FAQ

1.When was Flight Design founded?

The company Flight Design GmbH, based in Leinfelden-Echterdingen ( Stuttgart ),  Germany , was founded in 1988. The founder Matthias Betsch has worked as a professional in aviation since 1980.

2. What do the abbreviations CT / CTSW / CTLS / CTLS HL / MC stand for?
Abbreviations stand for:
CT: Composite Technology;
CTSW: Composite Technology Short Wing;
CTLS: Composite Technology Light Sport;
CTLS HL: Composite Technology Light Sport High Lift;
MC: Metal Concept;
3. Where is the production site of Flight Design located?

Production is performed in  Ukraine  by a young and highly motivated staff near the Black Sea resort area of the  Crimea . Along with the development of the original CT, an R&D and manufacturing company was set up by Flight Design in the  Ukraine . Flight Design constantly adopts its production facility and staff competence by means of specific training to meet the growing demand.  Ukraine  has a strong aviation culture going back to the beginning of manned flight. Major airframe and component manufacturers are sourcing engineering and manufacturing in Ukraine to take advantage of attractive production cost as well as one of the world’s highest engineering educational standards. The production facility is certified by ISO 9001-2008 and also by the Chinese CAAC for producing light sport airplanes.

4. Since when has the CT been produced?

First deliveries of CT aircraft started in 1997.

5. How many CT aircrafts have been delivered so far?

Since production start 1,700 CT type aircraft have been delivered with the models CT, CT2k, CTSW, CTSW2006, CTLS and CTLS HL.

6. Is the CT certified?
A German Airworthiness Certificate was first issued in 1997. The Special Light Sport Aircraft FAA Airworthiness Certificate was issued to a CT in April 2005. Compliance of the Aircraft has been verified by an independent LAMA audit in March 2008.
DGAC of India registered the CTLS in October 2009 for  India. November 2009 the CTLS received the Chinese Type Design Approval, issued for the first time ever for an LSA aircraft by the CAAC of China in combination with a Production Approval for a production located outside of  China . The EASA Type certificate was recieved in 2012.
7. In which countries are CT aircrafts operated?

CT aircrafts have been delivered to and are operated in 43 countries as of today: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Chile, Estonia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, People´s Republic of China, Poland, Republic of South Africa, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, South Korea, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, Thailand, Ukraine, USA.

8. How long does it take to build a CT airplane?

It takes between 10 to 12 weeks to build one complete aircraft, once all needed materials have arrived at the factory. 

9. What are composite materials?

Composite materials are engineering materials made from two or more components. One component often is a strong fiber such as fiberglass (lowest strength), Kevlar (lowest weight) or Carbon (highest strength). This fiber provides tensile strength to the material, while another component, called matrix, binds the fibers together. Typical matrix materials are polyester resin (lower strength and durability; cheap) or epoxy resin (higher strength). Composite materials allow to design the material exactly in line with the load path and force flow in the component by defining the fiber orientation along the lines of force. The material allows to build highly complex structures without mechanical connections. This way you can use composites for high efficient light weight structures, and to establish nicely-shaped and functional components, some of them impossible in conventional materials.

10. Are composites new or unproven in aviation?

Composite materials were used first in the Boeing 707 passenger jet in the 1950s, where it comprised about two percent of the structure. By the 1960s, composite materials became more available, in particular carbon, embedded in epoxy resins. Nowadays composite materials are widely used in all aviation and aerospace projects. A major part of the structure of the new Boeing Dreamliner is made of carbon (50% composite by weight or 80% by volume). Also the Airbus A 380 utilizes extensive amounts of carbon fiber. Finally, composites are also found in a vast multitude of consumer articles like ski, rackets, surf boards, helmets and also increasingly in car industry.

11. Are composites expensive or difficult to repair?

Composites have numerous advantages over metal or aluminum, including strength, weight, ease, durability and repair. Repairs to aircraft structures must be carried out according to specific procedures provided by the Aircraft Structural Repair Manual. With these procedures it is ensured to repair components to meet the original specification and mechanical performance requirements. Repair locations are typically invisible, when done correctly. In some parts of the world it is still easier to find an experienced metal technician, but due to the increased use of composite material in a lots of areas this will bring about continuous changes over time.

