(Photo | courtesy of RDD)
Innovative Experimental Aircraft Continues to Soar Despite Growing Pains
Since returning from the 2022 EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin — the nation’s massive annual summer gathering of aviation enthusiasts — RDD’s Co-Owner and Director of Marketing, Sales and Business Development, David McRae has been swamped with inquiries about the company’s LX7 personal aircraft.
“We had to take a two-year hiatus from Oshkosh due to COVID-19,” said McRae. “But after going back this year, I’ve been getting three or four calls a day from interested customers. As a result, we have developed quite a waiting list.”
Over the past several years, Redmond-based RDD has transformed the iconic Lancair IVP into the revolutionary LX7. This experimental aircraft delivers unsurpassed speed and performance with its turbo-prop reaching up to 315 KTAS (Knots True Airspeed) and its piston model achieving a range of up to 2,125 Nautical Miles in 8.5 hours, while offering critical safety features like an all-carbon-fiber structure, front seat airbags and a whole-aircraft parachute.
The excitement over the LX7 has created a two-year backlog of work for the tight-knit team of engineers and technicians at the company’s headquarters near the Redmond Airport. That type of demand has the potential to fuel tremendous growth for a company like RDD. However, as many other local businesses have found recently, hiring is not as simple as putting out a Help Wanted sign.
“First of all, we are pretty particular about the kind of men and women we hire,” said McRae. “But candidly, we are dealing with some of the growing pains that are common with other industries in Central Oregon.
“Of course, we can offer an incredible lifestyle, as well as competitive salaries for the aviation industry. Yet, when talented prospects from outside the area discover the cost of housing in the Redmond area, which has literally doubled since 2020, it can be hard to close the deal.”
There is no denying that COVID had a tremendous impact on the personal aircraft industry. With people being more self-centered and cautious of public spaces, flying without the hassles and health risks of commercial airlines has become very appealing. But with inflation, higher gas prices and a shakier economy, McRae doesn’t expect the current demand to last forever.
“We could see a downturn in the market in the not-too-distant future,” he claims. “So, we are already planning our next move that will give current LX7 owners and future customers an even better flying experience. On top of that, we will be able to develop it even more efficiently than our current operation.”
With some suppliers having delivery challenges of their own, McRae is somewhat coy about revealing when the company’s next venture will be launched.
“But when the time comes,” he says, “I’m sure the phone will be ringing off the hook again.”
RDD Enterprises is a premiere American-owned and funded aviation Research, Design & Development group with a rich aviation heritage serving the personal aircraft community. Our goal is to provide serious aviators technologically advanced aircraft and systems with impeccable safety and world-class support.
Located in Redmond, Oregon, RDD is proud to have been selected to help achieve aviation goals for a wide range of customers, from individuals to large corporations. Collectively, the RDD team has extensive experience with both experimental and certified aircraft in the areas of engineering, research, design, development, modification, fabrication, construction and customer support. To learn more about the LX7 piston or turbine models, visit lxaircraft.com or call David McRae, at 541-504-0305, extension 1.
lxaircraft.com • 541-504-0305