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Flight Design uses 100%-scale wind tunnel to evaluate new models planned for release

As part of a new aircraft model plans and to better incorporate changes aimed at fulfilling customer requests, Flight Design put their CT development model though a full-size wind tunnel evaluation. Such testing is routine in aerospace companies but is rarely done with a 100%-scale aircraft. Flight Design is not aware of any other Light-Sport Aircraft studied in such a detailed and reliable manner.

"Our CT aircraft for the European market had as original design goals speed, comfort, range, and responsive handling," recalled Matthias Betsch, CEO of Flight Design GmbH. CT worked well for experienced European pilots and the company sold hundreds of aircraft. "But as the U.S. created the Special Light-Sport Aircraft category, our market got much broader and an updated design is smart to maintain market leadership." The wind tunnel allowed detail study of aerodynamic efficiency to preserve more performance while enhancing longitudinal stability yet adding little additional weight to the airframe.

"We discovered lightweight methods to subtly refine the design to reduce interference points and produce greater performance and improved fuel economy," reported Oliver Reinhardt, Technical Director for Flight Design GmbH. "We also wanted to test fuselage alterations and new landing gear fairings." The company regards collected information as proprietary and has no plans to release test data, however, the results will be used in future Flight Design aircraft models.

Besides using the Mercedes Wind Tunnel Testing Facility the Flight Design Team works in close cooperation with its design and manufacturing partners in many countries. While current models are the leading sellers in the USA and other countries, managers and engineers have been at work for two years on new model concepts, development, testing, and maintaining certification standards in all design work. Flight Design has committed itself to at least one new major aircraft model introduction in 2008. "All Flight Design are offered for sale only after all design and development is complete and when the model is fully certified according to each country's certification system," confirmed Betsch.

Flight Design is a 21-year-old air sport products producer based in Germany. More than 1,000 of its aircraft are flying in 25 countries. One of the first aircraft certified under the American ASTM standards, in 2005, the CT ("composite technology") is currently the best-selling LSA in America. CT in several models has been popular in Germany and Europe for more than eleven years.

Press release issued by Flight Design GmbH on November 29, 2007


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