Flight Design’s John Doman called the 2011 AirVenture “very successful” after dealers placed orders for 40 of the C4 airplanes, currently in the development process, and eight LSAs during the show. Some of these airplanes were sold to customers. Doman also said the company is strengthening its dealer network in the United States, which currently consists of five distributors and 15 dealers. Flight Design, which is based in Germany, has an additional 55 dealers outside the United States.
Flight Design also announced at a press conference at AirVenture a new partnership with Gleim to provide computer-based transition training for the CTLS and the C4. The CTLS program should be available by the end of the year, according to Doman, and will include a flight simulator portion based on the X-Plane software. Flight Design is currently working with 25 flight training facilities in the United States.
The company also announced its partnership with BRS, which will introduce a new electronic ignition system for its parachute in Flight Design’s C4. Doman also said that Flight Design is getting close to announcing avionics and engine suppliers for the four-seat airplane, but that the company needs to “hit certain cost targets” in order to meet the $250,000 price point. While this price point is significantly lower than other four-seat airplanes on the market, Doman says the facility in the Ukraine helps keep the cost of production low and enables Flight Design to keep its prices lower than other OEMs.
If Flight Design is indeed able to get through EASA and FAA certification for the C4 at that price point and achieve the targeted 160 knots and 1,300-pound useful load, the airplane will likely become a strong player in the four-seat market.