Menu Sign In Contact FAQ
Banner
Welcome to our forums

Lancair assets for sale (except Evolution)

The Lancair Assets have been put up for sale, details here : Lancair for sale

It seems the current owner is concentrating all their resources on the Evo.

From Barnstormers :

FAA A&P/IA
LFPN

What are their production aircraft currently, apart from the Evolution?

Out of production stuff is not worth anything unless somebody wants to restart the line, but then we have the well-worn “Socata debate” i.e. would a new mfg succeed?

Effectively they are selling the parts business.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

Effectively they are selling the parts business.

That’s all there is. Lancair is a kit manufacturer, and so is this new Evolution Aircraft Company. The way it works is that along the kit (and various parts) you get a set of drawings and most importantly, a license to manufacture one aircraft, one serial number. In a way, the the builder is the manufacturer of one license built aircraft. You can do whatever you want, change and modify, but you cannot build more than one aircraft, because you have signed a license agreement not to. This license follows all future owners. The 51% rule in legal practical terms if you want.

This does not change if you hire “Skunk Works” and their facilities and experts to build your aircraft. You are still the legal manufacturer of the aircraft. You are the factory so to speak. The kit manufacturer has no obligations to support you with future parts, but that is usually in the interest of the kit manufacturer. This is something to consider, particularly for advanced kits with advanced materials and advanced manufacturing processes, in which you have no practical means of manufacturing these parts yourself.

I’m sure all Lancair owners and builders are thrilled to hear about this turn of events (not).

I just wonder where the “IP” (a fancy modern term used to extract money for stuff which is often in the public domain ) lies with a homebuilt design.

Surely, in the US Experimental system, you could design your own plane, say quite similar to a Lancair 360 or whatever, build it, and pay no royalties.

Copyright will apply like it does to anything else in life, so you could not sell a close replica of a Lanc 360 (drawings, or major identifiable airframe parts) but for your own use you have the various concessions which e.g. allow you to make copies of music for your own use.

IOW, what is the “license” the buyer of the kit is actually getting?

A Lancair is a “simple” plane with standard mechanical parts, but there must be a good spares business based around the body parts and any custom airframe items. Same with e.g. Socata but in the case of a homebuilt you can source anything identifiable from your local DIY shop… so the spares business of Lancair is going to be worth a lot less than it would be with a certified plane which has a similar number flying.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

This is from Sonex Aircraft. Vans agreement is similar but nowhere near as specific, but I have only paper copy (hmm, maybe I should scan it and store it somewhere)

It doesn’t matter what kind of experimental system you must adhere to. The agreement is a legal paper between you and the kit manufacturer.

Obviously paragraph 2 is almost pure nonsense, in that anyone can create, manufacture and sell kits and modifications. It’s just that he cannot legally use the set of plans to do this. Any local copyright laws and patent laws will supersede such agreements of course. Fair use is one thing. In Norway I am indeed free to use these plans to build myself a second aircraft, but I would not legally be allowed to call it a Sonex/Waiex etc, and I would not be allowed to sell it.

Also obviously, the plans are what it’s all about. That is where the IP is. The usage of the plans is what any license is about. The plans for the Long Eze (if I’m not mistaken) are freely available, I think I have downloaded them somewhere.

Peter wrote:

so you could not sell a close replica of a Lanc 360

You can indeed, as long as you do not use the plans. The plans are copyrighted, and there is no difficulties whatsoever to change major design solutions. The “looks” are not copyrighted, an airplane is not an icon or something. It is not considered an artistic expression, the existence of technical plans prevents this.

Have to add: This works just fine as long as the production of parts can be done by looking at the plans. The problem with the Evolution and other advanced composite designs, is that the parts cannot be easily made. You need a mold, you need advanced know how about how to lay down the fibers, what kind of fibers, you need a huge oven to “cook” your stuff. The plans may not have any of this information, they simply say “use pre-made wing structure X and glue to pre-made fuselage structure Y” like a big Airfix kit. Even with the plans, there is no practical way for anyone to build an Evolution. It’s not a homebuilt, you are 100% left to the whims of the factory. And this event shows what happens. Lancair is happy to sell all assets to just anybody. What has happened to the “decades of expertise and know how” ? it’s gone for anyone having a 320/360 and all the legacy aircraft. They are left in the dust. Lancair will sell the assets to the one willing to pay most.

Last Edited by LeSving at 16 Jul 14:15

Peter wrote:

A Lancair is a “simple” plane with standard mechanical parts, but there must be a good spares business based around the body parts and any custom airframe items. Same with e.g. Socata but in the case of a homebuilt you can source anything identifiable from your local DIY shop… so the spares business of Lancair is going to be worth a lot less than it would be with a certified plane which has a similar number flying.

I don’t know about Lancair, but if you look at the prices charged by Vans for airframe parts like flaps, ailerons and wheel fairings you’d get the impression they do it as a service to the owner, not to make money.

Silvaire wrote:

I don’t know about Lancair, but if you look at the prices charged by Vans for airframe parts like flaps, ailerons and wheel fairings you’d get the impression they do it as a service to the owner, not to make money.

That’s because the average builder needs 150% aircraft parts to build one aircraft. If Vans or other started charging premium for extra parts, the industry would soon collapse.

That makes sense and would explain why they sell ‘spare’ kit parts so inexpensively… Smart business

Last Edited by Silvaire at 16 Jul 15:16

They seem to have set up a new company

Oddly enough, very little interest in this whole topic on the US Lancair owners forum… I guess that with a fibreglass homebuilt you don’t need a lot of parts from the original kit supplier.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

I guess that with a fibreglass homebuilt you don’t need a lot of parts from the original kit supplier.

- or the company was already defunct, or very few were actually building Lancairs these days. It’s when building you need parts. But fiber glass is “simpler”, fewer parts. It could also be there are other forums people use.

23 Posts
Sign in to add your message

Back to Top