News


How are the L-13 Blaniks modified to lift the A.D. grounding?
Click here 
for report by Flying Revue taking a peek at the backstage of Blanik Aircraft CZ manufacturer.

miniLAK fes - video to demonstrate take offs from concrete and grass runways



video to demonstrate take offs from concrete and grass runways





video of mini LAK fes from the test flight


THE BLANIKS ARE BACK !


Brand new L23 Super Blanik. 75,000 Euros.
Click here to order.
Click here to get more details.

L-13 Blanik. The FAA now approved the modification to lift the grounding of L-13 Blaniks.
Reference: Global AMOC (Alternative Method of Compliance),
Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2010-18-05, FAA Directorate Identification Number 2010-CE-042-AD, Docket Number FAA-2010-0839. Click here for the letter of approval from the FAA.

Click here to get details about how to get your L-13 airborne again.


L-13 Blanik AD fix 
Dear owners and supporters  of L-13 Blanik gliders.

We are proud we can announce to the soaring community that the FAA has released Federal Aviation Administration approval of the Blanik Limited Airworthiness Restoration of the Blanik Limited model L-13 glider – FAA Project Number AT00794CE-G.
Now we are closely working with the FAA to submit and approve an AMOC (Alternative Method of Compliance) which will precisely specify how to maintain the fleet of grounded L-13s in the U.S. based on their technical condition. We believe that we are close to the solution which will get the L-13 fleet flying again. We are also looking for qualified maintenance shops which are interested in performing the required modification.
Our goal is to bring the L-13s back to the sky before next season.
 
Sincerely
 
Vaclav Krizek
Chief Executive Officer
Blanik Aircraft CZ
 
October 3, 2016



miniLAK fes 
The Sportinë Aviacija factory demonstrated the self-launching miniLAK fes to the interested crowd of pilots during the recent World Championship held in Lithuania. The glider took off from grass after about three hundred meters take-off roll and still had 50 minutes power reserve left. John Good of the U.S. team summed up his impressions. Click here.






LAK-19T for sale

Click here for details.


L-13 Blanik test flight

The legendary Blanik L-13 has risen up again, opening up the way to the skies for other grounded L-13 Blaniks.



Video: The legendary Blanik L-13 has risen up again, opening up the way to the skies for other grounded L-13 Blaniks.
Video: Blanik Aircraft.

This news has originally been published in Czech by the Czech on-line magazine Flight Revue. Translation and explanations by Blanik America, Inc.

Updated: Watch the video from the test flight. Good news for European owners of the grounded Blanik L-13s. If owners perform the wing root conversion and associated modifications to the glider Blanik L-13, as developed by the engineers from Blanik Aircraft CZ, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) will lift the Airworthiness Directive (which has been grounding the Blanik L-13 gliders since 2010). This week the first
L-13 Blanik modified by Blanik Aircraft CZ made a successful test flight.

The rebuilding of the company's L-13 Blanik glider with the registration OK-2807, (which spectators saw at the April 2016 AERO Friedrichshafen Air Show, where the glider was exhibited in half-completed stage enabling the viewers to see also inside the aircraft as to what is actually being modified), has been completed. On Tuesday June 7, 2016 the glider was flight tested by Miloš Ramert at the airport in Přerov, Czech Republic. According to him and the director of Blanik Aircraft, Václav Křížek, the test flight showed that the modification was successful. The first flight was the last step before a final airworthiness review by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Czech Republic.

The Blanik Aircraft Company has launched mass-production modification of L-13 Blaniks. By doing the modification the gliders service life may be extended up to six thousand flight hours. "At the moment, we are modifying the glider from Aeroclub Chotěboř and two other gliders. The Chotěboř reconstruction should be completed in about a month, and other aircraft will follow. The interest is huge, orders are coming in every week", said Václav Křížek to Flying Revue. If you are interested in the reconstruction of your Blanik L-13, please contact Blanik Aircraft on their website. You may be able to see the rebuilt Blanik from June 17 to 19, at a Fly-In of Czechoslovak aircraft in Jičín.



