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Planes and Parts Are Shipping!

Flight Design GmbH is pleased to report that CTLS, CTLSi and CTSL deliveries are happening from their factory in Kherson, Ukraine.  “We are very pleased to see the first new 2017 planes being shipped to Germany for test flights before being delivered to owners in Europe and the world” said Flight Design COO Daniel Gunther. “The production team at the factory are to be thanked for their support over our recent tough times and also for the quality for new planes as they look great.” Spare parts shipments, which were back ordered are being cleared and a stock of the most important items are also being built up in anticipation of the upcoming flying and training season in the northern hemisphere.  Engineering support, which is a big part of being a responsible manufacturer in aviation, have continued nonstop during the last year. DSCN1410.JPG

Two new investors for Flight Design

  • The creditors meeting on August 8, 2016 has agreed on a combined cooperative offer of the Lindig group Eisenach / Germany and Aero Jones Taichung /Taiwan
  • The Lindig group will take over Flight Design under an insolvency plan procedure.
  • Aero Jones in an asset-only purchase takes ownership of the C4 project and CT business, where the supply of spare parts and support for all models is ensured.

Knut Rebholz, receiver of Flight Design, will according to the agreement of the parties, create an insolvency plan and will prepare a parallel an asset deal with Aero Jones. The insolvency plan will be then submitted to the court and the creditors. The termination of the insolvency proceedings is scheduled for no later than Autumn 2016.

“The creditors with their decision for the new investors have paved the way for a continuation of the core business as well as the production and support of established aircraft and completion of new developments,” says receiver Knut Rebholz.

Precondition for the successful restructuring was that the receiver Rebholz was able to continue the business operations of the company since application and to continue the necessary licenses and regulatory approvals.

An important step was it to agree with customers on a way to finance their orders, which existed already before the insolvency. “The negotiations for this were, among other reasons, very complex, because the customers of Flight Design are from all over the world and are not familiar with the German Insolvency Code” says Rebholz. After the first agreements were reached, end of August / September, according the situation now, the first aircraft will be delivered to customers.

The customers whose aircraft orders were not met at the time of opening of insolvency proceedings-can confirm their orders to the conditions offered by the insolvency administrator until 30.09.2016.

The management of Flight Design has made in mid-February 2016 an application for insolvency after an international customer had not settled a bill of over seven figures. This lead the company into a liquidity squeeze. The management sought alternative financing to bridge the time until receipt of the outstanding payments. This was not then successful. The outcome of the current agreements should allow the company and products to go forward, support and approvals to be continued and creditors to be fairly compensated.

Flight Design

Flight Design, based in Wildau with a production site in Kamenz claims to be the world leader in the production of non-complex light aircraft. The company develops and manufactures aircraft in Wildau near Berlin, in Kamenz near Dresden and in Ukraine. The company is active in 48 markets. By licensing agreements, the planes are manufactured internationally also in Taiwan/China.

Flight Design recently had an annual turnover of about 11 million euros and in Germany almost 20 employees, mostly highly skilled engineers and technicians and about 100 workers in Ukraine. Since the company was founded in 1988 and the construction of the production plant in Ukraine in 1993, the company has delivered about 1,500 aircraft.  Information:

About the receiver

Lawyer Knut Rebholz is a partner of the law firm Mönning & Partner, acting all over Germany at eleven offices in Aachen, Berlin, Cottbus, Dortmund, Dresden, Dusseldorf, Gifhorn, Hagen, Hamburg, Hildesheim and Leipzig. Like his colleagues in the Registry, Rebholz has solid, long-standing and proven in practice experience in restructuring and receivership proceedings of any size. More information:

Contact for journalists

Spokesman of the liquidator

Holger Voskuhl

rw konzept GmbH

communication consulting

Fon: + 49- (0) 221-400 73-87

Mobile: + 49- (0) 170-2101523

Email: voskuhl@rw-konzept.d

Click to download 



Wildau, GERMANY / 21 July 2016  — After a challenging first few months of 2016, things are looking up at Flight Design GmbH, the manufacturer of the popular CT series of light aircraft. After seeking and gaining acceptance of voluntary insolvency, the company has worked with dealers and suppliers to reorganize and continue producing aircraft at their facilities in Ukraine and Germany.

