For many years, German aircraft manufacturer Flight Design has reached out to new markets to ensure global availability and support of Flight Design products. As the next logical step, Flight Design is now providing local production capacities for major markets, including the U.S. and China.
With this strategy, Flight Design significantly improves availability of the products, reducing production lead times and ensures continued affordable aircraft prices, according to company officials.
The first local production will serve the Asia-Pacific markets with the Flight Design products CTLS (pictured), MC and C4. For more than one year Flight Design has been training staff at the Xiamen, China, facility of AeroJones. The China based and Taiwanese owned company is linked through the owner of GSEO, a company producing optical lens systems for IT systems with a total of 20,000 employees.
“Over the years, we have had contacts with many different interested parties, and spent a lot of time investigating the possibilities in China,” Matthias Betsch, CEO of Flight Design, says. “From the very first moment when we met with Mr. Jones Chen, we understood that GSEO is the ideal partner to set up a highly efficient aircraft production with highest quality.”
Training and factory setup are highly advanced, with first assembly of a China produced aircraft expected in late summer. This first aircraft will be the basis to extend the existing production approvals of Flight Design to this location, leading to first customer deliveries with the beginning of 2015, Flight Design officials explained.
“The CTLS is the first aircraft that has achieved Chinese Type Design approval as LSA aircraft,” Betsch continues. “Adding local production will secure market leadership for this product also in this part of the world.”
The second step of going global is linked to the USA Importer of Flight Design Products, Tom Peghiny. As many key components of the upcoming four-seat aircraft “C4” of Flight Design are of US-origin, it was a natural step to develop the concept for a final assembly line of this new product in USA, according to company officials.
With Flight Design Americas, Peghiny is setting up an all-new facility in Newport, Vermont, where airframes produced by Flight Design Germany within its Ukraine facility will be completed and directly delivered to customers in all countries of North and South America.
“We are thrilled by the possibilities we get out of this arrangement,” Peghiny said. “Our very successful partnership with Flight Design on the LSA market over many years has developed such an efficient way of working together, that the establishment of Flight Design Americas was truly a logic step, that will add significant value to all customers on the American continents.”
With Continental for the engines, Garmin for the avionics, two of the key systems of the all-new aircraft are produced with USA and can be supplied much more efficiently to the new facility, he noted.
Flight Design is a 26-year-old manufacturer based in Germany. The company remains the worldwide Light-Sport Aircraft market leader thanks to its popular CT series of aircraft. More than 1,800 of these aircraft are flying in 42 countries. One of the first aircraft certified under ASTM International standards in 2005, the CT (“composite technology”) remains the top-selling LSA in America and many other countries through many consecutive years. Flight Design sold the first LSA to India and was the first LSA to earn Chinese Type Design Approval.
For more information: FlightDesign.com