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Animosity2k

In market for a CTLS few questions!

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So I am in the market for my first plane. I have decided I'd like to purchase a CTLS and am having trouble deciding between new vs pre-owned. Outside of fuel consumption what are some other benefits of going with the fuel injected version? As far as maintenance is concerned is it something that many of you are able to do on your owns or does it need to be serviced by a FD certified technician. When looking at pre-owned CTLS' what should I keep an eye out for? Also I notice a lot of these are sold w/ a night flying package. Being that LSA pilot limitations limit us to flying during the day only what is the point of this added option?

Thanks in advance. 

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Hopefully I can help answer some of your questions as I went through the same process recently.  I purchased a new CTLSi (Injected version).

If you have a PPL, you can fly the CT at night.  If you have a Light Sport license, you cannot fly the CT at night.  

The major benefit of the Fuel Injected design is gas efficiency.  The forums suggest a 20% savings over the Carb version, I wouldn't know as I have never owned a carb version.   In cruise, I experience a 3.5 gals per hour burn.  The other 2 benefits are: no carb heat worries/risk, and, no carb syncing.

Looking way, way forward, and based on what some experts have said on forums, the Rotax company will phase out all of their carb motors  eventually.  My personal bet is that the electric engine will take over the GA world anyway as soon as the battery mysteries are solved.  Flying for 30-60 minutes doesn't cut it.  But someone will figure it out, and hopefully not a rare earth metals solution.

The two big drawbacks to the injected engine vs carb engine are 1) weight... about 16 lbs extra according to the Rotax Website.  But, you don't need as much gas, so it's a bit of a trade-off, and, 2) if you lose electrical power, i.e. exhaust the battery... the engine dies.  Not so in the carb version.  To my knowledge, not a single injected engine has experienced this condition yet, and, the (new) CTLS glass cockpit provides warnings in the event electrical power loss is imminent.

I recently took a maintenance course.  All I want to be able to do is oil and plugs.  Mission accomplished for me.  Zero difference between the "i" engine and the carb version.  With the "i" version, there is a computer dongle and a computer program you can buy to analyze engine performance and problems similar to what your auto dealer does today.  It cost about $1,600 if you want your own.  I will probably not buy it and just go to the tech an hour down the road from me (30 minutes flying).

Enjoy the search.

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I'm happy to give you one perspective.

Three years ago, I purchased a 2013 CTLSiS (fuel injected, Sport model), have about 200 hours on it, and also have about 10 hours in a CTLS carbureted engine.

In terms of the flight characteristics of the two planes, I didn't discern any difference.

Previously to owning the CT, I owned three other planes, one carbureted and the other two fuel-injected.  I opted for the fuel-injected in the CT, as I felt it was a more modern, hopefully less maintenance-prone engine.  Knowing what I now know, I'm not sure that there's a big difference.

MOGAS is inexpensive, and the marginal difference between the two planes in fuel economy doesn't translate to a big number in absolute dollars. 

The carbureted engine requires some carburetor maintenance, and it's technically prone to carburetor icing, although my understanding is that it's rare in this airplane/engine configuration.  I believe that the fuel-injected engine is a bit more complicated for maintenance, both because there is more electronics, and because most Rotax A&P's have much more experience in the carbureted engines.  My perception from the A&P that works on my plane is that the engine has posed some additional challenges for him.

One big factor is weight.  If you're wanting to take an additional passenger, go a long distance, and do it legally (which I recommend!), then the newer the plane the higher it seems that the weight is.  I was all set to order a new plane, then when I saw the weight, I decided to get one that was slightly used, as the weight difference was about 30 pounds, and the 5 extra gallons of fuel was a huge plus for me.  I've owned one new plane of the four I've had, and you pay a real premium for the new plane smell.  If you can get a nice used plane, I think it's far more economical.

Regarding the night flying package, if you have or intend to have a Private Pilot license or above, the plane can be flown at night; this restriction applies to the pilot, not the plane, if it has proper equipment.  While I've never been much of a fan of night flying, I do like have the option of flying it at night if I'm late getting home.  That said, of the roughly 150 night landings that I've done, I've never done one in my CT.

Andy

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Thanks for your tips! I'm a long time paramotor pilot and also have been long awaiting Electric Paramotors to take over the sport but as you mentioned the batteries stand in the way for the time being. I do not have my PPL and do not see myself getting it anytime soon as I have some medical issues that may pose a problem and I do not want my LS license to be on deferment while going through the whole process. Also, I don't see well at night as it is and don't think I'd really enjoy night flying. What do you look for as far as records when looking at these planes? Do many people list them with much wiggle room? I'm finding pricing of around $250month for indoor hanger space and $2500-3000 a year for insurance for a new pilot which I don't see being that bad. What can I expect as far as annual maintenance costs go? I'm really trying hard to weigh the decision of buying vs renting.  I don't anticipate being able to fly more than 100 hours a year however to rent I have to drive 1.25 hours to the nearest airport with an CTLS. I live 1,500 feet from my county airport so the thought of being able to wake up early an hour before I have to be into work and taking a quick flight is very appealing... 

