Flight Design’s ‘fun’ factor

Tom Peghiny of Flight Design USA sells the No. 1 LSA in the country, the Flight Design CTLS. But he’s also selling fun.

“We need to convince people not only that LSA is a good investment in their lives, but it’s a lot of fun,” he says.

He’s obviously having some success with that sales pitch.

The company had a “very successful” 2008, capturing market share of 19%, far above even its closest competitor. Sales so far this year are down about 30%, but those are numbers that are “sustainable and healthy” for the company, he said.

So far this year, the company sold 22 airplanes before arriving at Sun ‘n Fun. The first two days of the show, it sold another five airplanes.

The economic downturn actually has brought a new kind of customer to Flight Design, he added.

“We find we are appealing to a broader group of pilots, including some who might have bought other aircraft,” he said.

Flight Design’s progressive company culture, with continuous refinements and enhancements, contributes to those sales, Peghiny believes. “It keeps the design fresh,” he said.

The latest enhancement is the new hybrid engine, which was unveiled at the Aero show in Friedrichshafen, Germany, earlier this month.

The Hybrid Power Engine modifies a standard Rotax 914 engine, adding a 40-hp electric motor, which is used for takeoffs and when full power is needed.

For more information: FlightDesignUSA.com.


  1. Derek Case says

    I completely understand why the Flight Design CTLS is the #1 LSA worldwide. I’ve flown >150 hours in my buddy’s CTSW, and rent a CTLS at the local flight school–and there’s nothing that compares! The comfort, visibility, payload, and “long legs” make this a true cross-country aircraft. I’ve flown from Connecticut to Washington state in the CTSW (and back), and it’s as fun to fly as it is comfortable (and I’m a “big guy”). The standard BRS parachute system also adds confidence when I fly “low and slow” that I don’t have when I fly Cessnas & Pipers. It really enhances my total flying experience.

    Now I just need to find a way to get myself one–after approval from the Finance Committee (my wife). Wish me luck! ;^)

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