of the first kits are scheduled for late summer 2013. Deposits for delivery position are open; the introductory ready-to-fly price (FOB Canada) is $135,000, and includes some attractive upgrades at no charge. The standard kit is priced at $39,000.
Escrowed customer deposits are being accepted; qualified investment partners are invited.
SAM Aircraft will be at the Sun 'n Fun Fly-in in Lakeland, Florida, April 9-14 - exhibit space NE-029. It's also slated for display at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2013.