In difficult economic times, leaders are expected to help with solutions. Hearing the concerns over increasing prices and decreasing payloads in Light-Sport Aircraft, market leader Flight Design created the new CTLS Lite which dramatically lowers the price and substantially raises payload. The German company raised the bar by introducing a new version of the CTLS, which uses the company’s flexibility and years of experience to respond with a plane that is adapted to the new economic realities.
“We hear about more and more interest for a lighter airplane, but one that costs less and carries more,” explained Flight Design CEO, Matthias Betsch. “Now, based on the European CTLS Light, we offer the new CTLS Lite for the U.S. market; the affordable Light-Sport Aircraft with an unbeatable payload!”
“We are coping with the economic downturn better than many,” Tom Peghiny, president of Flight Design USA stated, “but we know the market is yearning for some lower cost options. We have the modestly-priced, all-metal MC, but that is aimed at fans of metal aircraft and the flight school market, whereas the personal aircraft market is well served with a high performance aircraft like the CTLS. Now our CTLS Lite brings top performance and a greater payload, and it does this while dropping the cost more than $20,000. The new model can be ordered right away!” Flight Design indicated that the price drop is gained by using carefully chosen, American-sourced avionics giving pilots all the information they need while decreasing weight, and limiting options to reduce manufacturing costs.
“The CTLS Lite is a loaded airplane that customers will like as it is; it comes with a Dynon D60 multi-function display, Garmin radio and transponder, analog engine instruments, and a BRS airframe parachute system,” clarified John Gilmore, national sales manager for Flight Design USA. “A single 7-inch Dynon screen paired to the Garmin 496 GPS gives plenty of data to pilots. With a strategic lightening of the airframe in non-structural areas and slimming the equipment list, Flight Design has taken off more than 50 pounds of weight, translating to greater payload (occupants, baggage, and fuel).” A limited option set — including the popular Garmin 696, a night flying package, and leather seats, along with a few other choices — will be offered for the CTLS Lite.
Flight Design is a 23-year-old air-sport products producer based in Germany. The company remains the worldwide market leader thanks to its well-received CT series of light aircraft. More than 1,500 of these aircraft are flying in 39 countries. One of the first aircraft certified under ASTM International standards in 2005, the all-carbon-fiber CT (“composite technology”) remains the top-selling aircraft in America through five years of LSA. Flight Design sold the first LSA to India and was the first LSA to earn Chinese Type Design Approval. An all-metal model, the MC (“metal concept”), has generated excitement in the market and it is now joined by the lower-cost / high-payload CTLS Lite.