The most important news for existing owners of Flight Design aircraft was the immediate investment into ensuring the continuation of safety-related fleet surveillance. This is a key component of Continued Operational Safety Monitoring (COSM), which is of primary importance to EASA, the FAA and aviation regulators worldwide.

“I am satisfied to see how engaged the Flight Design Team is in serving the existing customers and continuing to support the brand. That positive attitude has also helped to attract interest of new investors,” said Mr. Knut Rebholz, the appointed receiver of Flight Design GmbH.

In parallel, the Flight Design GmbH engineering staff has, along with ongoing contracted development work, focused on continuation of all current approvals and completed an EASA audit at the German company’s production facilities the third week of July.

Newly manufactured metal and composite spare parts are being shipped to customers as a result of successful negotiations with the company’s major supplier network. Several aircraft that were in the process of manufacture are now nearing completion and approval for delivery to their respective customers.

The most important and hopeful news is after successful negotiations with major dealers, the first new aircraft orders since the insolvency declaration have been received and are now in the process of being produced, which is good news for suppliers, employees and supporters of Flight Design.

“We are very pleased to see things moving again,” said Daniel Gunther, COO of Flight Design GmbH. “It shows good faith by our dealers and suppliers to help us now when we really need it.  We have received a lot of support from our employees as well. We look forward to delivering these new orders and going forward from there,” added Gunther.

While all of this goes on, promising negotiations with potential investors are currently in process. As a well-known brand in light aviation worldwide, Flight Design is a prime opportunity for investment to continue the production of their advanced line of CT series aircraft and continue development of the state of the art C4, a 4-place general aviation aircraft.


Flight Design is a 29-year-old manufacturer based in Germany. The company remains the worldwide Light-Sport Aircraft market leader thanks to its popular CT series of aircraft. Nearly 2,000 of these aircraft are flying in 39 countries. One of the first aircraft certified under ASTM International standards in 2005, the CT (“composite technology”) boasts the largest fleet of LSA in America after ten years. Flight Design sold the first LSA to India and was the first LSA to earn Chinese Type Design Approval. Three times a CT has been flown around the world. In 2011, the German company unveiled its C4 four seat aircraft based on the CT technology.



Lawyer Knut Rebholz is a partner of the law firm Mönning & Partner, acting all over Germany at eleven offices in Aachen, Berlin, Cottbus, Dortmund, Dresden, Dusseldorf, Gifhorn, Hagen, Hamburg, Hildesheim and Leipzig. Like his colleagues in the Registry, Rebholz has solid, long-standing and proven in practice experience in restructuring and receivership proceedings of any size.

More information:

Information regarding transition period for CTLS aircrafts under Permit to Fly

Flight Design released important Statement concerning extension of transition period for CTLS aircrafts under Permit to Fly. This Statement is intended to provide important information regarding new final date of transition period.

