Recommended ES Updates and/or Mods?


I'm a newish owner and looking to see what fellow ES owners have done as mods or modernizations? Things I'm thinkin about for mine are:

1. New glass panel

2. AC

3. LX7/Mako wingtips (is this just cosmetic or does it give some airfoil efficiencies?)

4. Upgraded nose strut (sounds like Lancair doesn't have any in stock)


Anything specific to our ES that is out there? I've know there's a nose retract ES out there. What else is out there?


Lancairmikees's picture

I'll comment on #4. I bought

I'll comment on #4. I bought a partially completed kit, sent the original old style nose strut to Lancair to rebuild even though it had 0 flight hours. 500+ hours later it is still going fine. Keep tires inflated, balanced and round. Make sure the main gear sockets are tight to the main legs, bolts and bushings u front tight, and IMHO an upgrade is not necessary. As to the other things, they are just personal preferences. I have dual EFIS's, no AC and stock wingtips. Would not switch any of them. I would consider an IFR GPS, and AP as necessary if not equipped. 

Just curious which serial

Just curious which serial numbers and registrations do you guys have?  I have a database of almost all of the ES.  Just got another one added the other day that I was not aware of.

N701SM serial ES-108-FB. I

N701SM serial ES-108-FB. I just updated the owner database at Lancair as they still had the original builder Steve Myers as the owner. 

Wow, neat.  I helped Steve

Wow, neat.  I helped Steve close the first wing on his ES because I had closed several Lancair wings prior to then.  He drove from Racine, WI to the U.P. to help me close a wing as well.   Small world!!




I will comment on the 4 bullets you listed.  For qualifiers, I have been flying our ES since 2010 and put close to 900 hours on her.  The ES is an awesome machine for what it is.

Glass panel: absolutely.  I went Garmin G3X mainly because at the time I had all Garmin radios.  Garmin doesn't play well with other avionics mfg so it was an easy choice for me.  We went G3X with the Sirius xm PFD and the on the right side it is the standard G3X panel.  Both are touch screens.  I went with the GMC305 autopilot control panel so I can control the autopilot if the PFD/MFD crap out.  As long as the G5 is powered and the servos have power you can still drive the autopilot.  Sirius XM is nice with music and inflight weather.  GTX345R (remote) is nice for traffic in to display on the G3X panels.  Getting a nice GTN 650xi or 750xi is a nice upgrade.  We still have an SL30 for the 2nd radio.  If I could find a remote mounted NAV/COMM I would replace the SL30 and put a GTN 750 as it is larger.  The hard part is that Garmin doesn't make a remote NAV/COMM.

Airconditioning.  While it would be nice we have operated without one in the southern humidity for over 10 years.  We did install a boat ventilation fan to move some air in the cabin.  It makes it bearable.  Once you are taxiing and have the door held open an inch or so there's enough moving air.  Once you are flying its nice especially once you get above 10,000'.  The disadvantage of AC is loosing useful load, a bulkhead behind the rear seat (can fold the seats down for additional cargo space) has to be installed, and I think the baggage compartment shrinks because you have to raise the floorboard to install the unit.  However, if you have an ES-P model you have to install AC or the cabin becomes unbearable with the hot air coming in to pressurize the cabin.

I want the new mako tips because I want the additional lighting they put out.  Lancairs are horrible for taxiing at night as there is only a light in the cowl.  Being able to light up the area in front of your wheels on dark taxi ways and ramp areas is priceless.  I put Aeroleds micro sun lights behind the NAVStrobe in the wing tips.  Fortunately they are bright enough to light up the wing tips and in front of the wings (sort of) so I can see something before I hit it.

Yes get the upgraded strut with the higher gross weight.  RDD makes a nice one.  Its better built than the WMI and when my WMI craps out again I will get the RDD.  As Mike mentioned above ensure your nose strut has the proper mounting hardware, you check the torques on all the hardware and engine cradle to nose strut and engine cradle to firewall.  If any of the nuts are NyLocks replace them with the steel nuts especially around the engine area.  NyLocks can fail due to engine heat fatigue and should never be used in the engine compartment.

I would also consider Berringer Brakes if you can get them to fit inside of the wheel pants.  They have higher energy capacity.  I understand that Cleveland makes a high energy set.  If you have the nylaflow tubing for your brake lines, replace them with the stainless braided lines.  

Keep your tires properly inflated

Don't land fast.  Most of these planes land somewhere between 78-84 knots with full flaps depending on how heavy you are. So 90-95 knots on final and when crossing the fence start slowing to 85.  Add 5 knots for 1/2 flaps.

Thanks George. I'm in the

Thanks George. I'm in the process of having a full Dynon suite built. I have the IFD540 so it will work well with the new avionics. I also plan on a remote #2 comm, but already have the GTX345 so I'll keep it in the panel. 

I like the idea of a boat ventilation fan as I agree, it's time below 7,000 that can be hot, especially in TX. Usually good above. I still need to do more homework on the AC as I didn't realize I'd have to put a bulkhead behind the seats which defeats the extra space that I routinely use. 

Copy all on the Mako tips. It sounds cosmetic and no wingtip efficiencies. I still may do the same as I like more lighting. 

Great point from both Mike and you on the nose strut hardware check. I'm about to start my first condition inspection with my A&P, so I'll pay special attention. 

I did check the serial numbers on my brakes and htey are the Cleveland high energy set with stainless lines. I fly out of a 2,500' strip and they are plenty good for that. I just rebuilt the right caliper. However, good to know about the Berringer Brakes.

Lastly, I totally agree with on-speed landings.