A "lifestyle" airplane for take-off and landing on the ground, on water and snow
AKOYA by LISA Airplanes tested with HBM measurement technology
Making flying a pleasure again: This is the aim of the new, ultra-modern AKOYA light airplane that is currently being developed by the French company LISA Airplanes. The AKOYA's specialty: The two-seater airplane can take off and land as easily on the ground as on water or snow, without any conversions - a runway of less than 200 m is all it needs. On-board safety and comfort is ensured through the use of strain gauges from HBM and the ultra-rugged SoMat eDAQlite data acquisition system.
The AKOYA light airplane is among the most unusual modern aviation projects in many respects. Not only is it made from cutting-edge composite materials. Not only can it land on nearly any surface - on water, on snow and on the ground, without any conversions. What is perhaps the most outstanding innovation offered by the AKOYA is its developers' concept and motivation: Making flying a pleasure again. "Hopping" from point to point without any extensive preparations or limitations. Be it parked on a yacht or in a standard-size garage: Owners of an AKOYA light airplane will always be ready to take off on a spontaneous pleasure trip.
Many technological innovations
However, the technical requirements to be met are as stringent as the idea is smart. This is why AKOYA also stands for pure high technology. The LISA Airplanes team, the AKOYA manufacturer located in Le Bourget du Lac in France, provided the airplane with impressive technical innovations.
The already patented "Multi-Access" technology comprises:
- "Seafoil" technology: Two hydrofoils located under the fuselage provide good stability on the water and enable fast and easy take-off. The AKOYA is the only airplane at all using hydrofoils for landing.
- Skis-in concept: A combination of retractable landing gear and skis placed midway up the wheel. This allows landing on snow-covered or rough surfaces.
- Pivoting wings: They enable the airplane to be easily maneuvered or transported.
The airplane's outstanding flexibility and stability is also due to consistent use of particularly lightweight and easily moldable composite materials. For the AKOYA, LISA Airplanes employs, for example, glass fiber, Kevlar, hydrophobic foam and carbon fiber impregnated with epoxy resin. A total of 400 metallic components and 220 composite materials are utilized in the AKOYA. The fuselage is completely made of composite materials.
Tests using SoMat eDAQ and strain gauges from HBM
Comprehensive structural and component tests are always key to the development of a new airplane. This is particularly true for the AKOYA using many composite materials whose behavior during operation needs to be thoroughly tested.
LISA Airplanes has opted for HBM's ultra-rugged SoMat eDAQlite system for measurement data acquisition. The full compact data acquisition system is insensitive to vibration and can be directly installed in the airplane. SoMat eDAQlite supports LISA Airplanes in gaining more precise insights in the stresses affecting the airplane's structures during the various phases of flight. Multiple eDAQlite DAQ cards and modules (e.g. ELCPU, ELBRG, ELDIO) acquire data from strain gauges installed on the wings (installed in quarter-, half- and full-brige configuration) and a wide range of other measurement data, for example GPS coordinates. HBM also has supplied the strain gauges.
"The high resolution offered by SoMat eDAQlite allows us to determine how even small waves of less than 10 centimeters affect the airplane landing on the water surface at 110 km/h", explains Laurent Vallet, Head of Development at LISA Airplanes.
Safe operation is crucial and requires extensive testing. However, LISA Airplanes also takes measurements to find ways to increase comfort during the flight. Installed strain gauges provide useful data to make flying more convenient and tranquil for pilots.
Hybrid version already in the planning stage
Quickly taking off, flying from point to point: The first AKOYA airplanes will take off in 2013 - LISA Airplanes has already registered the first orders.
Even though the AKOYA has only just been ready for the market, LISA Airplane pioneers already are thinking of further developments: The HY-BIRD model will be the next step; it combines the AKOYA's benefits with hybrid technology and solar cells installed on the wings. Aviation pioneers continue to look for new challenges - and place their trust in reliable results from HBM.
LISA Airplanes was founded by Erick HERZBERGER and Luc BERNOLE in 2004. In 2006, AKOYA started developing the AKOYA ultra-light airplane. LISA Airplanes' commitment is to develop airplanes that change aviation and allow a new "lifestyle of flying".