Václav Křížek of Blanik Aircraft explains the rebuilding of Blanik L-13 to Flying Revue at AERO 2016 in Friedrichshafen.
Video: Jindřich Ilem, Flying Revue.
(Sorry, we don't have English captions for the narration which is in Czech.)


The permission for renovations so far applies only to Blanik gliders grounded in Europe. Václav Křížek is also dealing with the U.S. FAA (the Federal Aviation Administration) in order to obtain authorization for rebuilding Blaniks in the USA.

"The FAA representatives were here in May. We handed over to them all the supporting documents, including the Airworthiness Directive from the EASA and showed them the conversion process. Following this meeting, the U.S. Agency requested editing of some of the documents to suit the conditions in America. When we deliver to them these modified documents, including the intent of how and where to implement the modification in specific locations in the U.S., we expect that this year they will validate the European authorization for the USA, where there are hundreds of grounded Blanik L-13s", said  Václav Křížek.

Publication credit: Jan Dvořák - Flying Revue - June 8, 2016
Translation and explanations by Blanik America, Inc.

miniLAK comes to America

Congratulations to the first U.S. buyer on ordering the LAK-13,5 Mini ! 

Here are more photos of this excellent new glider. Click here.


L-13 Blaniks AD update

On December 21, 2015, the EASA issued a Major Change Approval no. 10056149 to the L-13 Blanik type certificate.

Prospect of availability of new L23s in the future is good

The likelihood of the availability of new L23 Super Blanik two-place gliders in the future is good. When in September 2014 we met in Europe with the operatives of the project, they were at the stage of securing production facilities. At that time negotiations were also underway between the investors and the manufacturing team about the production cost.
As soon as we are given the green light to start offering the new L23s we will make an announcement on our website in the News section.

Blanik Type Certificates transferred

Recently, Aircraft Industries a.s., the maker of Blanik gliders, sold all type certificates and production documentation for Blaniks to a Russian company, S7 Engineering. If the currently ongoing negotiations with S7 are successful for Aircraft Industries, the Blaniks may again be manufactured at Kunovice, the home of Aircraft Industries. We will keep you informed.


21 meter wing extension for LAK17B gliders

We are excited to announce the availability of a brand new wing extension for LAK17B gliders. The wing extension increases the wing span to 21 meters, making the LAK17B an Open Class glider in that configuration. This increases the versatility of LAK17B in addition to its 18 meter and 15 meter wingspans which have been available already. An introductory incentive is available to first five worldwide buyers ordering the 21 m extensions during the month of September:


The LAK-17B FES Flight Impression

The five-page article with photos published in the March 2013 issue of the SOARING magazine.


L-13 Blaniks AD update

 

August 8, 2013.

After months of silence we heard again from the FAA. They wrote a letter to the SSA. Click here for copy.

 


DO NOT HAUL YOUR L-13 BLANIKS TO A GARBAGE DUMP! HELP IS AROUND THE CORNER!

January 9, 2013.

Finally, we heard some news from the FAA. The major operative has been reassigned, and an FAA specialist appointed in charge (who in the past has been positively instrumental in getting gliders in the air). Hopefully we will see some change.

THE FAA SAID ON 1/9/2013:

"Our review of AD&C's data submittal was completed.
This review has been captured in six issue papers.  Four of these papers,
which identifies our findings, have been sent to EASA for clarification of
our positions.  These papers were sent in March, September, and October of
2012..

Our management has requested an aviation
authority-to-authority meeting comprised of EASA's specialists and the
FAA's review panel to discuss our findings.  We are currently waiting
on EASA's response to when this meeting can occur.  As soon as a date is
established, we will let you know.  The remaining two issue papers will be
sent after culmination of our  meeting with EASA.

