Since it's introduction into the lightsport aircraft market in the U.S. the
CT by Flight Designs has garnered an impressive market share. One of the
reasons is that it has listened to customer input, and reacted to it in
a positive way.
The original design was introduced as the CT, which
featured a long wing. The next model was called the CTSW, with the SW
standing for short wing. The design change was introduced after feedback
from pilots who were finding the plane floated more than expected when
landing. The short wing also provide a higher cruise speed at lower rpm
This year at the U.S. Sport Aviation Exposition, Flight Design CT's
U.S. importer, Tom Peghiny introduced the latest version the CTLS. The
CTLS is a completely revamped aircraft from nose to tail. Again working
from customer feedback the design team at Flight Designs set about to
design a plane specifically for the U.S. light sport aircraft market.
One of the first noticeable changes is a massive new energy absorbing
landing gear system which gives a high level of dampening to reduce
rebound after touchdown.
The CTLS fuselage has been lengthened 14 inches between the wing and
tail for better yaw and pitch stability. This also "flattens" the way
the plane lands. The horizontal stabilizer has new gearing for better
Winglets have been added to the end of the wings which have improved
the low speed roll rate. These also used as vents for the fuel tanks.
The interior area behind the seats has been modified with the upper
bulkhead folded back to give a storage area for hats, jackets, purses
etc. This modification also allows for the seats to be moved farther
back to accommodate larger pilots. For shorter pilots the seats are now
able to move another 1 1/2 forward from previous models.
The CTLS also features the new Rotax air induction box, with the air
filter relocated for easier maintenance. The relocation of the air
filter has also lead to a decrease in cabin noise.
For better engine warm up and performance the CTLS is now being
supplied with both an oil and coolant thermostat as standard equipment.
Other standard features include the dual Dynon glass panels, a Garmin
496, strobes, ELT, BRS parachute, stereo intercom, to name a few of the
According to Peghiny the factory, dealers, and distributors are going
to be relentless in supplying the customer exactly what they want. "The
investment in design, certification and retooling for the CTLS in
probably over a million dollars."
Currently 8 distribution centers in the U.S. are qualified under the
Flight Design quality control plan, to receive containers with multiple
airplanes, and prep them for delivery. In addition to this they also
have another 20 sales and service outlets in the U.S.
Flight Designs has been working with the Aero Technical Institute in
Sebring Florida with a group of 35 A&P mechanics who are now
specifically trained to do work on the CT line of light sport aircraft.
Another factor contributing to the Flight Design CT holding the
majority share of sales in the lightsport aircraft market is that they
have aircraft in stock in the U.S. for delivery to customers. Even the
new CTLS model will start being delivered to customers by the end
of February 2008.