Click to download PtF period extension Statement  

Flight Design in the Spotlight at AirVenture 2015

         Flight Design experienced excellent response during the annual Oshkosh AirVenture event in Oshkosh Wisconsin, in the heartland of the USA. This year’s event featured record attendance of people and airplane (550,000 and over 10,000 respectively). Attendance at our booths 83-86 for visitors started on Monday and grew daily and was strong until the last day of event on Sunday July 26th.
        This year on Flight Design`s display were the most popular fuel-injected CTLSi models kindly provided by Light Sport Aviation of Daytona, Florida and Mr. and Mrs. Gary Lavy of New Carlisle, Ohio.  A CTLS SkyView was provided Steven Blough of Apex, NC. The planes were under Flight Designs Sun Shade system which makes standing for hours in the sun answering questions much more tolerable! Thank you to those who brought their planes to the show.
           The full scale interior mock-up of the currently-in-development four-seat Flight Design C4 was presented at the entrance along with a Continental IO-360AF (Alternate fuels) display engine provided by Continental Aero engines.  A video featuring the test flights of the C4 proof of concept prototype and the new C4 interior design concepts and a Safety Box graphic display rounded out the tent display. The video is available on the website.   
       The Flight Design press conference on Tuesday the 21st was as usual well attended by the worlds aviation media and mainly devoted to the latest progress of the new C4 four-seat General Aviation aircraft which made it`s first flight right before AERO earlier in the year. The media was updated about progress on the C4 test program and conforming design work aimed to achieve EASA certification in mid-2016.
      Oliver Reinhardt, Flight Design Head of Airworthiness informed the media about the development of the innovative “Safety Box” cabin safety system being developed by Industry, Academia and German Ministry of Economic Affairs. Flight Design CEO Matthias Betsch discussed the progress made on the U.S. FAA Part 23 re-write, positive changes to CS-23 and the coordination and contribution of worldwide Civil Aviation Authorities to the mutual airworthiness standards of the FAA and EASA.
        Tom Peghiny, President of Flight Design USA, Flight Design has reported about the success of the of the AeroJones Aviation CTLS production facility in Xiamen, China recently audited and certified by CAAC. Plans showing the giant new AeroJones production facility in  the city of Changzhou for the CTLS and C4 were displayed for the first time.  Tom also spoke about the success of the current CTLSi and Law Enforcement CTLE products in the USA and new products offered by Flight Design OEM partners.
     Later in the week, a visit was made to the booth by the FAA staff and administrator Mr. Michael Huerta as part of Technology Tour of manufacturers presenting at Airventure. Both Matthias Betsch and Oliver Reinhardt spoke about cooperation between the FAA and EASA on light aircraft certification standards.  A video interview by the FAA of Matthias and Oliver was done the next day to follow up on the cooperation theme and what they see as the future of Light Aircraft development and certification. AirVenture 2015 was again a great success and we are grateful for the opportunity to show the continued growth for the LSA market internationally and for Flight Design.

C4 Progress Report III

       Many new things have been going on with the C4 program recently and we thought it would be an appropriate time to bring you up to speed. As most of you know, The Flight Design C4, the new advanced four-place GA aircraft, achieved its first flight on April 9th 2015 at Kamenz airfield (EDCM) in Kamenz, Germany.  The successful test flight was performed by Damian Hischier an FAA and EASA approved test pilot living in Switzerland.

    The flight lasted one hour and the C4 was tested for basic handling, longitudinal trim, spiral stability in 20 and 30 degree banks, approach to stall and practice go–arounds. The primary engine operating parameters were also confirmed.  The test flight was performed in a special test area at an altitude of 5500 Ft. MSL.

   The process for flights by a non-certified aircraft in Europe is different than in the U.S. The plane is issued a “Permit to Fly” under a process involving EASA and the local CAA, in this case the German LBA. In meetings with EASA managers the basic design is reviewed, the load tests and aerodynamic calculations are verified and the flight-conditions for the test plan are approved.

Prior to the first flight, the C4 passed numerous ground tests including control stiffness tests, a ground vibration test from an independent engineering firm and a powerplant installation audit by a Continental Motors engineering representative.

    Since the first flight, additional flight tests have been performed to open up the weight and center of gravity envelope to establish a baseline stall speed at gross weight and the most forward center of gravity for stall speed determination. The C4 has now flown at 2640 Lbs. (1300 Kg) and shown a stall speed of less than 54 kts. The rate of climb has been demonstrated to be in excess of 950 FPM at gross weight and a cruise speed can now be projected of 145 Kts. The airplane is still in very basic condition aerodynamically (no fairings, rough wing profile) and as such the top and cruise speed can only be projected at this time. Upcoming tests are planned during the next few months to further open up the center of gravity envelope aft, more stability tests and more detailed performance testing.

A photo Essay of the C4 first flight Day 4-9-15 By Tom Peghiny Flight Design USA               
FD Engineer Robert Adam conducts the pre-flight briefing ​    Damian Hischier heads for the test hangar  after the briefing
 After a very careful pre-flight, the first flight  process begins     Seat belts, check. Quick-egress door, check 

Taxing out to the departure end of runway 21  at Kamenz          The C4 climbing out over the German countryside

