Always pushing forward with new avionics, now the ‘level button’ which is used to automatically recover the aircraft back to level flight from unusual attitudes is the next step to safer flying. In 2016 an automotive-type crash test of a full scale C4 prototype was performed. Lessons learned from that test will be applied to all future Flight Design products. “Vision Zero” is our future vision that ‘zero’ occupants should face injuries during a very serious crash. This can be achieved by a combination of passive and active safety systems. A spin resistant airplane, with a car like fuel system, airbags as a standard, better passenger restraints, pilot assistance systems and as backup to those systems, a new generation of parachute rescue systems must be developed and integrated to work together. The development and certification will take time, but we are sure that important components could be retrofitted into our existing airplanes. No later than 2025, a huge step forward for ‘Vision Zero’ should be accomplished. It is a challenge, where Flight Design will take the lead and all our customers will have the priceless advantages for them, their friends and their families. The safety of the occupants of our aircraft has always been a number one priority for Flight Design. In 1994, Flight Design, inspired by the car industry, implemented a safety cell concept into the then new CT series design.
CT Safety Cabin
The shown illustration generalizes the flow of force in the CTLS:
• Forces in an impact start from the engine area through the engine mount (1) into the strong A–pillars (2) and to the center structural tunnel (5)
• The door sills (3) are designed to transport the loads backwards and into the composite shell
• The fuselage root rib area (4) is designed as a stiff roof rail to transports the loads backwards
• The center of the cabin is stiffened with a structural tunnel (5) from the nose gear area to beyond the luggage compartment
• The cabin is closed at the end with the main bulkhead (6) that serves together with the door sill as B–pillar
• The area below the seats is reinforced with ‘Pyramids’ (7) installed to the cabin floor, supporting the seats and stiffening the floor
• The inner laminate of the cabin skin is aramid, providing protection against splintering
• The outer skin is carbon fiber providing maximum stiffness and strength
The CTLS cockpit has been designed following principles used in the passenger cabins of modern cars. Loads are transferred through the passenger area to the crush–zones at the end of the vehicle. The cabin area remains intact while the energy is absorbed in the peripheral areas. The suitability of this design has been proven in service now for 14 years. Accident history shows that the cabin provides a maximum of occupant protection.