12. Is it difficult to remove the wings of a CT airplane?

The wing spars are clamped by two main bolts inside the cockpit, so for ground transportation the wings can be easily detached and/or installed by two persons.

13. What is the life limit of the CT airframe?

The CT airframe does not have a specific life limit imposed. The composite structure provides good inspection possibilities and allows an operator to view the ongoing condition. This is supported by the proven fact that well-designed composite structures do not show fatigue behaviour, unlike metal structures. The first CTs have exceeded 5,000 flight hours. Their condition and ageing is closely monitored by Flight Design in the so-called “Fleet Leader” methodology. Field experience suggests no lifetime restriction at this moment of time. 

14. What is the CT capability for non-stop flight?

The CT is an aircraft capable of flying non-stop from Chicago to NYC, Charlotte to Dallas, London to Frankfurt or Munich to Rome… flights of 1,800 km (1,000 miles) are possible. As a special version two CTLS did fly more than 3.900 km (2.106 NM) none stop, see also below.

15. What was the longest flight ever done by a CT aircraft?

 In 2010 two Swiss pilots did a flight around the world using two specifically prepared CTLS aircraft. The aircrafts were equipped with long range fuel tank systems. The longest leg during this tour went from  Oakland ,  California  to   Maui ,  Hawaii . It took 17 hours 30 minutes non-stop to fly the distance of 3,900 km with an average speed of 223 km/h or 120 kts.

16. I live in a very hot climate and have no hangar space facilities available in my area. Can I park a CT outside during high temperatures?

Yes. With a standard white airframe finish and mainly with all color graphic patterns offered by Flight Design you can park your CT outside during high temperatures. In order to prevent color fading and to reduce the influence of water, wind, dust, etc. and for security reason you should protect your aircraft with a cover or better shelter the aircraft in a hangar.

17. Is the CTLS cockpit better than others?

The ergonomically arranged cockpit simplifies access and reading of the control panel to the pilot. Large gull wing doors open upward, comfortable and adjustable seats, easy storage access and excellent visibility from the extremely wide and spacious cockpit make the CTLS cabin unique. We believe you will find no better combination of these advantages on competitors aircraft and 1,700 owners have proved us right. 

18. How safe is the CT?

A modern aircraft should have all the safety improvements available for protecting the pilot and passenger. Every CT has a proven rigid carbon fiber cockpit forming a safety cell plus four-point harnesses. The standard equipment airframe parachute system is an important addition to the list of safety features on the CT. The system is always available should you need it. In addition, since 2010 seat belts with airbags are available as option.

19. Do you have an option for test flights?

Please contact your local dealer to arrange a test flight.

20. If I purchase a CT, where can I get flight training, where I get service training?

Flight Design is offering owner’s training courses at several Flight Design Service Centers, where you can participate and learn how to best service your new aircraft. This course will allow you to do simple maintenance yourself, supported by our detailed maintenance manual and parts manual supplied with each aircraft. Every dealer will provide you with in-depth transition training to your new CT upon aircraft delivery. If you want to become a pilot, please contact one of the Flight Design Pilot Centers.

21. What is this airplane going to really cost me after I am all done?

You will get a total price from your local dealer, depending on the equipment and special features of your Flight Design Aircraft. To get a first impression you can just use our Configurator provided on the webpage. Please remember, the configurator can not replace a detailed introduction to the options and possibilities by one of our dealers.

22. Can the aircraft be used for banner or glider towing?

Since the beginning of the glider towing tests in  Europe , the CT Series Aircrafts have shown surprising aptitude. The climb speed is just right for comfortable climbs with gliders under tow. The CT Series has demonstrated this even on grass with a fixed pitch propeller.

23. Who can I contact if I want to order an aircraft, request price or order spare parts or have technical or airworthiness questions?

Our company is working exclusively via our dealers’ network worldwide. Please locate the dealer nearest to you by the following link on the website.

