I get to fly a lot of different airplanes in my chosen career. There aren’t many airplanes that I take off in, then say “Wow,” and have a big smile on my face. The RDD LX7 was definitely one of those.
I wrote about the RDD LX7 in the past, bragging about everything I read about it. The blogs all advertised 250 KTAS and 17 GPH and FL250, all of which are eye popping numbers.
Lo and behold, those numbers are true.
I got to go up to RDD’s Redmond, Oregon facility in April 2021 to get my initial training in the RDD LX7 and I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. The 3 screen G3X Touch layout is very impressive and not crowded like I thought it would be. Being familiar with the G500TXi, there are some G3X specifics that take a little getting used to, but overall, it’s a good system. The main GPS and number 1 radio is a GTN 750Xi.
We took off from RDM and proceeded to climb at 140 KIAS, which equated to 2,000 FPM. We only had half tanks (which is still 90 gallons of fuel!), but it climbed with no problem. It’s extremely responsive as I learned while doing the basic flight maneuvers. The stall speed of the airplane (the biggest problem with the Lancair 4P, the airframe that the RDD LX7 is derived from, was the terrible wing design and extremely high stall speed), was in the low 60s or high 50s, with the stall being extremely docile.
The airplane handled very similarly to a Columbia 400, but seemed even more responsive. The glide ratio isn’t as good as some, but it’s still better than a Cirrus (plus it still has a BRS system to boot).
The big test was the flight to San Antonio from Redmond to bring the plane home. The new owner and I departed RDM with the tanks full of Avgas (180 gallons), then got up to a cruise altitude of FL210. After setting power and leaning, the numbers came out true to spec: 252 KTAS, 17.5 GPH.
The greatest part? We stopped in Santa Fe to stretch our legs and we didn’t need fuel. We still had 100 gallons left! That left us plenty to get to San Antonio with 40-50 gallons left over. Another RDD LX7 owner flew his piston direct from Redmond, OR to Jacksonville, FL, non-stop. It was over 9 hours. That’s impressive.
You can’t beat the purchase price, either. A new Cirrus SR22T runs a little north of $1.2m. A piston engine LX7, that is pressurized, 70 KTAS faster with a much longer range, and still has a BRS, is between $850,000-$900,000. An LX7 starts to make a whole lot of sense when you weigh all that. There is also a PT6 option with several different sizes and horsepowers to choose from, which costs more, but you see 300 KTAS.
To learn more about the RDD LX7, check out the company’s website: RDD LX7.