Flight Design Team Visits Continental Motors
Light-Sport Aircraft market leader Flight Design is nearly ready to fly its new four seat C4 aircraft and in final preparation sent a team to Continental Motors manufacturing facility in Mobile, Alabama. The two companies have been working closely on the project.
The Flight Design team, led by Flight Design USA Director of Maintenance Dave Armando, was joined by Engine Group Leader, Franz Karnecki of Flight Design's base in Kamenz, Germany; C4 Project Lead Engineer Artem Izokh; and, independent consultant John Hurst.
As the engineers prepare for the upcoming first flight of the C4 proof-of-concept aircraft Flight Design's technical team attended a weeklong session covering detailed operational knowledge about the Continental IO-360-AF powerplant that has been selected for the C4. The workshop at the production headquarters for Continental Motors was led by Neal George, Sales & Service Representative for the Alabama engine designer and manufacturer.
Following a morning tour of the factory and test facilities followed by a general familiarization presentation, the team investigated deeply into crank case design, lubrication schematics, fuel system, cylinders, magnetos, and installation parameters for the IO-360-AF.
According to Michael Gifford, Director of OEM Sales and Services for Continental Motors the six cylinder 180 horsepower IO-360-AF alternate fuels engine is progressing towards FAA Part 33 certification allowing operation on unleaded fuels meeting the UL91 specification or higher. All certification work is complete and FAA approval is expected in 2014. The engine will be one of the standard versions available under the engine's FAA type certificate. The two companies are coordinating well as the Flight Design C4 prepares for first flights in the next few weeks.
"We are very pleased with the close cooperation we have received from Continental Motors on the C4 project," said Flight Design GmbH CEO, Matthias Betsch. "The engine manufacturer has worked in concert with our engineers on the C4 design and we look forward to expanding our involvement for the diesel powered version of the C4 in the future. To further enhance the collaboration, Flight Design wanted specific training for members of our technical team," continued Betsch.
The IO-360-AF engine is an exciting addition to the Continental Motors' line up of gasoline engines with its capability to operate on a range of unleaded and leaded fuels. Although the engine's flexible design allows operation at up to 210 horsepower, the IO-360-AF engine will operate at 180 horsepower at 2,650 RPM to meet the C4's needs while providing lower noise and a 2,000 hour TBO." said Rhett Ross, president of Continental Motors. "We are excited Flight Design selected Continental Motors to power their newest aircraft as we think the IO-360-AF engine is the perfect fit for the C4 and further demonstrates Continental's reputation for delivering innovative products that are backed by an experienced staff and a 100-year history," Ross went on to say.
ABOUT FLIGHT DESIGN GmbH
Flight Design is a 25-year-old manufacturer based in Germany. The company remains the worldwide Light-Sport Aircraft market leader thanks to its popular CT series of aircraft. More than 1,800 of these aircraft are flying in 39 countries. One of the first aircraft certified under ASTM International standards in 2005, the CT ("composite technology") remains the top-selling LSA in America through eight consecutive 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.
ABOUT CONTINENTAL MOTORS
Continental Motors Group, Ltd. of Hong Kong, China is a subsidiary of AVIC International Holding Corporation of Beijing, China. Its mission is to provide advanced gasoline and Jet-A piston engine products, spare parts, engine and aircraft services, avionics equipment and repairs as well as pilot training for the general aviation marketplace. Continental is an international operation employing approximately 450 team members in Mobile and Baldwin counties, Alabama, USA; 200 team members in St. Egidien, Germany; and 8 team members in Beijing, China. More information can be found at www.continentalmotors.aero.