                       30degree banks were spirally neutral as expected                 Looking good EZFD, how about a formation break?          
                    See you on the ground!                                         Back in the hangar for disassembly for the Aero Expo
                      The Continental IO-360AF FAA Type Certified
    Continental Motors announced in early 2015 that the IO-360-AF (alternative fuel) engine model received type certification from the FAA. The 6-cylinder IO-360-AF is certified for standard 100LL as well as unleaded 91UL avgas, which is widely available in Europe. The IO-360-AF is the first in its class to be certified for alternative fuels benefitting certain markets where 100LL avgas is very expensive.
     Beyond the alternative fuel advantage, the IO-360 series has an excellent reputation for reliability, long life and smooth operation.  It is the lightest of all Continental’s six-cylinder aircraft power plants making it a perfect solution for the new Flight Design C4. The IO-360-AF engine family offers a maximum power output of 195 horsepower at 2800 RPM, a 2200 hour Time Between Overhaul (TBO) and is backed by Continental’s industry leading warranty and service support. Flight Design will use the IO-360-AF engine de-rated to 180 horsepower as required for the C4, producing power at a reduced 2550 RPM, resulting in quieter operation.
     “Our engineering team has worked diligently to move the IO-360-AF from opportunity to reality; and we are very excited to have it certified, meeting the needs of our customers,” stated Rhett Ross, Vice President, AVIC International and Director, Continental Motors Group.  “The IO-360-AF is a nice addition to our fuels capabilities and further demonstrates our ongoing commitment to advancing technology” continued Ross.

Safety Box Program Update

       Additional development work involving the C4 is continuing on the advanced occupant protection research and testing called the “Safety Box”. The German Ministry of Economic Affairs granted funding for the research project that aims at development of a modular “Safety Box” cabin safety system for light aircraft. The new system provides a safety cage around the occupants of an aircraft that builds upon several concepts, such as intelligently designed and located crash absorbing components, a stiff cabin structure with dedicated load paths for the majority of high load cases, advanced seat installation and restraint systems. In addition, the Safety Box team is working to integrate improved ergonomic cabin designs and enhanced fire protection concepts. Some of the concepts put forward for the C4 project are displayed below. Please note that these images shown are concepts only and cannot be considered as final specifications.
C4 Conforming Design Work Continues
    Design work continues by the staff of Flight Design engineering to complete the design of the conforming C4 with the expectation to achieve EASA certification in mid-2016. A conforming model of an aircraft is one that is used to show compliance to EASA or the FAA. Expert consultants from Germany and the USA have been participating in the design review process to optimize the C4 design for performance, stability and control.
    Work on production specification molds has begun at Flight Design’s facility using an in-house 5-axis CAM machining center. Going directly from CAD design to CAM machining is the most up-to-date method to ensure high fidelity of the final parts to the drawings. The result are parts that achieve better fit and conformity which can reduce airframe weight and cost through a reduction in composite fillers as a part of airframe finish.
C4 Production Facilities Expand
     In addition to the facilities in Kamenz Germany and Kherson Ukraine, Flight Design has partnered with Taiwan based GSEO to help create AeroJones Aviation in Xiamen, China. AeroJones will be building complete CTLS and C4 aircraft from their facility there. Flight Design has shipped complete mold sets and has been training AeroJones staff composite construction techniques. Parent GSEO has been working in Xiamen since 1992 and has significant experience with commercial production and quality control. Aircraft produced in Xiamen will be delivered to customers in China and the Asian pacific region.   In late March 2015, Flight Design was pleased to announce that a second full-scale production facility for the CTLS series has completed a full manufacturing evaluation before starting serial production of the popular LSA for the Asia region. Flight Design GmbH CEO Matthias Betsch, Director Christian Wenger, and Flight Design USA President Tom Peghiny went to Xiamen, China to witness the completion of the first conforming CTLS by AeroJones. The German and American team toured the AeroJones facility in Xiamen, located directly across the sea from Taiwan. At AeroJones, all materials are identical to those used by Flight Design production facilities in Europe. AeroJones demonstrated it is a fully competent manufacturer of the LSA airplane with all manufacturing processes except for heat treating and plating done in house. All welding, laser and high-pressure water cutting is done in house at AeroJones.      AeroJones parent company GSEO, although a Taiwanese company, has worked in China for 20 years building high-tech optical products. GSEO President Jones Chen brought his personal experience and his passion for aviation into AeroJones.

      In cooperation with the province of Jiangsu, AeroJones is breaking ground on a 250,000 square foot, brand-new production facility based in the city of Changzhou. AeroJones will produce airframes for the Light-Sport CTLS as well as Flight Design’s certified four-seat C4.

