- Aircraft History, Specification and Information -
Flight Design CTSW
Flight Design CTSW - N218DB - Light Sport Aircraft - LSA
2006 Flight Design CTSW
Light Sport Aircraft (LSA)
N218DB (sn 06-07-13)
Photo taken at Sun 'n Fun 2007
Lakeland Airport, FL USA (KLAL)
Photo © AirplaneMart.com

The Flight Design CT is a family of high-wing, tricycle undercarriage, two seat ultralight and light-sport aircraft produced by Flight Design (Flightdesign Vertrieb) of Germany. The family includes the original CT and the CT2K, CTSW, CTLS and the new MC models.

Design & Development

The aircraft are of composite construction, with carbon fiber being the primary material. This results in a very aerodynamic shape to the fuselage and very high useful loads (almost equal to the weight of the aircraft itself). The CTSW is so efficient that it needs to have the pitch of the propeller reduced significantly to stay within the 120-knot (222 km/h) maximum speed of the American Light-sport Aircraft (LSA) rules; in other countries, the CTSW has a higher cruising speed. In addition, the amount of negative (reflex) flaps is limited to -6 degrees in the US version; in other countries the flaps retract to -12 degrees in cruise, adding even more speed.

The CTSW is reported to be more challenging to fly than other LSA, owing to the higher wing loading and low drag; the low drag increases top speed, but requires additional planning in the descent. The control forces are light and, like most LSA, rudder coordination is necessary, owing to the close coupling of the tailplane. Flight Design increased the size of the tailplane and control surfaces for the 2006 model year, giving improved directional control at lower speeds and reducing the amount of rudder necessary for coordinated turns.

Although the standard and required equipment varies by country, the CTSW is available with a Ballistic Recovery Systems parachute for the airframe. The BRS can be used to lower the entire aircraft to the ground in a controlled descent in the event of major structural failure, incapacitation of the pilot, or engine failure over mountainous terrain.

Regulatory categories
The aircraft can be flown under the microlight/ultralight regulations of several countries as well as the USA FAA Light-sport Aircraft rules and the European EASA Permit to Fly rules. Both aircraft are high-wing designs using a 100 hp (70 kW) Rotax 912S engine in a tractor configuration (the 80 hp (60 kW) 912 is sometimes used outside of the US).

In December 2009 the CTLS was granted a type design approval and a production certificate by the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

Operational history

As of December 2009, there are more than 304 CTs registered in the USA and 1,400 World Wide.


Composite Technology - original model

Improved second generation model to comply with UK microlight regulations, BCAR Section S

Short Wing version of the CT2K with a shorter wingspan and redesigned wingtips, giving higher cruise speeds while maintaining similar stall speeds.

Long span version, announced in 2008. It improves on the CTSW in several areas, including a revised fuel system (improved fuel venting and standard-type fuel caps), a revised tailplane and upgraded landing gear.

Metal concept is a CT-LS fabricated predominantly from aluminium and intended for the flight training market. Introduced in July 2008, the MC has a lower cockpit sill for easier entry, is 5-7 knots slower that the LS, has 50 lb (23 kg) more useful load and 500 mi (805 km) more range.

Specifications (CTSW)

General characteristics
Crew: one, pilot
Capacity: one passenger
Length: 6.22 m (20 ft 5 in)
Wingspan: 8.50 m (27 ft 11 in)
Height: 2.15 m (7 ft 1 in)
Wing area: 9.94 m² (107 ft²)
Empty weight: 318 kg (LSA US version) (262 kg (EU base version))
Loaded weight: 600 kg (LSA US version) (472.5 kg (EU version with parachute))
Max takeoff weight: 600 kg (US LSA, varies in other countries) (1,320 lb (599 kg))
Powerplant: 1× Rotax 912S 4-cylinder, 4-stroke liquid/air-cooled engine, 75 kW (100 hp)
* Fuel capacity: 126 litres, 120 litres usable (33 gal)
Baggage capacity: 50 kg (110 lb)

Never exceed speed: 301 km/h (145 knots (US LSA))
Maximum speed: 230 km/h (138 mph)
Cruise speed: 112 knots (129 mph) (207 km/h) (75% at sea level) (US LSA)
Stall speed: 65 km/h (40 mph)
Range: 1266 km (660 nm)
Service ceiling: 4,572 m (15,000 ft)
Rate of climb: 4.9 m/s (960 ft/min)
Wing loading: 61 kg/m² (12.3 lb/ft²)
Power/mass: 13.2 lb/hp (120 W/kg)

Last updated March 14, 2010
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Flight Design CTSW".
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