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swiss_cheese

CTLSi - major delays - frozen deliveries?

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We have paid our CTLSi in 2013, we have contract and still have no aircraft delivered two years after, and virtually we have no information or follow-up: the Flight Design management (Germany) is almost unreachable by phone or by email and when they finally reply it is to keep telling us the aircraft cell is soon delivered from Ukraine and they postpone the delivery date (twice by addendum to the contract). We fear a bankrupt due to the massive investments and the delay of the C4 certification.

 

Any one with similar recent experience with the CTLSi assembled in Germany???

 

Many thanks for your comments and posts.

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Hello Roger,

We are very worried to receive almost no information and the deadlines keep sliding since 2014! It's absolutely not transparent and not what we would expect from a manufacturer like this.

Are there any CTLSi's being produced and delivered at this time by the German manufacture?

Anyone has similar experience or anyone has received a CTLSi from Kamenz (Germany) recently?

Best regards

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Hi Swiss,

 

Sorry I don't have any info for you. I do know there have been deliveries of CTLSi's here in the US. IT is certainly a slow process. I don't know about your local dealer and maybe he is the one that is in trouble and isn't transparent.

 

Have you sent any written or emailed correspondence direct to FD in Germany expressing your concerns? Since you are from that general region are you able to call FD direct?

 

I'm sorry I don't have any good answers for you.

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My new CTLSi is on the water now.  Serial number F15-08-51.  Recent CTLSi's coming in need to have the BRS and some avionics installed stateside prior to delivery (adding about a week to USA deliveries).   My plane was ordered in mid 2013 and could have arrived much earlier.  I actually allowed my production slot to be slipped in early 2014 on purpose (was building a new house, welcomed a new baby into the house, and just didn't have time or funds for my hobby).  I picked my slot back up in late 2014 and am now receiving the plane in a few months.  I'm sure you ordered through one of the regional dealers (or maybe Switzerland only has a single dealer?), I would expect they can get you answers fairly quickly.  I have had no trouble getting updates through Flight Design West here in the USA for a USA delivery. In your post you also mention having paid?  Not sure if you mean in full or simply have paid a deposit.  I have owned 3 CT's over the years.  My experience has always been a deposit of $30 to $35k with order, $50k when shipped and then balance on delivery.  If you are fully paid I'd be concerned your dealer is having an issue.  Switzerland may be different than here in the USA with respect to payments and process.

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My new CTLSi is on the water now.  Serial number F15-08-51.  Recent CTLSi's coming in need to have the BRS and some avionics installed stateside prior to delivery (adding about a week).   My plane was ordered in mid 2013 and could have arrived much earlier.  I actually allowed my production slot to be slipped in early 2014 on purpose (was building a new house, welcomed a new baby into the house, and just didn't have time or funds for my hobby).  I picked my slot back up in late 2014 and am now receiving the plane in a few months.  I'm sure you ordered through one of the regional dealers, I would expect they can get you answers fairly quickly.  I have had no trouble getting updates through Flight Design West.

 

The BRS and avionics are already installed...the assembly is non-trivial.  The wings have to be attached and and the essence of a full annual performed.  The plane also needs to be test flown.  It will probably take more than a week to get it fully delivered once the sea container arrives.

 

The normal wait for a new plane from Flight Design is about a year.  Since the company is in the middle of major expansion in existing operations and the mess the Russians have made in Ukraine are no doubt straining production.  The company is not just making CTLSi, they are also getting ready to produce the C4.

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The BRS and avionics are already installed...the assembly is non-trivial.  The wings have to be attached and and the essence of a full annual performed.  The plane also needs to be test flown.  It will probably take more than a week to get it fully delivered once the sea container arrives.

 

The normal wait for a new plane from Flight Design is about a year.  Since the company is in the middle of major expansion in existing operations and the mess the Russians have made in Ukraine are no doubt straining production.  The company is not just making CTLSi, they are also getting ready to produce the C4.

