Since the beginning of Light-Sport Aircraft in 2004, one company and one model series lead the sales charts for nearly every year. Flight Design's CT-series proved itself among pilots as the most popular model in the USA. Some 2,000 of this ever-evolving design are flying worldwide.
Using its inspired design, CT presents a unique shape featuring a protective "safety cell" cabin. Its smooth exterior finish allows the model to hit the LSA speed limit of 120 knots. Yet CT — now in its current CTLSi configuration — can also cruise with 75% power at a respectable 112 knots (129 mph) while sipping less than 4.0 gallons per hour from its large 34 gallon fuel tanks. That translates to a non-stop flight over 1,000 miles!
Learn more about F2 and the F-series from Flight Design in this article.
CT boasts a great glide angle yet it slows well for landings with full flap stalls at only 39 knots. Takeoff requires only 300 feet of ground roll and climb reaches 1,000 fpm. The new CTLSi has electric flaps (-6 to +40 degrees), three-axis trim, cabin heat, and more. Occupants have 49 inches of width; space in the cockpit for items needed in flight, and can each carry 55 pounds of luggage, easily accessed through dual exterior doors.
Loaded with extras that cost more on other designs, CTLS comes equipped with a BRS High-Speed 1350 emergency airframe parachute. Additionally, all CTLS or CTLSi aircraft come standard with dual Dynon or Garmin electronic flight info systems (EFIS) and engine monitoring system (EMS) screens. You can also order an autopilot and additional avionics to make long cross-country flights a breeze.
To better suit American pilots, Flight Design introduced the nose-to-tail-new CTLS that is sold fully loaded with only a few options available. The fuel-injected CTLSi came after Rotax released their 912iS engine. The company reorganized in 2016 and is now prepared for its next generation of success.
As proof of its design capabilities and manufacturing prowess, the German company has also designed and continues work on a four seat model called F4. No wonder CTLS remains one of the most desired aircraft in the LSA fleet.
"Flight Design general aviation" is the refreshed name for the German headquarters company producing one of the best-selling light aircraft in the world.
Phone: (860) 963-7272South Woodstock, CT 06267
Two wildly divergent events occurred in the last few days. They are completely unrelated yet they show the global interplay in modern light aviation.
Rather loudly and persistently I beat the drum about “affordable aircraft,” but readers also enjoy learning about other aircraft.
The last airshow of 2021 is over. The Christmas holidays are beginning to dominate everyone’s calendar.
Splog: AirVenture Aftermath: Light Aircraft Sales Are Strong — FAA Listens but Major Problems Persist
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2021 is one for the history books. Initial reporting from the big member organization suggests 2021 was a return to normal attendance and exhibitors were not far behind.
As you readers must know, I prefer to focus mainly on the airplanes, on light aircraft.
Taking a welcome break from FAA news, let’s check out our favorite topic: cool new airplanes.
Recently I interacted with a reader, someone considering a light aircraft for purchase.
➡️ Update 11/3/20 — A new video interview with Flight Design USA importer Tom Peghiny appears at the bottom of this article.
I hope you can attend 2020’s Midwest LSA Expo — the last airshow in 2020.
Although a mirror reflection of the greater global economy, many pilots are stunned that airshow after airshow has fallen to the virus.
Splog: Back to the Future… Let’s Go to Oshkosh (OK, from last year) for a Full Tour of Light Aircraft
It’s almost July and any active pilot knows what that means: Oshkosh!
While I continue to worry about the cash crunch faced by two of my favorite shows, I am still driven to provide content as if those shows had occurred this year and not been postponed to 2021.
As everyone on the planet knows by now, aviation has nary an airshow in sight.
How does one LSA brand rise and stay above others?
Many reasons can be introduced; all possibly valid.
What a great day to start off the Midwest LSA Expo!
Splog: Charging Back into the Lead — Flight Design ga’s F2 and F2e Light-Sport Aircraft (Gasoline or Electric)
Once upon a time in the then-new world of Light-Sport Aircraft Flight Design lead the pack for airplanes delivered and registered.