I know this has been a difficult time and I apologize for this major
disruption to you and the L-13 Blanik owners.  I assure you we are working
to facilitate a process for a safe resolution to this major airworthiness
concern."


 

Electric motors for gliders - FES

Blanik America has been appointed the United States distributor for LZ Design of Slovenia, the manufacturer of electric motors for gliders (FES - Front Electric Sustainer). Click here for more.


L-13 Blaniks

On September 20, 2012 the FAA sent the issue paper to EASA. Read more in "L-13 Blanik AD" below in this News.

While the FAA is still preventing the L-13 Blaniks from flying, elsewhere in the world the L-13 Blaniks are flying. In Australia, a substantial modification was developed which goes farther than the AD&C modification. Check it out here.


L-13 Blaniks are alive and kicking!

Take a look at this exciting video, published May 14, 2012 :

 

When you click on the rectangle in the lower right, you will see the video full-screen. Turn on the sound and enjoy!

The Red Bull Skydive Team recently performed a spectacular performance high in the skies above Austria well worthy of any James Bond film. As part of the project Akte Blani(X) 3, the five-man squadron set off in hot pursuit of two Blanix gliders cruising 4,000 metres above the ground. In one of the most daring wingsuit manoeuvres ever seen, the skydivers then inched their way towards the aircraft before flying along side by side at speeds in excess of 180km/h.


LAK-17B FES drew a big crowd at the SSA 2012 Convention in Reno

The high performance racing sailplane LAK-17B with electric propulsion was exhibited at the Soaring Society of America Convention in Reno during the first week of February 2012. It drew a big crowd with pilots flocking around it in large numbers.

For picture presentation cick on LAK-17B FES at Reno .

Read more about the LAK-17B FES here.


L-13 Blanik AD update

September 2012

The FAA branch responsible for the AD which grounded the Blaniks two years ago wrote on September 20, 2012:

"Just want to let you know we've sent EASA our issue paper review of the
structural substantiation.  This paper addresses many of our primary
structural concerns with AD&C's procedures.  I will be sending the
remaining papers to EASA next week.  Once EASA has had time to review them,
we (FAA) will set up a technical meeting with EASA and AD&C to address our
concerns.  As I previously mentioned concerning the issues we've found, we
can only have discussions with EASA and the applicant and not the general
public."

While the FAA is still preventing the L-13 Blaniks from flying, elsewhere in the world the L-13 Blaniks are flying. In Australia, a substantial modification was developed which goes farther than the AD&C modification. Check it out here.

 

July 11, 2012.

The FAA advised that,.. "Our positions on all but one of our issue papers is complete.  We should have the final issue paper finished this week.  We anticipate forwardingthese papers to EASA early next week for their review.  EASA will then forward these papers to AD&C.  Once EASA and AD&C has had time to review them, we (FAA) will set up a meeting with EASA and AD&C to discuss our findings."

May 2012. AD&C, the STC developer, is awaiting a conclusive issue paper from the FAA outlining what specifically the FAA still wants to see proven. The FAA has not sent that paper yet. Pressure from the Blanik community on the FAA Small Airplane Directorate in Kansas City, which is handling the issue, is mounting and hopefully will soon have effect. In the meantime, the L-13 Blaniks in the rest of the world are flying.

February 28, 2012. The EASA issued Revision 1 to the Supplemental type certificate, No. 10035295. The revision extends the service life of the L-13 Blanik to 5000 hours, without the use of aerobatics; or 3750 hours with 2 % aerobatics allowed. In the meantime, North American Blanik owners are still waiting for the FAA to conclude its review of the STC.

February 3, 2012. The FAA issued a statement to the SSA. Click here for the text.

December 5, 2011

AD&C, the STC developer, advised recently:
Unfortunately we have no estimate if and when FAA will approve our STC. We
are currently working on a change to the STC to approve 5000h total airframe
life without aerobatics as supposed to the currently approved 3750h with 2%
aerobatics. This will alternatively be available at the same cost. There is a
chance that FAA approves this version easier since it does not require any
airplane records which is one of the concerns they have.

