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Andy A

Weight increase on our CTs?

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Hypothetically speaking, if the LSA weight limit was increased on our CT's, what would it be increased to?  When I was shopping for ours, I heard several people (including two different people which specialize in Flight Design sales) tell me "don't worry too much about the useful load, fill the tanks and put two people in it and fly it".  They said 1320 pounds was established by the LSA rules and the airplane could handle much more than that.   I've heard a couple people mention these planes are operated at higher weights in other countries, but I have never been able to find any literature referencing that.  Does anybody know what the actual recommended gross weight for these airplane is based on the design and aerodynamics?  I feel like the gross weight of 1320 pounds was used based on the LSA rules, and Flight Designs stopped their calculations there.  

I started my search looking for a CTSW because I liked the 500 to 600 pound useful load, but ended up with a CTLSi with a 466 pound useful load.  I personally doubt a gross weight increase on older planes will ever happen, but 150 pounds would make a world of difference on the CTLSi's.   

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I doubt that FD would increase weight on existing airframes.  Just too much liability.  You could take it ELSA and do some testing and change the weight that way (assuming the regs support it).  If I did that I'd probably change my CTSW to 1430lb, the same as the float plane version and a 110lb useful bump.

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Hi Duane,

Law Enforcement has to stay at 1320 unless they go to Utility category. I heard this right from the first Sheriff's Dept. folks that had the first CT LE setup. If you put floats on the weight allowance jumps to 1430. The 2 guys from Switzerland weighed in at 1645 with the extra fuel tanks. When I flew my SW with my wife, full fuel and baggage I was 1475 and I liked the way it flew and landed better. I won't say where I heard it, but FD isn't really worried up to 1500. If there is a weight increase a seriously doubt FD will allow any existing aircraft to change. They would have to certify all models to meet ASTM standards.

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So are you saying, after a weight increase,  they will keep selling the very same CTLS planes certified , say at 1450 lbs ,  while denying the same option for people who happened to purchased the same plane a few months/years before ? 

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21 minutes ago, Warmi said:

So are you saying, after a weight increase,  they will keep selling the very same CTLS planes certified , say at 1450 lbs ,  while denying the same option for people who happened to purchased the same plane a few months/years before ? 

Yup.  If they do the engineering to increase weight, it will almost certainly apply only to new airplanes.  Why would they even bother with the CTSW?  It has different gear and other components, and there is no business case to spending money to change weights for them.  Likewise it doesn’t make FD a single dime to spend any time on CTLS airframes they have already been paid for.

I’m not even sure what the ASTM rules are for changing the weights once an airframe is in service, if it’s allowed at all.

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The beauty of ASTM, is the standards are established from within the community of the same people who build the aircraft the standards apply to. If the FAA increases the weight the consensus group can change the standards to allow for earlier aircraft to have their weights increase with proper engineering.

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I heard it first hand, recently, from a well established light sport manufacturer (not Flight Design), that the new FAA light sport rules WILL NOT even have a weight limitation. He said other limitations are going to be changed but it is a work in progress and not to expect anything soon.

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8 minutes ago, WmInce said:

I heard it first hand, recently, from a well established light sport manufacturer (not Flight Design), that the new FAA light sport rules WILL NOT even have a weight limitation. He said other limitations are going to be changed but it is a work in progress and not to expect anything soon.

Yeah, I think it's now been established that the new rule will be based on a formula of some type, probably involving power, weight, wing loading, and who knows what else.  It might make it harder to determine what is and is not an LSA without a lot of technical performance detail and a slide rule.  

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11 minutes ago, FlyingMonkey said:

Yeah, I think it's now been established that the new rule will be based on a formula of some type, probably involving power, weight, wing loading, and who knows what else.  It might make it harder to determine what is and is not an LSA without a lot of technical performance detail and a slide rule.  

By the way Andy, my new empty weight for my CTSW is 744 lbs. Not too shabby, eh?

For payload, it’s hard to beat the CTSW. And I also like the twin baggage compartments with 55 lbs capacity each.

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I thought from the beginning when the idea of light sport was first introduced that a simple 2 seat max, fixed gear, 100HP limit was appropriate. If you want to go fast that airplane will have to be light weight. If you want to carry a lot of weight the airplane will be slower. This would have also created a lot more design innovation.

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1 hour ago, WmInce said:

By the way Andy, my new empty weight for my CTSW is 744 lbs. Not too shabby, eh?

For payload, it’s hard to beat the CTSW. And I also like the twin baggage compartments with 55 lbs capacity each.

One pound lighter than mine!

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46 minutes ago, sandpiper said:

That's 105 pounds more than my 2007 CTSW!!

I think that's pretty typical for a CTLSi.  The LS is heavier by about 50-75lb, and the fuel injection system adds another 30 or so...

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1 hour ago, KentWien said:

My CTsw is at 730 pounds. Standard instruments may be the difference, I suppose. 

Mine is 719lbs with 1/2 glass and steam gauges fore engine.

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On 11/15/2018 at 7:53 PM, KentWien said:

My CTsw is at 730 pounds. Standard instruments may be the difference, I suppose. 

Kent - I think it was more than instruments and avionics. The bare airframe got beefier.

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On 11/15/2018 at 11:59 PM, Ed Cesnalis said:

Mine is 719lbs with 1/2 glass and steam gauges fore engine.

Hmm...mine is 745lb with a similar setup (D100 and small steam engine gauges), I wonder why such a wide difference?  My airplane was 735lb before a few minor upgrades like Matco wheels and brakes.  IIRC, your airplane is an early 2006 airplane; mine is a mid-2007 build.  Maybe they got fatter in that span, we sure know they have chunked up since then!

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57 minutes ago, FlyingMonkey said:

Hmm...mine is 745lb with a similar setup (D100 and small steam engine gauges), I wonder why such a wide difference?  My airplane was 735lb before a few minor upgrades like Matco wheels and brakes.  IIRC, your airplane is an early 2006 airplane; mine is a mid-2007 build.  Maybe they got fatter in that span, we sure know they have chunked up since then!

I can answer that.  In that time frame most US CT's were coming into Carson City then Flight Design West.  Gary Anus was doing the initial aviaonics work on every one, including W&B.  One after the other for a year or so weighed a few pounds more than the last.  Weight was walking up on the CTSW model unit by unit with no official changes being made.  We were convinced the layup composite work was getting beefier at various points. Perhaps responding to early failures from hard landings which were a bit common at first.

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1 hour ago, Ed Cesnalis said:

I can answer that.  In that time frame most US CT's were coming into Carson City then Flight Design West.  Gary Anus was doing the initial aviaonics work on every one, including W&B.  One after the other for a year or so weighed a few pounds more than the last.  Weight was walking up on the CTSW model unit by unit with no official changes being made.  We were convinced the layup composite work was getting beefier at various points. Perhaps responding to early failures from hard landings which were a bit common at first.

That may explain why my 2006 CTSW comes in heavier than yours. My current empty weight is 744 lbs. with tundra gear and Matco’s.

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56 minutes ago, FlyingMonkey said:

Now that is an unfortunate last name.  

Gary's dead now, maybe I remember the name wrong, might have been Annus.

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