A funny thing happened on our way to quarterly reporting of LSA and Sport Pilot kit market shares.
Splog: Aero Friedrichshafen Day 1 Aircraft Highlights: Zlin Ultra 915, Flight Design F-Series, Belmont
Jetting straight from Sun ‘n Fun, we were able to arrive at Aero Friedrichshafen by noon on opening day.
At a major show in China called Zhuhai visitors saw something: a new 6-axis LSA flight simulator.
As a new season of flying is upon us (even while northern pilots may still be still shoveling snow), one company continues their vigorous comeback.
At the season ending DeLand Showcase show, Flight Design was ably represented by John Hurst.
Besides LSA seaplanes, one area of furious development (and sales) is gyroplanes, the term modern industry prefers to “gyrocopter,” which was actually a branded name used since the days of Igor Benson.
For most years of Light-Sport Aircraft one aircraft model convincingly lead the parade.
Two years ago, Flight Design was the number one producer of Light-Sport Aircraft in the USA backed by strong sales in other countries.
In December 2017, South Korea’s Vessel Co. won what was described as “safety certification” from the Transport Ministry for their new two-seat light aircraft called KLA-100.
Sometimes I am told I have the best job in the world.
When Rotax moved their 912 iS Sport project from engineering to production, the big Austrian engine manufacturer elevated their already-immensely-popular 9-series engines to a higher level.
My video partner must be working around the clock as he prepared a blizzard of videos for release starting November 1st.
Given a successful Midwest LSA Expo, you could say the “LSA show season” is underway.
A good friend in aviation journalism and Editor-in-Chief of Plane & Pilot magazine is Robert Goyer.
After more than a year, a resolution was reached for the airplane that topped the charts in the LSA space since Day One.
Video review: Flight Design — CTLS (Illinois dealer-0414)
At the Midwest LSA Expo, we had a chance to speak with one of market leader Flight Design’s midwestern dealer, Tom Baker.
Video review: FlyCool Air Conditioning — in Flight Design CTLS
We’ve seen AMT’s FlyCool light weight, low power draw air conditioning system before in other Light-Sport Aircraft but it had not yet been done in the CTLS.
Video review: Flight Design — CTLS in Flight School Use
At Sebring 2013, we made the rounds speaking to sellers of various Light-Sport Aircraft.
Video review: Flight Design — CTLE (Law Enforcement)
Perhaps it’s to be expected that the leading seller of Light-Sport Aircraft in the USA has now entered the public service aviation market with their CTLE, the “LE” standing for Law Enforcement.
Video review: Flight Design — MC (2011)
Flight Design has lead the Light-Sport Aircraft market since Day One, selling variations of its all-carbon fiber CT series including the present-day CTLS.
Video review: Flight Design — CTLS Floatplane
If you’ve tried flying with floats (or in a boat-hulled aircraft) you already know the appeal.
Video review: Flight Design — CTLS
The leading seller of Light-Sport Aircraft is Flight Design and CTLS is their third-generation of the popular CT series.
Video review: Dynon Avionics — SkyView 10-inch
Dynon Avionics has arguably become the largest supplier of LSA avionics in the form of computer screen displays of engine monitoring and flight instruments.
Video review: 5 LSA Brands — High Wing Composite
At the Midwest LSA Expo 2010, we started something new using multiple aircraft and offering their differences and similarities.
Video review: Flight Design — CTsw
While Flight Design has released two newer models (the CTLS and all-metal MC), it was the CTsw that helped the German Flight Design company continue to be the market leader, even after four years and nearly 100 new models followed the CT series into the American market.
HYPOTHETICAL SCENARIO — You crash landed your airplane at an airport.
Breaking News … Recently Flight Design in Germany sent a letter to their dealers including this statement, “We have applied for a planned receivership which allows for reorganization of the company.” What does this mean?
Aero 2015 is open! The halls are full of shiny airplanes displayed with the usual European sense of style and panache.
Much of what we hear and know about airplane populations is centered on America.
For more than 100 years, cars have had accidents and if they were severe enough, the results were poor (photo).
Something of a stealth invasion is beginning. I refer to an emerging flock of four seat Light-Sport Aircraft.
