Flight Design Updates Four-Place Progress
Flight Design executives said at Sun 'n Fun last week they will introduce a mock-up of their four-seat fully-certified airplane at the Aero show in Friedrichschafen, Germany, later this month, and will also show it at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh in July. They showed renderings of the design to the press corps at Lakeland. The fuselage shares the high wing and wide cabin of the current CT designs, but with a less dramatic taper toward the tail. It will have fixed gear and "a lot of commonality with the CT," said Matthias Betsch, managing director of Flight Design International. "It will be big and quiet, quite an elegant airplane," he said. The price point should be between $200,000 and $250,000, with a range of about 1,200 nm and 150 kts cruise speed, according to Betsch. Targets are to have a prototype flying next year, with FAA certification by the end of 2012 and production starting in 2013. Betsch said the European version will have a diesel engine, and he will have more information later about engine choices for the U.S. market.
Betsch was upbeat about the market overall and said he is seeing signs of a strong recovery in Europe. He expects an EASA type certificate to be issued for the CTLS design within the next month or two, he said. Flight Design also introduced a hand-control-only retrofit kit that is ready for the market at $4,000. At Sun 'n Fun, the company donated one of the units to Able Flight for use by students with disabilities. The company also "accidentally" let the press corps glimpse a sketch of a CT with jet engines -- in honor of April Fool's Day.