Stability Comparison Between Original & MKII Tails for Lancair 320/360 Aircraft

by chris zavatson

The Lancair 320/360 is known to be responsive in pitch, with light stick forces. It's early service life saw controversy over handling characteristics of the design, in particular after mishaps were attributed to stability issues. A number of aviation authorities cite stability concerns in refusing to grant airworthiness certificates to Lancair 320/360 aircraft with the original stabilizers, among them Australia and the United Kingdom.

While claiming the horizontal stabilizer was adequately sized, Lancair soon afterward introduced the larger MKII horizontal stabilizer. The elevator trim system was changed from a spring-bias system on the elevator push rod to an electrically driven trim tab built in to one of the elevators. The original ‘small’ tail is still flown around the world and has a loyal following. This study seeks to quantitatively compare key stability and handling quality parameters for the two different stabilizer configurations.

Click here to read and/or download a copy of Chris's study.