Festivals of Speed is not your “everyman” show tour. Aimed at wealthy folks, Joe Sabatini’s FoS extravaganza is quite different than the usual airshow fare.
Across the northern U.S. states and across much of Europe it was a lousy, cold, snowy winter.
Patty Wagstaff and LSA? This week brings the start of the Sebring U.S.
After flying more than 350 different aircraft models, I became rather adept at what some pilots call “stick wiggling.” The reference is for all the actions you take to physically fly the plane.
Splog: CTLSi, as in *sigh*
Yes, as the pics show, I did indeed take advantage of a rare, calm, beautiful, warm (for winter) day in New England to drive over to Tom Peghiny‘s Flight Design USA and take my first hop in a fuel-injected Rotax-powered LSA: the new CTLSi.
The first iLSA are flying in the USA. Springboarding from Apple’s famous iDevices, why not iLSA?
Good to Go in China Things are happening in China. “So, what’s new,” you say?
My European associate and friend, Jan Fridrich, coined a phrase a few years ago: “Global LSA,” he said, meaning the ASTM standards set could be used in any country and thereby create a worldwide market for recreational aircraft.
Anyone who has tried to borrow money in the last five years knows how tough it has become.
Flight Design of Germany — in cooperation with U.S importer Flight Design USA — just signed an agreement with emergency parachute maker, BRS, to provide the 1350 LSA ballistic system on all CT aircraft sold in the USA.
Video info and entertainment is burgeoning these days. YouTube has become one of most-visited Internet websites; you can watch videos on subjects of every conceivable description (plus many you could not have conceived).
Since the beginning of LSA time, way back in 2005 (when the first LSA was approved), LSA have arrived on American shores from overseas factories.
Light-Sport Aircraft can be working aircraft (think: flight instruction and rental, each potentially a commercial activity) but read about this new twist.
Update 9/24/14 — Added to the models below, South Africa’s The Airplane Factory is also offering their four seat Sling 4.
Splog: Fire Fighting LSA
The LSA movement may have struggled along with the rest of civilian aviation over the last three years.
Splog: Big View Flying
The folks at the CT Flier Forum kick off their 4th Annual CT Fly-in this coming Oct.
Flight Design has maintained their substantial lead in market share partly through a strategy of steady innovation.
Splog: CT Hauls Ash
Here’s a hot item that should shake the dust off the notion that LSA are little toy airplanes.
Splog: The Mid-Year View
Two Swiss pilots embarked on a round-the-world flight on April 30 and 51 days later they are back home in Switzerland.
As they connect the dots of their plan to circumnavigate the world in celebration of 100 years of aviation in Switzerland, Yannick Bovier and Francisco Agullo have now spanned one immense body of water.
Way back near the dawn of Light-Sport Aircraft… in 2007, two Indian military pilots flew a CT around the world to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Indian Air Force.
After a tough winter in most parts of the USA, spring evidently arrived early with 80-degree temperatures as far north as Minnesota… all before Sun ‘n Fun.
I was lucky enough to get Matthias Betsch, Flight Design’s CEO, all to myself for a few minutes and here’s what he had to say: *** General update: “A hard year but better than we expected.
Much has been written about Cessna’s Skycatcher incidents, those spin investigations that caused the loss of one airplane and a parachute deployment from another.
Splog: Flight Design Out West
If you study FAA’s registration database as I do, you’ll quickly discover that Flight Design and its various CT models have a strong presence in the USA (the world for that matter, with 1,500 flying, according to the company).
Word of a few interesting developments arrived in my inbox, bringing with them new questions.
Pilot report: Redesigned Flight Design CTLS
All photos by EAA Chief Photographer, Jim Koepnick
This article appears on ByDanJohnson.com thanks to permission granted by EAA and the willingness of author, Ed Downs.
Pilot report: SLSA Service After the Sale
Most folks have probably never heard of ASTM International document F2295, Continued
Operational Safety Monitoring of a Light-Sport Aircraft.
Viewed from the LSA Mall, AirVenture 2009 was much more than the summer’s big celebration of flight.