Also, I live in Northern Ohio, do any of you regularly fly during the winter months? I'd imagine the CTLS cannot be flow in any snow (wouldn't that be considered IFR?).

Thanks in advance. 

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2 minutes ago, Animosity2k said:

Thanks for your tips! I'm a long time paramotor pilot and also have been long awaiting Electric Paramotors to take over the sport but as you mentioned the batteries stand in the way for the time being. I do not have my PPL and do not see myself getting it anytime soon as I have some medical issues that may pose a problem and I do not want my LS license to be on deferment while going through the whole process. Also, I don't see well at night as it is and don't think I'd really enjoy night flying. What do you look for as far as records when looking at these planes? Do many people list them with much wiggle room? I'm finding pricing of around $250month for indoor hanger space and $2500-3000 a year for insurance for a new pilot which I don't see being that bad. What can I expect as far as annual maintenance costs go? I'm really trying hard to weigh the decision of buying vs renting.  I don't anticipate being able to fly more than 100 hours a year however to rent I have to drive 1.25 hours to the nearest airport with an CTLS. I live 1,500 feet from my county airport so the thought of being able to wake up early an hour before I have to be into work and taking a quick flight is very appealing... 

Also, I live in Northern Ohio, do any of you regularly fly during the winter months? I'd imagine the CTLS cannot be flow in any snow (wouldn't that be considered IFR?).

Thanks in advance. 

Snow isn't technically IFR, but I don't fly my CTLSi in the snow.  I didn't fly any plane in the snow, even with an instrument rating and a plane with some ice protection.  That said, I fly the CT in the winter all the time, in clear weather.

Regarding the issue of the fuel-injected engine, given that it has electronic ignition, if it loses power the engine is gone.  However, there are two alternators that would need to go first, then there's still the 30+ minutes of battery power.  Possible to have the trifecta, but very remote.  And, the magnetos have their own possible issues, although there are two of them.  Personally, I don't think either engine is at much risk in this area.

The electronic ignition plane runs like my car, in terms of easy starts, stops, hot-starts, etc.  I love that...it's essentially the FADEC that the big-bore engines have been looking at forever.

Logbooks should be available on any plane you buy.  There are a number of A&P's on this forum who are extremely knowledgeable about these planes, including the one that works on my plane.  It wouldn't surprise me if they were willing to be retained to do an inspection of the logbooks, and an inspection on the plane.  Unless it was under warranty I'd never purchase a plane without a thorough pre-buy inspection.  I think generally planes' list prices are subject to some negotiation.

Andy  

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2 hours ago, andyb said:

By the way, I'd estimate maintenance costs to be about $2,500 per year.

Thank you, so far between insurance, hangar, and expected maintenance I'm figuring $700mo. 

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Hey Guys,

When you refer to a "Light Sport License" I think you mean "Sport Pilot Certificate", a designation for a person; as opposed to "Light Sport Aircraft", which is a designation for a plane.

This may sound anal, but I think there's a great confusion within the flying community (though not so much on this forum) as to the limitations on the pilot versus the aircraft. The pilot certificate should have been given a completely different name, like "Class A Pilot Certificate", to reduce the confusion.

Mike Koerner

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3 hours ago, Mike Koerner said:

Hey Guys,

When you refer to a "Light Sport License" I think you mean "Sport Pilot Certificate", a designation for a person; as opposed to "Light Sport Aircraft", which is a designation for a plane.

This may sound anal, but I think there's a great confusion within the flying community (though not so much on this forum) as to the limitations on the pilot versus the aircraft. The pilot certificate should have been given a completely different name, like "Class A Pilot Certificate", to reduce the confusion.

Mike Koerner

Thanks for clarifying!

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I think andyb gave you a good run-down.  There are pros and cons to both engines.  The primary pro of the injected engine is fuel economy, the primary con is weight.  The extra 18lb or so of the injection system gets magnified by the need for dual electrical systems to ensure the injectors always get juice.

Don't let the need for "carb maintenance" scare you off of a carbed engine.  With practice you can perform a carb sync in ten minutes, I do it twice a year in the late Fall and late Spring.  When I checked at at my annual in March, the carbs needed zero adjustment.  The carbs need overhaul every few years, but I did that myself too with no prior experience and it was dead simple.  My carbs had nearly 400 hours on at the time and all the internal parts looked like they could have gone another 400.  I did both carbs in an afternoon.  If you have an SLSA Roger Lee can do them for you with a couple of days turnaround.

I don't think there's a wrong answer on which engine to choose, they are both great.  Either way though, I'd buy a used airplane in good condition with no damage history.  A new airplane will cost you 30-50% more, and that's a lot to pay for "new airplane smell" unless you've got enough in your bank account that the extra cost is inconsequential to you.  

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The main issue with carbs , imho, can be related to floats - it is kind of crapshoot proposition as far as I can tell , some people can go on for years with their floats without any problem while others have to keep changing multiple times and still have sinking or peeling floats.

The main benefit of carbs is that you can actually fix issues there rather easily ( most of the time ) while in IS engines , if something goes wrong , it is pretty much replacement time.

