KAMENZ, Germany — Last fall, Flight Design, manufacturer of the CT-series of Light-Sport Aircraft, promised to fly its new, four-seater called C4 by the opening of the Aero Friedrichshafen show. On Friday, April 9, the company achieved that goal. The weekend was spent reviewing initial results and preparing to set up at the event that starts April 15.
“The C4 really performed as expected,” reported Tom Peghiny, president of Flight Design USA, importer of the German company’s products and test flight director for the C4 development. Peghiny flew alongside the C4 non-conforming prototype. “It appeared and test pilot Damian Hischier confirmed that the C4 is stable about all axes.”
Hischier reported, “The spiral stability of C4 is good and its directional stability is good.” While noting that engine operating temperatures were acceptable he acknowledged that further work may be necessary for operations in the hottest climates. Engine temperatures will be remedied primarily with cowl changes focused on cooling, yet Flight Design officials said they are pleased with the Continental IO-360-AF engine that performed very well.
Most prototype airplanes go through refinements after the initial flight verifications even while most of the group working to achieve the first flight were pleased that the new airplane performed so well.
“We observed the C4 accelerate away from the C-172 chase plane during simulated approaches to landing and in simulated go-arounds,” commented Peghiny, observing from the Cessna.
“I could also see that during the 30° bank turns the test pilot needed no control correction and he reported that pitch forces were light,” added Peghiny. “The plane appeared to be on rails, it looked very stable. Damian said he was comfortable getting close to us for the photos and videos shot during the maiden flight.”
On board avionics are by Garmin with the G3X Touch augmented with TSO analog instruments.
“We will release more data and will provide more detail on the C4 development schedule after we get through Aero and SUN ‘n FUN,” Peghiny said.
The two important airshows, one in Europe and one in the USA, run nearly back to back starting Wednesday, April 15.
The prototype will immediately continue development flight evaluations and will not be seen in the USA until later this year.