Sales are subdued all over aviation but it isn’t stopping the top performers in the Light-Sport Aircraft marketplace.
We continue to see the effects of the last year of economic turmoil in Light-Sport Aircraft market shares.
With one month to go (and it’s hard to imagine a big December), we have figures to report for this most extraordinary year.
These days, “oversight” is a heavily used word on national media.
Earlier it appeared that the Flight Design MC would be the first Light-Sport Aircraft ever displayed at the giant National Business Aircraft Association show.
Lots more fun than a military build-up but bearing some resemblance, companies across the USA are preparing for Sun ‘n Fun starting Tuesday the 4th.
OSHKOSH UPDATE — At a ceremony on EAA AirVenture’s show-center location, AeroShell Square, Flight Design unveiled another new LSA, their second of 2008, the first being the CTLS which debuted at Sebring in January.
Amid furious preparations for Oshkosh, CAFE Foundation, the efficiency folks, announced teams that will vie for a second year of prizes.
I can identify four factors in the economy presently affecting airplane sales: Potential customers (often with plenty of assets or creditworthiness) see the value of their stock portfolio going up and down like a roller coaster; worry over their once-soaring real estate, now down markedly in some areas; witness the continuing rise of the euro-dollar exchange rate, bringing much higher prices for many LSA; and, fret over a climate of political uncertainty during another election cycle.
Lots of folks are wondering about, or complaining about, the seemingly high prices of Light-Sport Aircraft.
Flight Design leads the LSA flock maintaining a market share of more than 20% since the start of SLSA certifications almost three years ago.
Most pilots know AOPA, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, has been fighting the user fee battle…and they’ve been doing well resisting the might of the U.S.
Odds are you’ve heard of LAMA, the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association, founded in the earliest days of ultralights and gaining renewed importance in this era of Light-Sport Aircraft.
Within 24 hours of getting home from Sun ‘n Fun, several industry leaders including Evektor America’s Jeff Conrad, Flight Design USA’s Tom Peghiny, Jabiru USA’s Ed Ricks, and BRS parachute’s Gregg Ellsworth packed up and headed off to California.
In a year of facilitating independent audits for Special Light-Sport Aircraft, LAMA, the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association, completed reviews of six companies: IndUS (Thorpedo); Jihlavan (Kappa KP-5); Aeropro (EuroFox); Flight Design (CT); Czech Aircraft Works (SportCruiser, Mermaid, & Parrot); and Evektor (SportStar).
At Oshkosh I took the chance to speak with several general aviation leaders — CEOs of top general aviation companies and presidents of leading membership organizations.
Market leader Flight Design seems hot as a pistol and appears to be validating their plan to substantially increase production.
Many other airplane categories have tried round the world flights, but it’s now been done by a Light-Sport Aircraft.
The Czech Republic featured in the last few SPLOGs may not be well known to Americans, but Ukraine seems yet another world away.
Pilot report: CT 2006…Second Generation Light-Sport Aircraft
In the 15 months since the first two special light-sport aircraft (S-LSA) were introduced
at the Sun ‘n Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Florida, a wave of S-LSA have taken to the
Sun ‘n Fun 2005 started off with a bang when Flightstar Sportplanes’ Tom Peghiny heard the Flight Design CT he imports was one of the first Special Light-Sport Aircraft to be given its airworthiness certificate.
Pilot report: Flight Design CT2K
A Bold Yet Efficient Euro-Designed Light-Sport Aircraft
Flightstar imports the CT2K in anticipation of the light-sport aircraft rule.
Pilot report: Composite Two-seater (CT)
In the fall of ’01, I wrote in Ultralight Flying!, “The CT is the tip of an iceberg, in my opinion.” When I flew that first CT in the USA, few Yankees had seen the aircraft.
I hope you enjoyed your Labor Day holiday. Over this long weekend Randee and I headed to Boston for the EAA Sport Pilot Tour on Sept.
Pilot report: Fixed -Wing or Flex-Wing
This month I wrote a pilot’s report about two widely different aircraft, both of which are imported by Rollison Airplane Company.