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wags

First Flight Design CTMC arrives in Australia

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Might be placing this in the wrong part of the Forum, but it is breaking aviation news.

 

Had the pleasure today (Friday 9th April 2010) of helping to unload from the shipping container the first Flight Design CTMC to be brought to Australia by Sports Aircraft Australia. Apparently it was intended to be shown at Temora but shipping delays caused it to miss a wonderful show.

 

Couldn't help but be impressed by a number of things such as...

 

Quality/Standard of construction and finish - first class.

 

Room in cockpit - a whopping 1.37 mtr (54") at shoulders. In comparison a C182 is listed as 1.67 mtr (42") cockpit width.

 

Relatively cheap price for the basic aircraft fitted with a Rotax 912 (100 hp) and steam gauges.

 

Fully adjustable seats fore & aft (also rake)... can accommodate a 120kg/6'6" person in comfort.

 

The aircraft is fully test flown by the factory before shipping and arrives in a container as shown in the attached picture. Assembly takes around 2 to 3 hrs and the agent says it should be flying approx 24 hrs after taking delivery of the container. The aircraft arrives in virtually a "plug & play" condition. A full test flight report is given to the new owner.

 

Cruise at 75% power is shown as 125 kts TAS, with a fuel capacity of 100 litres.

 

It appears here is a really good option available for someone seeking a reasonably priced metal aircraft, not to mention those that want a genuine 120 kt+ touring aircraft with room to boot.

 

1359355909_Whatsinthebox.jpg.bf64bcd0e337636fa070fd367c3a89f7.jpg

 

608759550_CTMCRearView.jpg.c12b2e3feec8d78d5de0a8b5f708ebaa.jpg

 

1113709023_CTMCFrontview.jpg.02a466aaca16fda22a741edc76ca6bf5.jpg

 

696437200_CTMCPanel.jpg.0c74c48fd8bd053256d5698217baa499.jpg

 

 

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Next pictures.

 

Hopefully I can post some "ready-to-fly" pics by Sunday, RAAus can't supply permit to fly until Monday I would think... hope to fly it then! Hope to report on that too.

 

Will try and get some firm prices for aircraft with options also... if I am allowed to post them.

 

 

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Guest burbles1

The panel looks too small. Seems to be a trend towards tiny 'all glass' panels with no scope to install additional instruments (e.g. TCAS, second radio, other EFIS/EMS) or panel-mounted storage compartments where you could put an EPIRB, maps, stubby holders etc.

 

I think the old Cessna panels were right on the mark - several raised circles where more instruments could be fitted.

 

 

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Out of Interest.. What are the weights and runway distances?

 

Looks like it could be a viable option to a Jab with similar handling??

 

Gibbo

 

 

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The panel looks too small. Seems to be a trend towards tiny 'all glass' panels with no scope to install additional instruments (e.g. TCAS, second radio, other EFIS/EMS)

It's an LSA, not a 747! 006_laugh.gif.0f7b82c13a0ec29502c5fb56c616f069.gif

 

One of the options I saw was dual Garmin G3X, Garmin 530 GPS/NAV/COM, Garmin SL30 COM, Garmin transponder, Autopilot, Stand by analogue ADI, Altimeter and ASI. Apart from some form of traffic alert (which I am sure could be incorporated), what more could you ask for? :thumb_up:

 

That is better equipped than the kingair!

 

It's all in the brochure!

 

 

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The panel looks too small. Seems to be a trend towards tiny 'all glass' panels with no scope to install additional instruments (e.g. TCAS, second radio, other EFIS/EMS) or panel-mounted storage compartments where you could put an EPIRB, maps, stubby holders etc. I think the old Cessna panels were right on the mark - several raised circles where more instruments could be fitted.

The nice thing is that you can have whatever you want burbles... all glass, all steam or a mixture of both. Haven't seen a Light Sport aircraft with stubby holders as standard but everything else you mention is catered for. Have a look at the storage trays below the panels... and there are more storage areas available... like in the floor between your feet. These floor areas take tie-down equipment, torch, polishing and cleaning requirements, water bottle, epirb etc etc. Door pockets hold maps and prayer wheel etc. On the shelf behind the seats you can carry WAC charts, VNC's, VTC's, ERSA, VFG... what more do you want? And every ultralight should have TCAS etc don't you think? HH gave you the right answer on that!

 

Gibbo... it apparently performs very much the same as the CTLS except for top speed so guess 300 mtrs at 600 kgs is the answer you are looking for. The Ozzie distributor (Sports Aircraft Australia) is better equipped to answer that question than me. It is a little more expensive than a Jab, so that market will not be in its sights, unless of course the Jab was fitted to the same level of equipment. The quality of construction blew me away... like all vertical joins and gussets double blind riveted, moly steel cockpit cage is massive, undercarriage is straight off the CTLS (I can attest to its strength!) with Matco (US) wheels and brakes.

