One look at Tableau Public (our tracking of all Light-Sport Aircraft and Sport Pilot kits) will show you Flight Design's CT series is the best selling LSA in the United States, with 2,000 deliveries worldwide. The aircraft has flown around the world multiple times and puts broad smiles on the faces of many pilots in the USA and overseas.
One company in particular is significantly responsible for the success of CT series in America: Airtime Aviation Inc., found easily on the web as FlyCT.com (how's that for a simple, easy to remember, and easy to type web address?). Run by the impressive father and son team of Tom (Senior) and Tom (Junior) Gutmann, Airtime Aviation has delivered more than 200 CT aircraft to customers around the United States.
Continued work with Flight Design's importer — Flight Design USA, run by Tom Peghiny — has resulted in the Gutmanns becoming as intimately aware of CT's features, equipment, maintenance, and new developments as any other business in the world. If you haven't dealt with or spoken to Tom or Tom, you can remedy that by a quick phone call (try: 918-630-5927 or 918-625-5442); you find them not only fully informed about all things Flight Design and CT but you will enjoy the experience. These two men are as enthusiastic as anyone you will ever meet. Ask any of their many customers and you'll get lots of confirmation.
Magnificent Men and Their Flying Machines
Flight Design's CT-series proved itself as a superior performer with a huge, comfortable cabin, lots of safety features, range beyond the horizon, and a beautiful finish to its all-carbon fiber airframe. No wonder 2,000 of this brilliant design are flying worldwide.
Safety First — CT presents a unique shape featuring a protective "safety cell" cabin. In the automotive world, this is described as "crush zone engineering." It means forces of an impact are directed around the occupants to protect them; seemingly simple, but highly effective. In addition, every CT-series model comes equipped as standard with a BRS High-Speed 1350 emergency airframe parachute designed to being down the entire aircraft, occupants and all, in the event of several kinds of airborne emergency. You'll probably never need them, but these features provide peace of mind for pilot and passenger.
Hot Performer — CT's smooth all-carbon fiber 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 of more than 1,000 statute miles!
CT boasts a great glide angle and 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 +30 degrees) and three-axis trim for elevator, ailerons, and rudder.
Superbly Equipped — Every CT is loaded with extras that cost more on other designs. CT Super and CTLS aircraft come standard with big beautiful Dynon or Garmin electronic flight info systems (EFIS) and engine monitoring system (EMS) screens that can be used in conjunction with an optional autopilot.
Comfort and Roominess — Occupants have 49 inches of width (almost a foot wider than a Cessna 172); space in the cockpit for items needed in flight; and can each carry 55 pounds of luggage, easily accessed through dual exterior doors, weight and balance permitted, of course. Air-bulb-adjustable seat backs and cushions aid human comfort as does cabin heat and plenty of fresh-air ventilation. Visibility is simply enormous and a delight to occupants, further aided by a cantilevered wing that removes side obstructions to your sight line.
See lots more about CT in the series of articles appearing below…
➡️ 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.
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.
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.
Two years ago, Flight Design was the number one producer of Light-Sport Aircraft in the USA backed by strong sales in other countries.
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.
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 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 — 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: 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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sales are subdued all over aviation but it isn’t stopping the top performers in the Light-Sport Aircraft marketplace.
These days, “oversight” is a heavily used word on national media.
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.
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.
Flight Design leads the LSA flock maintaining a market share of more than 20% since the start of SLSA certifications almost three years ago.
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.
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.
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.