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The Lockwood Aircam is a high-wing, twin engine pusher configuration aircraft with conventional landing gear , based on the single engine Lockwood Drifter and sold in kit form by Lockwood Aircraft . The open-cockpit aircraft seats two in tandem . 125 Aircam kits had been sold by 2007. In 2010, a complete kit, less instruments, paint, shipping and crating was priced at US$ 98,385.
Design and development
The first prototype Aircam was built in 1995. Designed by Phil Lockwood, founder of Lockwood Aircraft, it was built for the National Geographic Society for research and photography in the Ndoki Rain Forest in the northern Congo Basin . It was built to fly low and slow and to provide a wide, unobstructed view, with the additional security of a second engine. The design has since been improved while retaining the same layout.
The initial version, produced by Leza-Lockwood Corporation was powered by twin Rotax 582 powerplants of each. Twin Rotax 912 and 914 engines were optional. Later the 582 was eliminated, the 912 engine became standard and Leza-Lockwood's name was changed to Lockwood.
The Aircam was designed to be able to take-off on one engine if needed and the positioning of the engines close to the centreline contributes to this capability as well as its benign single engine handling.
The Aircam has a landing roll of 300 feet and a takeoff roll of under 200 feet.
Accidents and incidents
The United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) lists eight accidents involving Aircams between 1993 and February 2010. In these eight accidents, there was one fatality, one serious injury, one minor injury and seven people uninjured.
Jack Roush of NASCAR team Roush Fenway Racing nearly lost his life after the Aircam he was flying struck a power line and sank in a lake near Troy, Alabama in April 2002. He was saved in a dramatic rescue by retired U.S. Marine Larry Hicks.