24. What is the typical operating cost per hour of a CT aircraft?
Operating cost very much depends on local charges such as insurance premium, cost of storage space, fuel price. The cost comparison in the following table is based on a CTLS LSA operated in the  USA and is giving guidance for operations in other countries.
25. Can I get the CT also with a different engine than ROTAX 912/914 and if not, why?
Flight Design aircrafts are designed for installation of Rotax 912 family engines. The modern engine design offers outstanding performance, best reliability, low fuel consumption and thereby reduced emissions which result in low operating cost. The engine has the advantage of operation with inexpensive MOGAS or Car Fuel. Of course, AVGAS may be used as well.
The ROTAX 912 series engine was sold in more than 30,000 units worldwide, the TBO is 2,000 hours.
26. What are the main advantages of a CT compared to other aircrafts?

The advantage is in the overall package: performance, spacious cabin, easy entry, ease to fly, comfort, most modern avionics, well developed dealer and support network and much more. You will not find another aircraft that provides you with the same complete and consistent package.

27. What are the main advantages of Flight Design compared to other Light Sport Manufacturers?

Flight Design has an experience of 25 years aviation history, almost 15 years thereof in Light Sport Aircraft. More than 1,700 Flight Design aircraft are in Service. Flight Design is the world wide leading manufacturer with a world wide distribution and service network. All aircrafts are produced exclusively in the Flight Design owned and managed production facility in the  Ukraine , a country with an aeronautic history dating back to the start of manned flight.

28. Can I operate a CT for Night VFR?

When selecting the correct equipment (Night Flight Package), the CT is qualified for night VFR flight on the basis ASTM F2245, the certification basis for LSA aircraft. But you have to verify if the local regulations allow operation of Light Sport Aircraft at night, regardless of the installed equipment.

29. Can I use a CT for IFR flights?

Depending on local regulations and installed equipment it is possible to operate a CT under IFR in non IMC conditions.

30. I have many thousand hours experience with GA aircraft (Piper / Cessna / …), why should I undergo transition training?

The CT aircraft has a unique combination of high aerodynamic efficiency paired with low weight and high power-to-weight ratio and very good and fast control response. Due to this the CT has quicker handling and accelerates faster. Handling of a CT aircraft is easy but due to all these factors it is noticeably different than a much heavier conventional GA aircraft. The Flight Design transition training has been developed to provide you a smooth and safe entry into flying high performance LSA aircraft. Remember: a good pilot always takes his time for a transition training!

31. Does a customer have the possibility to order an aircraft deviating from the price list (special wishes for equipment)?

Equipment “Specials” are generally possible. In order to best accommodate the customers wishes, customization will typically be done by Flight Design Technik. Due to the close link to the Flight Design development team and serial production, Flight Design Technik can realize a lot of customer wishes. Prices for these modifications can be quoted upon specific request and specification.

32. How does Flight Design transport / ship the aircrafts from the factory to the customer?

Transport from  Ukraine  to  Germany  is organized in special trucks designed, owned and operated by Flight Design. From here it depends on the final destination. Oversea shipment is done in containers by ship. Deliveries within  Europe  are typically done by commercial truck. All transports have a full coverage by a German transport insurance.

33. Is it possible to order Flight Design aircraft with floats?

The Flight Design CTLS Lite may be ordered and equipped with CLAMAR 1400 amphibious composite floats. The CTLS Lite Floatplane is equipped with an Airframe Parachute Recovery System and has a MTOW of 650 kg (1430 lbs). The aircraft comes with a compliance declaration in accordance with ASTM LSA requirements. Please see CTLS Lite with Floats for specification reference. Type Certificate for EASA countries is planned but not yet available.
Modification of existing CTLS aircraft is offered in the USA only, conducted by Flight Design’s U.S. distribution partner, Airtime Aviation. Retrofitting floats on a regular CTLS requires the removal of the Airframe Parachute Recovery System, as otherwise the empty weight of the modified aircraft would be too high.
All other types of Flight Design aircraft (CT, CT2K, CTSW, CT Supralight, MC) cannot be delivered with Floats at this time. Earlier float installations on CTSW aircraft are no longer available, due to lack of availability of the floats used at that time. Flight Design has no plans to approve float modifications for these other aircraft types.