 

This aircraft comes from the largest manufacturer of Light Sport Aircraft in the world... and the quality and research behind the product shows. Sadly, I am advised that it will not be flying until later this week, but stay tuned for a report as soon as I can get my hands on it.

 

 

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Have been doing some research, the G3X with 330 transponder can supply traffic information! That is some seriously good gear! I'd be happy with that right now, but who knows what will be available in 5 years when I am ready to buy!:thumb_up:

 

 

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Not in Australia unfortunately Howard. Airservices have said they are not interested in providing TIS.

 

 

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Some detail photos

 

Here are some photos of the CTMC which show the enormous cockpit width compared to another popular high wing LSA. The motor installation would be a dream to work on as everything is readily accessible. The photo down the tunnel shows the push-rod for the elevators... it's about 35mm in diameter! All controls, except rudder are activated by solid rods - no wires in the elevator or aileron control systems anywhere = safety.

 

Unfortunately due to availability of a suitable mechanic the first flight is still about a week or so away.

 

1489515415_WidthofCTMC.jpg.9be8b2a94d595d4d96e18bc19ae00b64.jpg

 

274935405_ComparewithTecnam.jpg.4a3fc7e3d8be0c555b24a1820b57c95c.jpg

 

1291365507_Lookingdownthetunnel.jpg.980cc104630ed2170875200bf6137972.jpg

 

1086147851_Engineinstallationfrontview.jpg.7c5ea588b4ceea70002a21d561115a0c.jpg

 

1537051825_Engineinstallationsideview.jpg.b2e199baa9ce474d1a513653b4603919.jpg

 

 

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Fully adjustable seats fore & aft (also rake)... can accommodate a 120kg/6'6" person in comfort.

 

Cruise at 75% power is shown as 125 kts TAS, with a fuel capacity of 100 litres.

 

It appears here is a really good option available for someone seeking a reasonably priced metal aircraft, not to mention those that want a genuine 120 kt+ touring aircraft with room to boot.

Nice aircraft but the figures don't stack up. The factory website show the empty weight of that aircraft at 358kg. It's probably more. With 2 people or even the 120kg guy , you can't even fill the tanks let alone carry luggage for touring. The factory stated maximum speed in level flight is 118kts so theres no way it's going to cruise at 125 @ 5000 revs.

 

 

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Apology

 

Yep, you're right about the cruise speed - I got it wrong.

 

The distributor said I had extracted figures from the original spec sheet. They now say in their brochure that 110 to 115 kts is the cruise speed @ 75% power. Many manufacturers state their cruise speed at max continuous so you have to be sure you compare apples with apples.

 

As far as weight goes, A/C empty weight of 358 kgs (I believe that is for a very heavily spec'd aircraft - ie auto pilot etc), full tanks 75 kgs and that leaves 157 for pilot & pax by my reckoning. Leave out that stupid parachute (BRS) and you pick up an extra 17 kgs - giving a payload of 174 kgs with full tanks. I don't suggest that a 120 kgs pilot is the norm... just that a person of that weight can be comfortably accommodated in the voluminous cockpit.

 

HH the pricing should come through the distributor, but from what I can see the aircraft fitted with a Rotax 912 (100hp), comprehensive steam gauges, GPS and ground adjustable prop will come in at around Euro 73,000; That equates to change out of A$110,000 from my calcs - full EFIS instrumentation etc will set you back about another approx A$6000 and Electric Constant Speed prop around approx A$7000. Depends of course on the Euro/A$ rate applicable on the day. Take out the parachute and you should save around approx A$2500 on the total figure.

 

Compare that to another popular high wing aircraft with exactly the same specs that has a cockpit only about 1.06 mtr (42") wide and you can't see sideways 'cause your heads in the wing root and I know where I would rather spend my money!

 

As I say... contact the distributor for exact figures, the above should have you in the ball park however.

 

 

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(Not to be taken to seriously)

 

The first two photos illustrating the difference in "cockpit width compared to another popular high wing LSA", are a bit deceiving! He's got his arms out in front of the Tecnam and the nose of the Echo is longer than the CT too!

 

But, apart from that, it is still definitely wider!!!

 

 

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Impressions of Flight Design MC

 

I have been lucky to have had the MC in my care for the past few days. For what it is worth here are my impressions of this aircraft.

 

The first impression of this aircraft is that “it looks right” – and not only does it “look right” it also “flies right”! Previous Flight Design (FD) models (2K, CTSW & CTLS) are somewhat “quirky” in their appearance (and some would say in their handling) to many observers and pilots – that’s a matter of opinion. This aircraft doesn’t strike you that way. Yes it is “fat” up front - but the overall look is that this is a solid aircraft. The large proportions have been skilfully blended into the overall design.

 

 

Being “fat” obviously leads to certain advantages in the cockpit… like the cockpit is a whopping 0.36 mtr (14”) wider than a Cessna 182! This has to be the roomiest cockpit in the LSA category with the cockpit measuring 1.37 mtr (54”) in width. And if you’re fat… you’ll fit with room to boot! Want to take along the mother-in-law… no problem! Apologies to mother-in-laws of course.