  Test Pilot Damian Hischier                                                                                         

     Damian did the certification flight testing for the EASA certified version of the CTLS and is a graduate of the National Test Pilot School (NPTS) located at Mojave, CA. USA. Damian is an accomplished engineer, project manager and test pilot. He has experience with experimental and certification flight tests on Part 25, Part 23, LSA and Experimental aircraft. He holds an EASA Category 1 Flight Test Rating, an EASA Class 1 Medical (FAA equivalent) is a current ATPL, has flown 102 aircraft types. In addition he is a Bachelor of Information Sciences and Software Engineering and has provided technical expertise related to flight test and aircraft operational issues in support of design development activities. In addition to Flight Test duties for Flight Design GmbH., Damian works with other light aviation companies including, Stemme and Aquila.

Thank you for your continued interest in the C4. With the first flight of the C4 proof-of-concept, we are excited to be able to stay in communication with all interested C4 customers. We will continue to print new information about the program as it becomes available.

Flight Design Success in Public Service

    While its aircraft have become well known to pilots in the USA and worldwide, a quiet corner of the manufacturing business has been growing. Recently, Flight Design USA reported another delivery of its “Law Enforcement” version of the fuel-injected CTLS, or CTLEi model, that is fitted with high-definition cameras and an in-flight-adjustable flood light. 

  Roger Crow, founder of Echo Flight Resources, LLC, has labored hard to refine the public-use Light-Sport Aircraft he represents on behalf of Flight Design USA.  “The integration of the public-use equipment payload for King’s County, California Sheriff’s Department turned out better than any of us would have imagined,” said Crow. “It is something we can all be proud of.”

    “I have been working with Kings County Sheriff Deputy, Jerry Hunter, for more than two years to secure the purchase arrangements,” reported Crow. “A great deal of time involved confirming numerous details with the County’s Board of Supervisors plus gaining approval from their Legal and Finance offices.” Crow noted that more than a dozen individuals must sign-off on these contacts and purchase agreements before the deal may be allowed to proceed to the final sale.

  Despite the long journey, Crow added, “An acceptance team from the Kings County Sheriff’s Department recently completed their inspection and received training on the law enforcement payload systems.” Department pilots also received three hours of CTLEi familiarization flight training. For more information:

In a related success, Crow also reported, “A Purchase Agreement was signed for Tulare County, California to acquire their second CTLE, which will now be a CTLEi, reflecting use of the fuel-injected Rotax 912 iS engine. The agreement is expected to be presented to the Tulare County’s Board of Supervisors for approval during their county acquisition session earlier in 2015. The county has been operating a CTLE successfully for more than two years.

     “In the highly-specialized field of public-use aircraft, we are very pleased have the expertise of Roger Crow,” said Tom Peghiny, president of Flight Design USA. “Naturally, we are interested to sell airplanes for such practical purposes as this but engaging in the process requires someone who knows the procedures, language, and proper use of the equipment. Roger Crow fills that role perfectly.”

    In the central U.S., Crow and Flight Design USA coordinate with their distributor Airtime Aviation, perhaps the nation’s top seller of light aircraft. Airtime is located nearby in Tulsa, Oklahoma and has been very active since the start of Light-Sport Aircraft. FMI:


Flight Design Completed First Flight of New C4

    Last fall, Flight Design GmbH, manufacturer of the popular CT-series of Light-Sport Aircraft, promised to fly its new, certified four seater called C4 by the opening of the Aero Friedrichshafen show. On Friday, April 9th, the development team achieved their goal. The weekend was spent reviewing initial results (see below) and preparing to set up at the event that start April 15th.

