On the same day Van first flew his RV-12 LSA and on the same day AOPA’s Expo 2006 opened with a fleet of LSA on display, LSA Aero president Don Langford received #44 SLSA certification for the Freedom from Troy Hart of the Memphis FSDO (photo). The following week Decatur, Alabama-based LSA Aero delivered the first Freedom amphibian to its owner. Langford says the Freedom, part of a family of airplanes based on the design, “is the culmination of eight years of development by Colyaer of Pontevedra, Spain.” The Martin3 landplane and Gannet non-amphib seaplane share the same wing, cabin, tail, and fuselage down to the waterline, added Langford. *** Glide performance from the 40.3-foot wings is said to be 20:1 and this helps keep water runs to a reported 8 seconds. Empty weight with the amphibious gear is 854 pounds but LSA seaplanes can gross at 1,430 pounds yielding a respectable 576-pound useful load.
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