 

I'm not sure what the point you are making is?  Flight Design West told me yesterday that recent planes received from Germany DO NOT have the BRS installed and some panel mounted avionics also need to be installed.  Germany is "short shipping" the plane and the receiving dealer now has some additional work to do.  I should have been more clear, I didn't mean it only takes a week, I meant the additional work adds a week to the normal process of assembly that they used to go through.  I have ordered 3, I agree a year is pretty typical.  I fear the original poster in Switzerland may have something more going on.  While backlogged, planes are getting produced.  My 2 year wait was at my request, his was evidently not.  He should have gotten his long ago.  Something amiss.

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Hey CT...  Hope life is well up in Mammoth.  El Ninyo is coming!  Batten down the hatches and fix any roof leaks up in God's country!

 

What I should have done is kept my 2012 CTLS (it was just getting dialed in when I sold it).  I thought a jubilee might be cool so I ordered one.  At the time my money tree was in full bloom.  I had a few delays, built a new house, wife and I had a baby and before I knew it time was getting away from me.  I let the Jubilee go and then picked up an America's slot.  Kenny at Lone Mountain started pinging me a few weeks ago saying I was "on the assembly line" and now "on the water".  Hopefully not in a container ship that chooses to sail into hurricanes (how awful).

 

I should be back in the air by Thanksgiving.  Ready to be done with old and tired rentals that need holy water sprinkled on them before I take off.  Ready to get back into a CT!

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Haven't seen you around here much Adam, I'm sure for the reasons you mentioned.  Great to hear from you again, hope we will get some reports on how you like the CTLSi when you have it in hand!

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Adam's LSi is F15-08-51, so that means at least 51 planes were built in August 2015. That seems like a huge number for one month.

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Hello everybody,

@Roger: we have no swiss dealer and signed directly a contract with FD. We have very few info and each time we have a contact with us, we receive a contract addendum with a new delivery date. It's very frustrating and lost confidence in our relation to FD. It's why we try to see if there are similar cases in Europe out there. For sure the C4 program is there priority, but the customers in the waiting-list deserve some attention and transparency.

Good to see that in the US there seem to be a few CTLSi delivered recently.

Happy landings!

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I'm not sure what the point you are making is?  Flight Design West told me yesterday that recent planes received from Germany DO NOT have the BRS installed and some panel mounted avionics also need to be installed.  Germany is "short shipping" the plane and the receiving dealer now has some additional work to do.  I should have been more clear, I didn't mean it only takes a week, I meant the additional work adds a week to the normal process of assembly that they used to go through.  I have ordered 3, I agree a year is pretty typical.  I fear the original poster in Switzerland may have something more going on.  While backlogged, planes are getting produced.  My 2 year wait was at my request, his was evidently not.  He should have gotten his long ago.  Something amiss.

 

You should not accept this since it represents a partial build and incomplete product delivery in the US.  What the factory chooses to not complete may not be limited to the two items you mention.

 

The factory should complete the build, install and verify all component systems, test the systems and fly the plane and provide W&B BEFORE shipping. 

 

You should also insist that the quality of the build be verified by whoever you use in the US to assemble the plane.  Our avionics had to be completely rewired based on poor quality control at the factory.  The US side paid for the work, but it required 3 weeks of downtime.

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You should not accept this since it represents a partial build and incomplete product delivery in the US.  ...  Our avionics had to be completely rewired based on poor quality control at the factory...

 

It sounds as though you are saying Adam should insist on a complete factory build in spite of poor quality control that might lead to the work being redone here?  I'm missing the logic.

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Hey CT...  Hope life is well up in Mammoth.  El Ninyo is coming!  Batten down the hatches and fix any roof leaks up in God's country!

 

In 36 years I've seen some big winters. 700+" of snowfall not long ago.  

 

Its the 200 year event that I dread. California Megaflood: Lessons from a Forgotten Catastrophe http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/atmospheric-rivers-california-megaflood-lessons-from-forgotten-catastrophe/

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It sounds as though you are saying Adam should insist on a complete factory build in spite of poor quality control that might lead to the work being redone here?  I'm missing the logic.

 

I am saying he should insist on a complete plane the factory tests and verifies.  When we got into our plane there was a hiss in the radio for over a year before Lone Mountain dug deeply into the cause..it turned out to be a total mess in the wiring.

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It sounds as though you are saying Adam should insist on a complete factory build in spite of poor quality control that might lead to the work being redone here?  I'm missing the logic.

