EAA AirVenture

RDD Enterprises Wants to Upgrade Amateur-built Hot Rod

 - July 25, 2019, 12:53 AM
RDD Enterprises believes it can sustain business by remanufacturing 10 Lancair IV-Ps per year to the configuration of its LX7.

RDD Enterprises was founded in 2006 by partners David McCrae, Eric Schmidlin, and Mark Mahnke, who all liked the pressurized Lancair IV-P, but felt it could be significantly safer with more modern aerodynamics, manufacturing processes, pressurization system, and other enhancements.

The result is the RDD LX7, available in four iterations—350-hp piston in retractable or fixed gear; or a 500-shp PT6A-powered turboprop version, also with a choice of fixed or retractable gear. The LX7's single-wing is new, featuring dual-slotted flaps not found on the IV-P. The entire tail is also new.  Multiple refinements give the cabin more room and comfort, and the RDD partners added a ballistic whole-airplane parachute.

But what really sets RDD’s program apart is the business plan. RDD will start with already certified airframes, then “modify” them by removing the wings and tail and effectively remanufacturing the entire airplane, while retaining its original production certificate. There are currently about 250 registered Lancair IV-Ps, each one a potential “donor” airplane.

With improved aerodynamics and more consistent manufacturing tolerances, RDD believes its LX7 will have the same top-speed performance but greatly improved slow-speed qualities, making it safer to operate. The estimated cost, depending on the condition of the donor aircraft RDD is able to acquire, is $830,000 for the piston version and $980,000 for the turboprop.