July 25, 2011
By Alton K. Marsh
The German company Flight Design made its mark as the leading producer of light sport aircraft worldwide, but now it plans an assault on the certified, IFR market with the four-passenger, 160-knot Flight Design C4. The first flight is expected in 2012, with deliveries of the $250,000 aircraft starting in 2013.
The engine has not been chosen but will be either a Lycoming or Continental engine de-rated to 180 horsepower for a low noise profile, said Matthias Betsch, CEO and president. There are plans as well to offer the model with a diesel engine. Flight Design is talking with Thielert about the possibility.
The company is still in talks about the certification plan in Europe. Once certified, it will be certified in the United States under a joint agreement. It is expected to have an airframe parachute.
The airplane will have a gross weight of nearly 2,700 pounds, a useful load of 1,320 pounds, and a payload of 894 pounds. It carries 71 gallons of fuel and is promised to have a range of 1,000 nautical miles.
Cabin dimensions are 54 inches in width for the front seat area and 47 inches in the rear. Betsch said the rear cabin width is four inches wider than a Cessna 172. The company is promising a fuel burn of 10.6 gallons per hour at 80 percent power, and 8.4 gallons per hour at 65 percent power with a slower speed of 145 knots true airspeed. The company will not offer financing.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
AOPA expressed concern in a meeting with town officials from East Hampton, New York, that restrictions proposed to curb airport noise “overwhelmingly” generated by transient commercial flights would unfairly burden traditional airport users.
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