November 7, 2011

The FAA works on issue papers. Regretfully things are still moving very slowly. During a long teleconference with the FAA operative in charge, the FAA said, ..."Had the FAA been involved in the STC request evaluation from the start, together with the EASA, perhaps the STC would have been accepted by the FAA by now.  However, since we were not included, we now feel compelled to ask the EASA for substantiation of their decision (to issue the STC)."   This government to government exchange may take months more. It is uncertain how much longer.  
The good news is that work has not stopped on the evaluation and that the FAA wants to approve a fix once they are convinced it is safe and sound. For that purpose, currently the FAA is preparing issue papers to send to the EASA, for them to substantiate the STC.

June 20, 2011

The European EASA issued the AMOC Approval No. 10035384. The Alternative method of compliance (AMOC) satisfies the Airworthiness Directive, whereby the glider may be again operated within the conditions and limitations set by the original glider type certificate after the AMOC is performed.

June 14, 2011

The European EASA issued the Supplemental type certificate, No. 10035295.

Aircraft Design and Certification Ltd. reported today, "After quite some ups and down in the project to regain the airworthiness of the Blanik we finally are on the other side of the finishing line. The STC has been granted by EASA today."

Hopefully the FAA will follow suit soon.

May 2, 2011

Aircraft Design and Certification Ltd. and Blanik America signed an agreement whereby AD&C appointed Blanik America their exclusive distributor of L-13 Blanik modification kit and drawings for U.S.A. and Canada.


May 1, 2011

Elisa Bretterebner reported on the First Flight of the first modificated Blanik L-13 worldwide. Click here for more photos.


Germany, April 8, 2011

AD&C, an engineering service provider with EASA Part 21 Subpart J Design organization approval received the approved flight conditions for the first modified airplanes from EASA. It is expected that the STC finalization will take perhaps another four weeks.

The representatives of Blanik America hope to meet with the key engineers of AD&C at AERO-Friedrichshafen.

Below is an extract from the press release which was issued on April 8, 2011.

Aircraft Design and Certification Ltd. (AD&C) is developing a supplemental type certification (STC),
including a structural modification as well as an inspection and replacement program, as method of
compliance for EASA-AD-2010-0185-E. The approval process utilized a cooperation arrangement with
the type certificate holder Aircraft Industries (formerly “LET”). The STC is now available at AD&C.
The STC is based on elaborate 3D geometry and load path analysis (by reverse engineering) and is
verified by high quality finite element method (FEM) calculations and structural testing including
strain verification. Even individual rivet/bolt load analysis has been performed to identify the root
cause of the problem. The well known and approved load spectra KosMos, incorporating a realistic
quantity of aerobatic maneuvers, is adapted and applied for the analysis of the Blaník wing and
fuselage carry through sections. Further analysis includes the horizontal tail attachment area. Based
on the findings of the analyses 3 new parts have been designed and installed to improve the load
transfer from wing spar to fuselage. Hi-Lok® bolts, known to have superior fatigue resistance, are
used to exchange the critical rivet in rivet spar cap connections and to ease later inspections in the
affected areas.
Currently the STC is at final approval stage by EASA; approval by FAA has been applied for. Current
types of aircraft are the L-13, the L-13A will be included shortly. The permissible operational life of
the modified area is prolonged to a total of at least 6000h (irrespective of the accuracy of individual
historical records), however the limitations of the rest of the aircraft cannot be changed, without
according in depth analysis, from the original 3750h. AD&C is considering a further program for a
general life time extension, pending on market response.
The modification can be installed at any Part-145/Part-M or equivalent approved maintenance
organisation having the Blaník within their scope of approval. In the course of the modification,
personnel approved (EN 4179 or NAS 410) for non-destructive testing utilizing Eddy current, optical
(borescope) and dye penetrant inspection techniques is required.

