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.
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.
First deliveries of CT aircraft started in 1997.
Since production start 1,700 CT type aircraft have been delivered with the models CT, CT2k, CTSW, CTSW2006, CTLS and CTLS HL.
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.
It takes between 10 to 12 weeks to build one complete aircraft, once all needed materials have arrived at the factory.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Please contact your local dealer to arrange a test flight.
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.
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.
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.
Our company is working exclusively via our dealers’ network worldwide. Please locate the dealer nearest to you by the following link on the website.
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.
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.
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.
Depending on local regulations and installed equipment it is possible to operate a CT under IFR in non IMC conditions.
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!
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.
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.
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.