At their Sun ‘n Fun news conference on Tuesday, Flight Design revealed more details about their upcoming new model, the CTHL. The aircraft was developed in Europe mainly to meet the needs of glider towing. It will be equipped with a turbocharged 115 HP Rotax 914, a 12 percent larger wing for added lift, a larger stabilator, and a full-aircraft parachute as standard equipment. The model will cost an extra $14,000 over the standard CTLS. “We think a great use for this airplane in the U.S. would be as a floatplane,” said Flight Design USA CEO Tom Peghiny. So the aircraft will also accommodate optional Clamar amphibious floats. The new model should be available later this year.
Also talking in the press tent was Matthias Betsch, CEO of Flight Design in Europe. He said the company has now received both type certification and a production certificate from China, which will allow the company to make sales there, though the airplanes will continue to be built in the Ukraine. “The CTLS LSA is now the first and presently the only LSA aircraft that is certified and allowed to be operated in China in this new class,” Betsch said. India, Australia, and many other countries have great potential for GA to grow, he said. “I think a quite good market is coming up,” he said. Additionally, new rules to certify sport pilots are expected to be enacted in Europe sometime this year, which Betsch also saw as a positive development for LSA manufacturers. Peghiny also added that the company is continuing its research on a hybrid powerplant and hopes to fly it for the first time sometime this year.