Composite aircraft has helped Flight Design to dominate the Light Sport Aircraft market, and customers who prefer aluminum airframes can now fly the new Flight Design CTMC, for Metal Concept.

"Whatever you believe, whichever is best, why should I try to tell you something different?" asks CEO Matthias Betsch.

The CTLS carried the German company to the top of the young American LSA market, and in January they debuted their CTLS to expand sales to flight schools. "This won't be as fast as the LS," Betsch explains, "But that's not what we're looking for." That drop by 10 knots to 115 comes along with sturdier landing gear, more cabin space, wider wings and reduced drag from a reshaped fuselage and double winglets. Airflow to the stabilizer is cleaner than the earlier models, and when the aluminum gets damaged it could be easier for some customers to repair.

 Flight Design CTMC

James Scheibner distributes Flight Design's aircraft in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio and says some customers do shy away from composites. "It was a call from the traditional schools, people who are not ready for composites," he says. "This is maybe a bit more of a docile airplane, but also more rugged."

The controls and panel are identical with the CTSW, Betsch adds. The construction is at the same facility in the Ukraine as the other two, with the same designers and engineers. All three have recovery parachutes.

Development matured over 36 months, but the decision to produce it first came three years ago. "We slowed it a little bit," Betsch says, "We wanted to see the development of the LSA market, and where the requests of the customers are."

Source: Flight International