Flight Design came to AirVenture with a mockup of its four-seat C4 and said that it was close to making selections for the suppliers for the engine and the avionics.
An all-carbon-fiber Part 23 high-cantilever-wing airplane designed to be a kind of amalgam of Skyhawk, Skylane and Cardinal, the C4 has projected specs — if they can be achieved — that would make it a compelling option. The 2,640-pound max weight airplane would cruise as fast as 160 knots on 180 hp with a eye-opening useful load of around 1300 pounds. With a useable fuel capacity of around 70 gallons, the C4 would boast a remaining payload of nearly 900 pounds, enough for four adults and bags in the C4’s 53-inch wide seating area.
The C4 is an interesting project in terms of its pricing model. Instead of building the airplane and pricing it according to the final costs, Flight Design has stated that the finished price of the airplane would be $250,000. So the company needs to keep supplier costs as low as possible to hit that mark. The avionics selection, in particular, will be an interesting process. The baseline airplane will not have an autopilot, an option Flight Design expects to cost about an extra $20,000. A BRS chute is included in the base price.
As far as the engine is concerned, the company is actively looking at several options and will initially likely offer a gas piston model followed soon by a diesel version. A hybrid electric/gas piston model is a big part of the company’s plans for the engine going forward.
The company is hoping to have the airplane fliyng at AirVenture 2012 and to be certified (EASA and FAA) by early 2013.