Aero Friedrichshafen, GERMANY / 10 April 2014 — The Flight Design C4 program is continuously moving ahead and Flight Design is pleased to announce the last major component and supplier to be selected for the all-new four-seat aircraft. The Avionics suite for the 250.000 USD composite aircraft will be provided by Garmin, and is named the Flight Design Vision Touch by Garmin.
With the decision of Garmin, Flight Design confirms two major features that will help to make the C4 aircraft popular and successful. First, the newly developed system with two 10,6 inch brilliant glass displays of the new Garmin G3X „Touch“ series offers unique state-of-the-art performance and outstanding utility to the pilots. Second, the decision to use a system that does not have a TSO approval on its own, but will be certified together with the airframe, allows for a significantly lower price point with much greater flexibility for future system enhancements and upgrades.
“Flight Design challenged us to design a product that would work for their aircraft, in performance and price,” says Jim Alpiser, director of aviation aftermarket sales at Garmin. „The Vision Touch suite is designed for this aircraft and meets the desired goals.“ With this selection of the last major cost driver for an aircraft of this class, Flight Design has taken the last deciding step to confirm the anticipated price tag of the aircraft.
The C4 will debut several of the new possibilities that go along with the CS-23 / Part 23 rewrite, driven by the FAA and well on the way to adoption by all major Aviation Authorities. One of these possibilities is the use of alternatively approved avionics in such an aircraft when certifying the Avionics as part of the airframe. “Affordable new technology is the goal of the (FAA) Part 23 rewrite,” said Tom Peghiny, president of Flight Design USA. “That’s what we’re doing with the C4. The use of non-TSO avionics raises the certification burden for the airframe manufacturer, but in the end saves a significant amount of cost while offering much more up-to-date technology.”
The Flight Design Vision Touch suite by Garmin provides two widescreens capable of synthetic vision, combined with a Garmin GTN 750 GPS-Nav-Com, Garmin GNC 255 Nav/Com, Garmin GMC 305 autopilot, and a Garmin GMA 350 audio panel. Primary flight information is enhanced by an independent RC Allen solid-state attitude indicator, directional gyro, as well as analog airspeed and altitude indication.
The C4 development process is well under way with the continued production of the first flying prototype and the successful completion of the first series of structural load tests to support prototype operation. First flight is expected for summer this year, leading fast to the production of the first conforming prototypes to directly support certification. Certification is anticipated before middle of 2015.
FACTS ABOUT FLIGHT DESIGN GmbH
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. Three times a CT has been flown around the world. With the development of its C4 four seat aircraft based on the CT technology, Flight Design is consequently enhancing its product portfolio into the next larger segment.