 

Yeah.  As long as the aircraft is complete and correct when delivered to the customer, why should the customer care at what point in the supply/assembly/dealer chain the components were assembled?

 

I'll take a US assembly over a Ukrainian one where a war is going on any day and twice on Sunday.

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Some assemblies from dealers like electronics weren't done very well. Some parachutes weren't hooked up correctly and many gave the wrong advice on maintaining your engine and its warranty.

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I  am also in the same boat (plane) as swiss_cheese. I originally ordered mine for a Febuary 2013 build, a Jubilee No 13-02-0, in theory the first month they they should have been built. I was later given a new number F-14-04-08 and I am still waiting. I live in Australia so a long way from Germany, it seems too far away to worry about. My agent actually photograged the airframe in October 2014 with my registration already painted on so I know it is mine Thats 12 months ago and it still has not been finished.  We also have had great trouble getting any information from the company with numerous promises of delivery and still nothing happening. We paid the full price for the aircraft in Febuary 2013, so Flight Design has had our money for over two and a half years. There are three aircraft on order for Australia that we have been waitng 2.5 years or more for. To put it mildly we are all getting very frustrated, We might be a bit more understanding if we knew why and if there was any hope of delivery any time soon.

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Hi Swiss Cheese,

I agree with you that this sort of  behaviour from a manufacturer is worrying, and suggests serious financial trouble.  I came to a similar conclusion - see post 70 in the thread  'Delivery delay and delivery problems'

 

However, it is possible that it's not nearly as bad as it seems.  Here's my reasoning:

 

America and China are their biggest potential markets. The first company into a new market gains a huge advantage - FD took an early lead in the American LSA market and held onto it.

 

It could be - and I stress could be - that the current dearth of new aircraft coming into First World markets is because they are all going East.  China is by far their biggest potential market of all, and they may be trying to establish an early lead there before local manufacturing kicks in. 

Their second priority is to keep the USA happy with a trickle, leaving European customers to take a black eye. 

 

If my prognosis is correct, it should reassure you that you'll not lose your money and will eventually get you aircraft.  (Again, I want stress that this conclusion is based on a very limited picture and may be entirely inaccurate.)

 

The fact that a very large Chinese company now has their finger in the pie should also allay your fears of a bankruptcy and loss of your money.

 

If anyone actually knows what the world distribution of current production looks like, it may help in shedding some light on this astonishingly unethical behaviour from an otherwise reputable company.

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Hi Al, hi Gryphon, hi everyone,

 

Many thanks for your infos and reactions. I'm new to this forum and had missed the one you just referred (http://ctflier.com/index.php?/topic/2792-delivery-delay-and-delivery-problems/page-10?hl=%20delivery%20%20delay%20%20delivery%20%20problems).  Very interesting to read indeed! 

It seems FD Germany's problems of delivery and communication are affecting a bunch of people out there, in Europe, Mexico, Australia.

 

I guess the key is patience, but this goes with communication and transparency, which is not FD's cup of tea.

 

It's good to have this place to exchange on this!

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One thing to consider is how finite a flying career can be - especially in retrospect.

 

2+ years is a big chunk to take out of it waiting for a "perfect" plane, especially one that has already been paid for!

 

When I started considering an upgrade to my Tiger, the Diamond TwinStar was what I had my sights on. But the delays in getting that to market led me to "settle" on a demo Cirrus SR22 - and am I ever glad I did!

 

In any case, you have my sympathies. At some point I'd get more aggressive, with my goal being to get my money back, taking legal action if required. Then a search could begin for a lightly used CT or a more readily available alternative.

 

Good luck and please keep us informed. Regardless of the reason for the delay, this does not bode well for Flight Design.

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Hi all,

We continue to have major communication issues and delivery delays. Furthermore, we have discovered the GAMA shipment report, showing that not a single aircraft was shipped in Q3/2015.

http://www.gama.aero/files/2015ShipmentReportQ31106.pdf   :o

 

This situation is very worrying and we are now considering a law-action very seriously.

 

I have the feeling the situation is somehow different in the US, or is it a false impression? And has any one in Europe a similar recent experience to share?

 

We will keep you posted anyway.

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