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FlightDesign CT
Constructing and realization of Light Sport Aircraft
Constructing and realization of Light Sport Aircraft

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Hey! Annual major aviation event Oshkosh AirVenture has started today! Sunday 26th is the last day.
Our location is traditionally on your right as you enter the grounds from the main entrance. (Booths 83-86)
Plan to stop by and learn more about CTLS and new true four-seat C4 Prototype!
We look forward to seeing you this year in Wisconsin!

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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.  

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C4 Progress Report II
  The Flight Design C4, the advanced, four-place GA aircraft currently in development by Flight Design has seen substantial progress this Spring, culminating in exciting announcements during displays at Sun‘n Fun and Aero Friedrichshafen. 
The Flight Design Vision Touch
  At Sun‘n Fun Flight Design announced the Vision Touch Avionics suite at its annual press-conference with the complete system on display in the C4 interior mock up. The Vision Touch suite is based around the Garmin G3X Touch ® system as PFD and MFD (Primary and Multifunction Displays). The G3X Touch is a new product offering from Garmin that features both advanced synthetic vision capabilities and a choice of touch screen and conventional button/knob input as well. The inclusion of this system will give C4 owners the greater situational awareness afforded by synthetic vision and the simplicity of operation through the advanced touch screen displays. Fmi:
  The Vision Touch suite also includes other super capable equipment such as the Garmin GTN 750 Black® Nav-Com-GPS system for primary navigation and also as a touch screen input device for entering fl ight plans, either manually or with a preprogrammed fl ight plans on an SD card. The convenient positioning of the GTN 750 will allow comfortablein flight data input. Entering a flight plan will automatically populate the information up to the PFD and MFD screens. Other components include the Garmin GNC255 Nav-Com as a secondary navigation system and back up radio, the Garmin GMA350 audio panel and the Garmin GMC 305 autopilot.   To top off this impressive list are centrally located RC Allen solid-state digital Directional Gyro, Attitude indicator, full-size airspeed and altimeter.
 The Vision Touch avionics suite uses a combination of TSO’d and non-TSO’d components.    The   certification    plan    of the Vision Touch installation follows the precedence EASA had established with type-certification of our CTLS at end of 2013. The use of this system requires analysis of the airframe level architecture in a different way in the certification process than for a TSO qualified system. The system will make use of two completely independent air data sources for all functions: Total pressure, static pressure, angle of attack sensing along with separate redundant electrical busses. The resulting additional redundancy can be of a higher level than for a simple TSO qualified system.
 When flying at night or in IMC, additional precautions have to be provided. This is achieved by adding standard TSO approved instrumentation as a backup. To ensure that the TSO qualified information is available for the pilot, these instruments are located in plain sight and high up on the panel. This is the reason for the arrangement having the backup analogs in the center stack right on top. The careful choice of avionics allows for a significantly lower price point and much higher flexibility for future system enhancements and upgrades. With this selection of a major cost driver for an aircraft of this class, Flight Design has taken another major step to confirm the anticipated price tag of the C4.
The Continental IO-360

  An update from Michael Gifford of Continental Motors at Aero Friedrichshafen was that the IO-360AF  180  HP  Alternate-Fuels capable  engine is progressing towards FAA Part 33 certification, which is expected in August 2014. The IO-360AF will  be  one  of  the  standard  versions  available under the engine’s FAA type certificate. “We are very pleased with the cooperation we have gotten from Continental Motors on the C4 project”  said Flight Design President Matthias Betsch. They have been proactive in the C4 design process and we look forward to expanding our cooperation for the Diesel powered version of the C4 in the future.”
Safety  Box Program
  Another interesting development involving the C4 is the advanced occupant protection research and testing using the C4 as the first example.  This program is called the “Safety Box”.
  The Safety Box program made its public debut at the Aero Friedrichshafen convention held in April. The German Ministry of Economic Affairs granted funding for a research project that aims at development of a modular “Safety Box” cabin safety system for light aircraft. The new system will provide a safety cage around the occupants of an aircraft, whose functionality builds upon several concepts, namely intelligently designed and located crash absorbing components, a stiff cabin structure with dedicated load paths for the majority of crash scenarios, advanced seat installation and restraint systems. This is significantly supported by optimized cabin ergonomic designs and enhanced fire protection concepts.

