Lithuanian Aviation Plant (now JSC “Sportinė Aviacija ir Ko”) was established in 1969. At the time, it was (and still is) the only company in the Baltic countries on designing, manufacturing and repair of gliders and powered gliders. Aircraft Factory establishment was based on the old traditions of gliding and aircraft design in Lithuania.
The first composite glider BK-7 “Lietuva” was built in 1972. This glider has become the basis for the future aircraft design. Over 20 different types and modifications of gliders and motor gliders have been designed, built and tested during the history of the plant.
The most popular member of the glider family is the Open Class glider LAK-12. Within 25 years, 253 units have been built and operated in 20 different countries. The glider has reputation of a very safe and comfortable type as no fatal accidents have been fixed in its’ history since 1978. The LAK-12 was designed according to technical requirements and standards of the former Soviet Union, so called Norms of Flight Safety. In some cases, these Norms were stricter than the current European standards (CS-22).
Since 1996, we have worked on the American design standard class glider Genesis. Being the developer of the engineering part of the design, we completed the strength tests and calculations in accordance with JAR-22 standards. All works on obtaining type certificate in accordance with JAR-22 have been carried out and 26 units have been manufactured.
More than a thousand L-13 “BLANIK” gliders from all over the former Soviet Union and Bulgaria were overhauled in the plant.
Over the past 15 years after the company became private, LAK-17 type glider was developed and modified, and about 200 units of 15m and 18m class gliders were manufactured and delivered to the customers all over the world.
Few prototypes of the open class two-seater gliders LAK-20 and LAK-20M have been assembled, but the further development of the project has been frozen.
New modification of LAK-17 is the LAK-17B, which further evolved into a the most revolutionary and progressive product- the LAK-17B-FES (Front Electric Sustainer). It is well known that many powered gliders had accidents due to the engine failure during start up at low altitude. However, the electric system we use is proven to be more reliable than a gas motor and even if it fails, the motor does not create additional drag. Therefore, the pilot may continue to fly the pure glider and land safely. The LAK-17B FES has just been certified by EASA and we hope that it starts a new era in safety of glider flying.
Currently the company has 47 employees. The biggest number of employees was in 1983, close to 600 people.