On perceptions of Lancair

As a former position holder and now Lancair position holder, I am continuely fascinated by the different perceptions owners/fans/companies have of one another.

For instance, I’ve read here a great deal about Lancair being all about speed. I’ve also read a lot about Cirrus being all about safety.

I am fascinated because I feel these are inaccurate representations on both sides. Consider:

Yes, speed sounds sexy, and Lancair people like to talk about it. But the truth is the reasons I opted for it, and to my mind its most compelling feature, was FLEXABILITY. I can carry 106 gallons if I need to. I can get a turbocharged engine. I can in the future change my panel in all sorts of ways, with lots of room for expansion. Maybe a C300 is a touch faster than a SR22, but it’s about 5%, which is nothing.

Moreover, I am less inclined to see the Cirrus as a safer aircraft for me. That is simply because in evaluating the way I intend to fly, the amount of time during which I would actually pull the chute over the course of a year’s flying was, when I got right down to it, extremely small. Do I wish I had it? Of course. Just like I wish i had a second engine. But when making the judgement I decided it did not add as much as I might have thought. Moreover, its lack of spin resistant certification and its lack of utility certification and its lower VNE and associated speeds, made the Cirrus a tiny bit less attractive in safety. Again is it a marked difference? Of course not. I don’t plane to fly near VNE and I sure hope not to have to stress the airframe into utility range nor linger in the edge of spins. These occasions are rare, and hopefully will never happen. I believe the safest airplane in the world for me is Kevin Moore’s 260SE - with a stall speed of 33kts and controlable at 47kts - there amount of time per given flight where you couldn’t likely make a liveable landing approaches ZERO. He could land on the 12th green at Augusta National :slight_smile:

And a shorter arguement about perception in the reverse - since it has already been made here a million times. The SR22 is about as fast at the Lancair - and frankly if they put a turbo up front - would likely be about as fast as a 400. Moreover, the SR20’s speed to fuel burn set the new standard…

So I guess what I’m saying is in both cases I believe the relative perceptions are not as close to reality as we might believe.



Perception and reality are two entirely different things. You market a product based on perceptions, in order to reach someone at an emotional level. To the degree you can, you try to orient a potential buyer to “see” you in a certain, favorable light.

After you have made the purchase, or during the process, you justify it on cold hard facts. Like you have done. Your logic for purchasing a Lancair 400 is flawless. However, it is “your” logic, flawed to some degree by how you see reality. (Don’t take this as an insult, no-one sees reality in a truly objective way).

My only point to the posts I made with regards to marketing, is that Lancair and Cirrus are both best served by each focusing on profitable segments of the same market. Lancair can focus on speed and Cirrus on safety or ergonomics. It does not particularly matter that the real differences are minor.

As a result of this focus, both companies can avoid being “stuck in the middle” with its inherent low margins and lack of a strong foundation for long term success. The new Tiger aircraft comes to mind along with Pipers middle of the road airplanes. They don’t stand for anything, perceived or otherwise.


"He could land on the 12th green at Augusta National"After which I would doubtless take 4 putts to get down.

Absolutely right, I totally agree. I bet if i did a poll (and I will) of what Lancair owners talked about first it would be speed. And Cirrus owners it would be the chute. Hence, market to your audience. This is why I am not a businessman :slight_smile: