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October 21, 2014

flying: Invasion of CTs

As a part of long-format fly-in in Page, AZ, a circus of Flight Design CTs visited Cal Black, UT (U96) on October 18. Photographed is an assembly of 6 CTSW and 5 CTLS models, 11 total.

The picture is basically what the present (or future) of personal aviation could look like if the American middle class kept their money. The increased pressure from the regulation created the LSA format: a light (600 kg gross), 2-seat airplane with a maximum speed of 120 knots. More than 100 companies threw their hats into the ring of the LSA competition, and the Flight Design emerged victorious. Their iconic product, the CT, is significantly smaller than typical "Cessna" that was the face of personal aviation in the 1980s. It is, however, much faster, burns less gas, and carries more load than Cessna 150/152, the classic 2-seater. It also includes an airframe parachute as standard equipment.

However, CT's amazing performance came at a significant price, and very few could afford it. So where Cessna sold at the order of 10,000 airplanes, Flight Design sold a 100 (current fleet in the U.S. is just above 300). Note that CT is about 1/3rd price of a new Cessna 172: $150,000 versus $450,000 in 2014. Where CT is unaffordable, the aluminum classic is downright insane (as in, you have to be clinically insane to buy one).

UPDATE: There's a video at YouTube by Loop, which focuses on CTLS and includes footage from a previous fly-in in Page.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at 05:57 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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1 For my money, I'm more interested in building an RV-7. But then, I have been fantasizing about that idea since I wanted to build an RV-6 in the 90's.

Posted by: Mauser at October 21, 2014 11:40 PM (TJ7ih)

2 I'm sure that RVs helped to blunt CT's market offensive, and now that they have a factory RV-12 S-LSA, Vans is going to be an even stronger competitor.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at October 22, 2014 10:56 AM (RqRa5)

3 The main thing getting in my way is thinking what exactly my "Mission" is, since I don't really go out much. Although I have evolved away from the RV-6 and the side by side seating since I don't think I'm going to be traveling with anyone, thus the tandem seating of the -7 is more interesting. Well, discontinuing the -6 helped that too.

And I prefer Taildraggers simply because I have the endorsement.

Posted by: Mauser at October 22, 2014 10:44 PM (TJ7ih)

4 I have been denied the 3rd class before, so I don't even want to risk it anymore. LSA/SP all the way, so no RVs except the 12.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at October 23, 2014 01:26 PM (RqRa5)

5 APOA has apparently been making some major headway in reforming the 3rd class medical (as in eliminating it).

Posted by: Mauser at October 24, 2014 02:59 AM (TJ7ih)

6 I'll belive it when I see it. AOPA has become entirely worthless and if the 3rd Class reform happens, it would not be because of those wine drinkers.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at October 24, 2014 06:58 AM (RqRa5)

7 They're all starting to get to the age where the whole 3rd class thing is threatening their ability to enjoy their Bonanzas, so I think they'll work pretty hard on it.

Posted by: Mauser at October 25, 2014 02:15 AM (TJ7ih)

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