   “The C4 really performed as expected,” reported Tom Peghiny, President of Flight Design USA, importer of the German company’s products and test flight director for the C4 development. Peghiny flew alongside the C4 non-conforming prototype. “It appeared and test pilot Damian Hischier confirmed that the C4 is stable about all axes.”
Hischier also reported, “The spiral stability of C4 is good and its directional stability is good.” While noting that engine operating temperatures were acceptable he acknowledged that further work may be necessary for operations in the hottest climates. “But don’t change a thing aerodynamically,” Hischier enthused! Engine temperatures will be remedied primarily with cowl changes focused on cooling, yet Flight Design is pleased with the Continental IO-360-AF engine that performed very well.
    “Flight Design engineers can work on reducing some friction in the controls,” Hischier noted, “but leave the rest alone.” Most prototype airplanes go through refinements after the initial flight verifications even while most of the group working to achieve the first flight were pleased that the new airplane performed so well. “We observed the C4 accelerate away from the C-172 chase plane during simulated approaches to landing and in simulated go-arounds,” commented Peghiny, observing from the Cessna. “I could also see that during the 30 degree bank turns the test pilot needed no control correction and he reported that pitch forces were light,” added Peghiny. “The plane appeared to be on rails, it looked very stable. Damian said he was comfortable getting close to us for the photos and videos shot during the maiden flight.” On board avionics are supplied by Garmin with the C3X Touch augmented with TSO analog instruments. Garmin has become a vital partner to Flight Design as C4 moves forward.
 “Very few first flights proceed through the entire test card,” explained flight director Peghiny. “Yet we completed all of the points permitted under the EASA-established Flight Conditions as specified in our initial Permit to Fly authorization.” “We are all exceedingly pleased to have reached this benchmark as forecast a few months back,” said Christian Wenger, a Flight Design corporate board member and procurement manager for the German manufacturer. “This is going to make for a very enjoyable show for us.” Wenger spoke to early arriving media reporters as he lead the team positioning the test article C4 at the front of the company’s display in Hall B-1 of the Aero Friedrichshafen show. “Our whole team put in long hours and formed a cohesive team as they rallied behind the C4 first flight effort,” said Matthias Betsch, CEO of Flight Design. “All team members are very pleased with the results of the development effort.” Flight Design has been at work on the C4 project since 2011. “In coming days and weeks, we will add more details about this project,” added Betsch. “For now, part of our team is working to prepare the C4 for display at Aero while engineers like Technical Director Oliver Reinhardt remain at headquarters preparing the next steps in the development project. “We will release more data and will provide more detail on the C4 development schedule after we get through Aero and Sun ‘n Fun,” Peghiny said. The two important airshows, one in Europe and one in the USA, run nearly back to back starting Wednesday April 15th, 2015. “Meanwhile, we are very pleased to show the actual plane at Aero.” The prototype will immediately continue development flight evaluations and will not be seen in the USA until later this year.
Preliminary flight data follows…

C4 to Start Final Tests with Continental Motors

       Continental Motors recently announced FAA Type Certification of its new alternative fuel powerplant, IO-360-AF. This success encouraged Flight Design to move its test article C4 from the fabrication plant to its German headquarters in Kamenz where it will undergo final tests leading to first flight of the new design.

       Flight Design’s senior engineering staff is based in Kamenz, Germany lead by Technical Director Oliver Reinhardt and C4 Project Lead Engineer Artem Izokh. Along with technicians, the engineers will launch final evaluations including a ground vibration test. This method, commonly used by sailplane manufacturers who were early to embrace composite structures, allows verification of characteristics like control surface stability. Following the ground vibration tests and final preparations, Flight Design will proceed with initial flight tests.

  Continental Motors’ IO-360-AF is the first in its class to be certified for alternative fuels, which will add flexibility for customers of Flight Design. In addition to widely available 100LL avgas, C4 owners will be able to use 91UL avgas that may offer a lower price.
  The Mobile, Alabama company’s IO-360 series is also the lightest of all Continental’s six-cylinder aircraft powerplants, which makes it a perfect solution for Flight Design’s C4 that extensively uses carbon fiber to reduce structural weight while increasing useful load and payload.
   Flight Design will run the IO-360-AF engine at a maximum power output of 180 horsepower at 2550 RPM to permit quieter operation as needed to meet international noise standards. The newly certified powerplant boasts 2,200 hours Time Between Overhaul or TBO. 
  “We are very pleased with the close cooperation we have received from Continental Motors on the C4 project,” said Matthias Betsch, CEO of Flight Design GmbH. “The engine manufacturer has shown great care with our engineers for the C4 design, including a IO-360-AF training course at their headquarters in Mobile.
  “We are excited Flight Design selected Continental Motors to power their newest aircraft,” said Rhett Ross, Vice President, AVIC International Holding Corporation; Director; Continental Motors Group, Ltd.; President, Continental Motors, Inc. and Continental Motors Services, Inc. “This further demonstrates Continental’s reputation for delivering innovative products that are backed by an experienced staff and a 100-year history.”