Thursday 4 April 2019

Flight Design CT Aircraft of New Zealand

The first new type of sport aircraft to be registered in New Zealand in 2009 was the Flight Design CTLS with two examples being registered to the agents, Sports Aircraft NZ Ltd on 21/1/09.

The Flight Design CT series of sport aircraft come from Flightdesign Vertrieb of Germany and are of mainly carbon fibre composite construction which allows for a very aerodynamic fuselage shape and a very good useful load (because of the high strength to weight ratio of carbon fibre).  The prototype first flew in March 1996 and the first model, the CT was introduced in 1997.  Production is at a plant in Kherson,Ukraine.  In 2016/17 the company went through some difficult times and is now named Flight Design General Aviation, and is owned by the German Lift Holding Group.  The aircraft is also license built in China by AeroJones Aviation.

The specifications for the CTLS model are:  length 6.2 metres (20 feet 4 inches), wingspan 8.58 metres (28 feet 2 inches) and a wing area of 107 square feet.  Empty weight is around 710 pounds (322 Kg) and in New Zealand the MAUW is 1,200 pounds (544 Kg) but the aircraft can also be registered as a LSA with a MAUW of 1,320 pounds (600 Kg).  The fuel capacity of 120 litres gives and impressive range of 2,000 km.  With a 100 HP Rotax 912 engine the cruise speed is around 130 mph and the stall speed is around 40 mph.  All around very impressive.

We have had five CTLS models and one CT model in New Zealand to date.

ZK-FDA2 (c/n F-08-08-05) was registered to Sports Aircraft NZ Ltd of Wellsford (Tim Harrison) on 21/1/09, and it is photo'd above at an aviation trade show at Ardmore on 27/2/09.  On 4/11/10 ownership changed to the Timakaha Trust of Christchurch (Mark Aldridge) and on 26/5/16 ownership changed to Stephen JJ Hirsch, also of Christchurch.

ZK-FDB2 (c/n F-08-08-06) was also registered to Sports Aircraft NZ ltd on 21/1/09 and is also photo'd at the same trade show at Ardmore on 27/2/09.  On 15/12/10 ownership changed to the Henk Meerkerk Family Trust of Tokoroa.

And on 8/8/16 it was registered to Larry P Spicer of Hamilton.  I flew down to Taumarunui in this aircraft on 15/5/17, where the above photo was taken, and it performed very impressively.

ZK-FDC2 (c/n F-10-12-03) was registered to Sports Aircraft NZ Ltd on 5/4/11 and it is photo'd above at the 2011 Black Sands flyin at Raglan, on 12/11/11.  It was sold to Australia and flew across the Tasman from kerikeri to Norfolk Island the to Lord Howe Island and on to Archerfield, departing on 22/10/13 and being cancelled from the New Zealand register on 5/11/13.  It was then registered on the Australian microlight register as 24-8435

ZK-FDD2 (c/n F-11-10-01) was registered to Sports Aircraft NZ Ltd on 20/3/12 and it is photo'd above in Tim Harrison's hangar at Kaipara Flats on 28/4/12.  On 8/5/14 ownership changed to

On 8/5/14 ownership changed to W J Hanley of Mosgiel and the above photo of it is at its Taieri base.

ZK-FDE2 (c/n F-12-12-05) was registered to Anthony JB Froude of Warkworth on 12/2/14 and it is photo'd above at its Kaipara Flats base on 9/12/17.

And our most recent import is an earlier CT model that was first registered in Namibia as V5-URM.  It was imported into New Zealand by Juan P Schultze of Pukekohe and was registered ZK-TPZ (c/n 99020145) to him on 25/8/14.  It is photo'd above at Tauranga on 29/5/16.  Ownership changed to Wayne Affleck of Invercargill on 21/6/16.

I reckon we might see more of these neat little aircraft in New Zealand as they have been produced in quite high numbers and they are still being produced.