 

Aircraft Industries, a.s.
Kunovice December 6, 2010.

Aircraft Industries (AI for short, formerly known as LET) sent an inspection procedure draft for approval to EASA. The request was accepted by EASA and the project was launched. EASA established a project manager with whom AI established contact and is currently completing a translation of the certification program and gradually preparing the inspection material.

VZLU (the Aviation Research Institute in Prague) is developing the inspection process eddy current methodology for cracks. The process will be verified in the next phase on the samples of critical points of various crack sizes to determine the minimum size of an identifiable fracture.

The factory indicated that it will inform about the further development progress.


 


Black Forest Soaring Society pilots, one of them flying a LAK-17AT sailplane made an excellent showing at the U.S. Region 9 Contest in Parowan.  "In 18 meter, Clay Thomas in a LAK 17AT, VH, moved into first place overall with a winning speed of 95.1 MPH!!! On Day 4 Clay won the 18 m class in the LAK-17AT and Rick won the 15 m class while Dave moved up to 2nd over all.  They were smoking!" Click here for the Contest Results.


Exciting new models of L-13 Blanik and L23 Super Blanik became available. So exciting that Blanik America has purchased a good supply of them in order to be able to offer the models to customers. The models are very finely crafted kits with numerous design schemes.

We are convinced that buyers will be really pleased with them. Call (509) 884-8305 or email us. Click here to send us your request.

PRICES


ABADIE BERARD MARYLINE flying a LAK-17A won the 2009 French Feminine Championships.


The latest from Sportine Aviacija - the newest model LAK-17BT sailplane. Click here for photos from test flights. The factory team is quite pleased that their high expectations are being met. They reported:
"On May 7, 2009 in Leshno, one day before the Polish Open Class Championship, Sportine Aviacia with the help from the Polish gliding team have done comparison flight testing of the LAK-17BT and ASG-29. Both gliders were loaded to the same 56 kg/m2 wing loading. The tests were done at 200km/h; 160km/h and 120km/h. At all speeds, the LAK-17BT was equal or better than the ASG-29."


More than ten LAK-20 sailplanes have been sold, and three have already been delivered to customers as of Spring 2008.

 

The U.S. Civil Air Patrol took delivery of four more new L23 Super Blanik two-place training gliders for their operations in Oregon, New Mexico, and Nevada.
Blanik L-33 Solo the winner of Region 9 Contest. In Sports Class, the overall winner, and the best story of the contest, was Horst Roehler who won four out of six days in his first ever race in the L-33 Solo. This is a guy to keep an eye on in the future, especially if he moves up to a higher performing glider.

The U.S. Civil Air Patrol ordered four more new L23 Super Blanik two-place training gliders for their operation. Altogether, the CAP operates over 25 Blaniks distributed evenly among the 50 U.S. states.

Blanik America delivered two L23 Super Blaniks to the Colombian Air Force. The gliders entered operation  at the aviation academy at Cali, Colombia, South America (Fuerza Aerea Colombiana la Escuela Militar de Aviacion Marco Fidel Suarez - Cali), in the fall of 2005.
The U.S. Civil Air Patrol conducted a number of glider academies for their cadet pilots. John Sharp, one of the instructors, said: "This year I once again instructed at the Rome, GA, National Glider Academy.  We had 5 L-23s and 4 tow planes and flew over 800 flights in less than 10 days.  I was flying CAP's oldest L-23 and I have to tell you it performed great.  The abuse those aircraft take bringing a young student pilot from zero experience to solo in that 10 day period is high, and the strength of the L-23 to handle that abuse and keep on delivering is amazing." 
More LAK-17A sailplanes coming. Blanik America congratulates three new LAK-17A buyers who purchased their sailplanes.

News Archive  Click here for news and publications since 1990.


[ Home | Products & Services | Contents | News | Feedback ]
Copyright © 1997 BLANIK AMERICA, INC.
Last modified: September 8, 2017