Flight Design is the first LSA manufacturer to obtain type design approval and a production certificate from the Civil Aviation Administration of China, the company said this week. The approval for the CT design will make it easier for the company to deliver airplanes in the growing GA market there. “Up to now, LSA airplanes [sold in China] have been brought into service on the basis of a manufacturer’s self-declaration alone, without any kind of certification,” said Matthias Betsch, CEO of Flight Design, which is based in Germany. “This is a completely new level of qualification the CTLS has obtained with this step.” Flight Design has sold more than 1,500 airplanes in 39 countries, and the CT has led the U.S. LSA market for five years. “We congratulate Flight Design Germany on this success,” said Tom Peghiny, president of Flight Design USA. He added that sales are picking up in the U.S., with better sales numbers in September and October 2009 than in those months of 2008. “A market recovery can be seen,” he said.
Cessna is also building the 162 Skycatcher in China, but so far at least, those LSAs are destined for the U.S. market. Meanwhile, researchers in China have been working on developing their own light aircraft technologies.