Flight Design Taps The Brakes On The C4

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With major certification rules revisions on the book, Flight Design has decided to reset its certification schedule on the much-watched C4 four-place aircraft, its first venture into the world of certified aircraft. Although Flight Design had initially planned a more aggressive development schedule, revisions to CS23/FAR Part 23 now in the works in the U.S. and around the world will almost certainly significantly streamline the C4's trip through the cert process and whatever sales it might or might not lose will be worth the tradeoff, according to Flight Design. The C4 was originally planned for $250,000 (220,000 Euros) and in this podcast from Aero, Flight Design's Tom Peghiny explained that slipping the first flight schedule will increase the likelihood that the company can hold that price based on simpler and quicker certification.

"Also," said Peghiny, "it will allow us to embed more technology into the aircraft at a more affordable price." Peghiny says Flight Design is looking at features such as the enveloped protection found in Cirrus and some Cessna aircraft and more innovative electronics that won't be as costly as what we've seen thus far. Peghiny says the C4's final mold lines have been set with first flight expected less than a year from now. Flight Design hopes to deliver certified airplanes to customers within about 15 months of the first flight.