  The concept goes significantly beyond current aircraft designs, where the certification requirements only ask for consideration of accelerations to the seat and restraint system, regardless of the capability and level of energy absorption of the surrounding fuselage cell. With the new approach selected in this research program, the Safety Box project team is optimizing the interaction of all the available elements early in the design phase of an aircraft. This will lead to a system of modular design elements that subsequently can be tailored to multiple applications in various aircraft designs. With this, the Safety Box team is leading a path that is fully in line with the intentions of the current FAA Part 23 re-write activity which is jointly driven by all major aviation authorities, aircraft industry and aircraft users.
  The Safety Box project team has selected Flight Design’s new C4 aircraft as the first aircraft for the application of the system. Development times of the Safety Box system match naturally with the development times of the C4 project. The full development will culminate in full scale testing of a completed aircraft under controlled conditions in 2015, to validate the superior suitability of the new system. The system is designed as modular system and will be offered to other aircraft manufacturers on the market, application is not limited to Flight Design products.
C4 Proof of Concept

  The C4 Proof of Concept flight test prototype is being final assembled looking towards its first flight expected this summer in Kamenz Germany. Flight Design made the decision early on to build more than one airframe for the proof of concept stage of development. This allows a higher level of structural testing of the design without the potential of damaging the flight test airframe. The proof of concept prototype will undergo numerous ground tests including ground vibration testing (GVT) from an independent consultant engineering firm.
  Flight testing of the C4 will be performed by an FAA approved Swiss 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 (NTPS) located at Mojave, CA.
C4 Conforming Model
  Design work continues with the staff of Flight Design engineers to complete the design of the conforming C4 with the expectation to achieve certification early in 2015. A conforming model of an aircraft is one that is used to show compliance to EASA or the FAA. Work on production specification molds has started and 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.
C4 Production Facilities
  Flight Design recently expanded their presence at the Kamenz airport, south of Berlin, Germany. Departments in the Kamenz facility include workshops for avionics and engine installation, composite repairs and painting, plus final assembly after receiving major components from another division outside Germany.
  The Kamenz facility takes over all responsibilities of Flight Design’s former Stuttgart center to further streamline operations, optimize costs, and reduce complexity in the manufacturing and distribution of all Flight Design aircraft.
Inside the main building referred to as “Hangar 1” the company has ample office space for the EASA Part 21J Design Organization   (including   engineering   and flight test) and EASA Part 21G Production Organization (including quality management staff and production management), for which approval is expected shortly. The upper floor on the northeast side is occupied by Finance & Administration, including a meeting room and the Directors office.
  In addition to Kamenz, Germany where final assembly and test flights of Flight Design aircraft are currently done, Flight Design is planning complete production of the aircraft in Xiamen, China and final assembly in Newport, Vermont USA.
Flight Design has partnered with Taiwan based GSEO to 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.
  Flight Design Americas will   build a final assembly facility for the C4 at Newport, Vermont.   Plans include a new 50,000 square foot assembly hall along with many new  facilities.  Newport  Vermont  is  within an  economic  development  zone  created by the State of Vermont to foster such new ventures and is well known for its proximity to the Jay Peak resort nearby. The Newport Airport is also the location for an onsite U.S. Customs and bonded warehouse facility which will greatly aid in timely importation of container shipments from the nearby port of Montreal. C4 aircraft assembled in Newport will be delivered to customers in North and South America.
   Thank you for your interest in the C4. With the first flight of the C4 proof of concept prototype anticipated this summer, 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.
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Flight Design Selects Garmin®

 At AirVenture Oshkosh 2013 Flight Design is pleased to announce the selection of Garmin avionics for its new C4 all-carbon composite four-seat light aircraft.
   “Garmin’s innovative glass cockpit avionics will enhance the capabilities and safety of the C4,” said Matthias Betsch, President and CEO of Flight Design. “The ability to offer our customers features like Angle of Attack (AoA), dual Air Data Heading Reference System (ADHRS), and an autopilot control module along with an integrated glass cockpit at a competitive price, makes the C4 an exceptional value.”
   “We are delighted to be chosen as the avionics supplier for this next generation of Flight Design aircraft,” said Carl Wolf, Garmin’s vice president of aviation sales and marketing. “We look forward to offering an integrated cockpit with features like Synthetic Vision Technology (SVT™) and an integrated autopilot with a one-touch level button to restore the aircraft to straight and level flight, to this class of aircraft.”
   The Flight Design C4 is an all carbon composite four-place light aircraft based upon the advanced design of the popular Flight Design CT series of aircraft.  Key features are the new Continental IO-360AF alternate fuels engine, conceived to “future proof” the C4, an advanced glass panel cockpit and an integrated, full airplane parachute system. Flight Design has always designed its planes for excellent cross country performance and the C4 is planned to have up to a 1,200 nautical mile range and a very high useful load of 1,320 pounds.  
   Garmin is a leading provider of avionics solutions to Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), aftermarket, military and government customers. The Garmin portfolio includes navigation, communication, flight control, hazard avoidance, surveillance, and other products and services that are known for innovation, reliability, and value.

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Whats it like to own and operate the Flight Design CTLS? Whilst in the Loop design laboratory I found a jar of extra bits from our CT test. Hear what its like to live with a LSA from Flight Design, as we chat with a couple of owners. With a few hundred hours under their belts on this model between them who better to tell you what it is actually like to own?

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Flight Design CTLS surfs the canyons of Arizona

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5th Annual USA CT Fly-In held in Page, Arizona (16 фотографій)
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