 

 

The amount of perspex provides superb vision – probably the best of any LSA aircraft around, but the overhead perspex area will most likely need some form of shade for comfortable summer operations. Not hard to do with suction cup screens available from any motor sport supplier. A quarter window ensures all-round vision is as good as it gets. But because of the high wing configuration you have to remember to raise the wing in the direction you wish to turn to ensure the sky is clear. This is typical of any high wing aircraft. Best thing is that you can see sideways without having to duck your head = stiff neck after awhile in one particular high wing type.

 

 

Seats offer (approx) 220 mm of fore & aft adjustment as well as infinite adjustment for rake. Vision over the cowl is also very good compared to past FD products and rivals or exceeds any of the LSA aircraft currently available.

 

 

Some critiscm… the aircraft is an early production model and certain things need fixing; something the manufacturer has already attended to according to the Australian distributor Shaun Siepel from “Sports Aircraft Australia” (www.sportsaircraft.com.au).

 

 

The headset jacks are mounted on the floor behind and between the pilots seats just waiting for someone to slip in a large parcel (or whatever) into the large luggage area – by the way this area takes 50 kgs without putting the CofG outside limits! Later versions will have the jacks most likely in the roof behind the pilots.

 

 

The “Cockpit Heat” & “Carby Heat” controls on the upper glare-shield have the same shape knobs – again this has been addressed in later versions by changing the colour and shape of the individual knobs. Very obviously FD listen to their customers.

 

 

This particular aircraft also has a BRS (ballistic parachute) fitted and removal would bring the Basic Empty Weight down some 20 kgs (and also save approx $2000) from the stated Empty Weight of approx 360 kgs. Personally I have doubts as to the fitting and ultimate use of these devices and look on them as a “touchy-feely” things that keeps the US aviators happy. Or maybe it’s a requirement overseas, don’t know and don’t care because I would rather fly my aircraft than have it parachute down without any control. My thinking is that it is an unnecessary fitment and can only be justified in the event of a mid-air collision or similar… but how many of these do we have on a regular basis in Australia? Another topic for discussion on this forum perhaps?

 

 

Handling… in one simple word… “SUPERB and PREDICTABLE”! And if you don’t want to take my word for it that was also the comment of one well known experienced instructor and executive member of RAAus after he flew the aircraft. In fact he went as far as saying it was probably the best of type (LSA) he has flown. Guess that says it all.

 

 

The aircraft is very dynamically stable - yet responsive. Stability around all axis is up there with the best currently offered… in fact it far surpasses most available offerings in this category today. It feels like a heavier aircraft both on the ground and in the air. Students will find this aircraft flies just like their instructor said all aircraft fly when delivering their pre-flight briefings. Set up your approach speed (in stable conditions) and it stays there unless you make a change in pitch and/or power.

 

 

Cruising is a “hands-off” exercise once trimmed out using the electric elevator trim (standard fitment). 75% power returns a genuine 110 kts TAS… this is what I saw consistently over a period of 3 – 4 days while I had the aircraft in my care.

 

 

Am I impressed by this aircraft? You bet! And the cost… approx $110,000 (GST incl) fitted with a Rotax 912 ULS (100hp), analogue instruments and fixed pitch prop – plus registration. With all the "electronic goodies” (Dynon EFIS/EMS, Garmin 696 GPS etc)… around $130,000 at present exchange rates. Good value if you are looking for a good looking, well built and superb handling aircraft.

 

PS: I am not connected with the distributor of the aircraft in any way.

 

 

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Been meaning to show these for a while ....

 

2 "Normal" people in an MC = party time

 

910112031_NormalPeople.jpg.d60476496fcf0d3405961a0a881fb958.jpg

 

1 Really Big people in an MC (1 off @ 130kg & 6'3") = party time

 

_DSC0147.jpg.860915f2e37d8ede6537417235372076.jpg

 

2 Really Big people in an MC (1 off @ 130kg & 6'3"ish + 1 off @ [email protected]'5"ish) = party time on the ground

 

_DSC0158.jpg.0847ffceecfdcdb65331852786f0a428.jpg

 

_DSC0162.jpg.fb7dbffa38626651cbe08f58a5bd001f.jpg

 

oh and you're right .... "The first two photos illustrating the difference in "cockpit width compared to another popular high wing LSA", are a bit deceiving! He's got his arms out in front of the Tecnam and the nose of the Echo is longer than the CT too!",

 

so lets look at these two guys in the other "popular high wing LSA" = not party time

 

Not going to happen really is it ? Don't had the heart to post the front view ... or rather lost the picky.

 

_DSC0169.jpg.dc83c3e5abab0a238e1dc97186c6b78d.jpg

 

 

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1 Really Big people in an MC (1 off @ 130kg & 6'3") = party time

Pah, you think that's big - where is the single seat option for the true super-sized folk? 006_laugh.gif.0f7b82c13a0ec29502c5fb56c616f069.gif

 

 

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