Lake Aircraft: FAA-certified single-engine amphibians seek buyer
Lake Aircraft has gone up for sale several times in the past, but on August 26, 2018, its holding company – Revo – again announced it is offering to sell the assets of its Lake Aircraft portfolio, including a range of single-engine amphibious airplanes certified by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Lake Aircraft is the only FAA-certified single-engine amphibious airplane produced in the world. The Lake Aircraft portfolio includes all of the intellectual property and equipment needed to manufacture the Lake Renegade, Seafury and Seawolf airplanes.
The offered assets also include the Lake amphibian airplanes’ FAA Type Certificate (#1A13), as well as global manufacturing and marketing rights, component and assembly tooling, dies, jigs and engineering drawings.
In addition, a team of Lake experts will be made available to assist in the transition and continued production. Most importantly, Revo assures, there is no risk involved with development and certification because the Lake Amphibian is “a certified and proven design”.
In a statement, Revo president Armand Rivard said: “The sale of Lake Aircraft is a rare opportunity to quickly set up manufacturing operations and continue production of the successful line of amphibious airplanes”.
“The manufacturing operation can then be used as a foundation to expand into bigger and more complex aircraft. This FAA Type Certificate simplifies the start-up of a new aircraft company,” Rivard adds.
Although Revo has owned Lake Aircraft for 40 years now, this line of amphibious aircraft has been in production for over 50 years. The lineage of the current line of Lake Aircraft can be traced back to Grumman Aircraft Engineering, which was a leading U.S. manufacturer of military and civilian aircraft in the 20th century.
Lake revamped the aircraft’s structure to cater to its governmental clients’ demand for enhanced multi-purpose capabilities: it modified the airplane to accommodate larger gross weight, expanded fuel capacity and additional internal passenger/cargo configurations.
This modified version is called the Seawolf: it features under-wing hard points for carrying various external payloads and is used for research, search and rescue, environmental control, patrol and reconnaissance, law enforcement, air evacuation, anti-smuggling and special operations.
However, out of the three models, the Renegade is the most popular, while the turbocharged Seafury has more speed and payload capacity, AVweb observes.
Revo purchased the rights to the Lake Aircraft company in the early 1970’s and has been manufacturing and marketing the airplanes almost continuously since then from its U.S.-based facilities in Florida, New Hampshire, and Maine.
In the mid 1980's, Lake Aircraft reached peak production of about 100 aircraft per year, employing 200 staff in Maine and Florida. But in 2007, the company produced just one airplane and none at all in 2008. In 2009, Lake had a total of four employees in Florida and two in New Hampshire, AVweb reported at the time.
As to Revo’s previous attempts to sell Lake Aircraft - in 2001, 2002, 2005, 2007, and 2009 – they all fell short. But, according to president Rivard, Lake aircraft remain unique to a market that retains a cost of entry great enough to potentially deter competition for many years to come, AVweb cited him as saying.
Today, there are more than 1,300 Lake amphibian aircraft operating in over 50 countries around the world. According to Lake, its airplanes have evolved into “an aviation classic” and have been “much in demand” for personal, business and government services. Meanwhile, its next buyer is yet (again) to be seen.
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