Considering that kit airplanes often take many years to complete, if they ever do take to the skies, it is difficult to imagine that builders of an airplane as sophisticated as the Evolution can meet the 51 percent rule in a matter of months. What makes this possible is the simplicity of composite construction and the organization and completeness of the kit Lancair produces.
The Evolution is made up of a total of 12,000 line items, which include fuel lines, fasteners and rivets, says Lancair’s COO Tom Bowen. By comparison, in a Mooney, there are 60,000 rivets. Bowen, who worked for Mooney for a decade, claims to have counted them all.
All the parts and pieces are clearly marked, and tools are set up for the builder, all the way down to the cup that holds the Hysol. There is nothing the builder needs to bring at any stage. It is all set up for him to complete the tasks required to fill the 51 percent rule or, as the guys at Lancair refer to it, the 50.00001 percent rule.