Still, if I were to buy a plane again, I would go with the IS engine.

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I think the answer is more simplistic. Do you want to spend around $80-$90k on a nice plane or do you want to spend $150k on a nice plane?  Because the capabilities difference between a 10 year old CT and a brand new CT are marginal. 

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I have a CTLSi and love it.  If I'm going somewhere, I run about 5400 rpms and burn about 4.8 gph.  I can throttle back to 3 to 4 gph, but lose too much speed for my liking.  I have never flown the non fuel injection, so I don't really know what I'm missing.  I will tell you that whatever you do, make sure you get a plane with the Dynon Skyviews.  They are awesome.  I would take a non fuel injected plane with Skyviews over a fuel injected one without them.

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Quote:

The main benefit of carbs is that you can actually fix issues there rather easily ( most of the time ) while in IS engines , if something goes wrong , it is pretty much replacement time.

I don't mean to be aggressive, nor did I "downvote" your post ... ; )... but, what Knowledge base (data) provides the backup for this statement?  The iS maintenace history is excellent.  I recently emerged from a California Power Systems + Roger Lee workshop and that is what I understand from their perspective.  You may want to noodle around the Rotax websites out there... the iS had some minor issues 6-7 years ago... and other than that, (relatively) trouble free... and the economy is as advertised.  PS:  no iS has ever quit due to electrical malfunctions -- ever.

I bought a new plane, not for the "smell" Andy, rather, I plan on keeping it for a very long time (figuring I have at least 20 years left to fly, and the delta cost old vs new amortized over that period of time is negligible (my rubber replacement is 5 years hence, etc...).  Knowing where my plane has been has value to me... I know I am going to take superb care of it because my life (et.al) depends on it.  

I also know I am going to get downvoted for this post too by one of the two Amigos... ; )

PS:  def. get Auto Pilot... worth its weight in gold.

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AGLyme, I don’t know why you feel like you have to justify your selection of a new airplane to me.  I wish I had the funds to be able to buy one new, but I don’t.  If you want a new airplane for pride of ownership reasons, or just because you want it, enjoy!  However, I don’t think there is a functional or reliability difference between a new CT and a used one that has had a thorough vetting and pre-buy inspection.  My 5+ year ownership experience with a used CT bears that out.

I agree that replacement is not the only option with injected engines.  But I do think fuel and induction issues will be harder and more expensive to diagnose and fix with injection.

I don’t know if I’m considered one of the “Amigos” you referenced, but I have never downvoted your posts (intentionally, anyway).

I agree an autopilot is pretty clutch.

 

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I didn’t meant the whole engine replacement but, as with modern cars ( or in general computers ) there is no fixing electronics - if something goes wrong with the computer ( which is what ultimately replaces carbs) - it is pretty much replacement time.

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Hi,

Just wanted to add an additional thought or two regarding your search.  I've had 650 hours in a carbureted CTLS and (so far) 200 hours in a CTLSi.  Overall I prefer the fuel injection of the CTLSi.  I cruised at 110 knots in both aircraft, however the carbureted one used 5.5gph and the fuel injection uses 4.1gph.  Also, the newer CT has more electrical power available so I have bright strobe lights.

When looking for a plane you have to be so careful.  Consider avoiding any aircraft that has spent time in a flight school.  And, perhaps most important, read the logbooks very carefully.  The more complete they are the more confidence you can have in the previous maintenance on the plane.  I found what appeared to be a great airplane and asked for the logs.  Midway through my inspection I found a one sentence log entry.  It read "replaced left wing".  Nothing else.  That was the end of that particular search.

Good luck with your search!

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Monkey quote:

"more expensive to diagnose and fix with injection"

Probably the opposite... the injected engine has a dongle and software not unlike automobile dealerships diagnosing a modern auto engine.  Truth is, the injected engines aren't new, just new to small GA... it is actually simple to diagnose a 912 issue, a benefit.  I cannot think of a time when my injected car engine had an internal engine issue say... for the last 25 years... ditto the 912Is... The downside of the dongle/software is the expense of purchasing the dongle/software which if I recall is about $1,700... the dongle plugs into the engine (don't recall where), and a laptop and viola, the engine metrics/issues of the day are outlined in an easy to read format for the tech personnel.  I have not purchased the dongle/software yet.  California Power Systems sells them and suggests that owners buy them and if there is a problem in the field, a diagnosis can be made very quickly.

 

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Touche’ but Rotax Mtc Shops have the dongle and software not unlike every auto shop...  I don’t think I’m going to buy one, unless I travel a lot - I.e. way outside Rotax service center territory...

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The Super Sport looks pretty awesome.  A CTSW with fuel injection, 600lb useful load, improved landing gear, and advanced avionics checks all the boxes for me.

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1 hour ago, FlyingMonkey said:

The Super Sport looks pretty awesome.  A CTSW with fuel injection, 600lb useful load, improved landing gear, and advanced avionics checks all the boxes for me.

+ . . . . a big fat LED landing light . . . that actually shines some useful light!

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