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Lotus Cars Ltd Lotus Prototype

Tandem two-seat single-engined high-wing monoplane with conventional three-axis con-trol. No tail, canard wing. Pitch control by elevator on canard; yaw control by tip rudders; roll control by spoilerons; control inputs through stick for pitch/roll and pedals for yaw. Undercarriage has three wheels in tricycle formation; glass-fibre carbon fibre suspension on main wheels. Push-right go-right nosewheel steering. Brakes on main wheels. Composite fuselage, totally enclosed. Engine mounted below wing driving pusher propeller.
Colin Chapman, founder and head of the Lotus Car company, discussed a microlight project with Alain-Yves Berger, who had met Colin on the motor racing circuits many years before and had remained in touch with him. Colin envisaged making a very high-performance composite construction tandem two-seater using a canard wing, and a four-stroke engine of his own design, and had set himself some tough performance targets - a design top speed of 125 mph (200 kph), fuel consumption per hour of 1. 3 US gal (1.1 Imp gal, 5.0 litre), and a selling price around £5500 for a production run of 500 aircraft.
With Alain-Yves being sworn to secrecy over the project, nothing more was heard until January 1983, when Colin's death threw all the company's plans into the melting pot. Lotus had said nothing but reports from America indicate that the company was working with Eipper on the project, and indeed that its role may be merely that of engineering consultant to Eipper. The aircraft did exist in 1983 in prototype form, but it is still not clear whether it will carry a Lotus badge or the Eipper insignia. The prototype is reported to be flying with a Rotax two-stroke engine.
 


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