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Purchase CTLSi or wait for F2

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The F2 is one sweet machine.  I watched a video of Tom from FD USA, I believe at the euro show it was revealed at, and thought he stated "upper 200's" on the price - gulp!  Not to say that it is not worth that, considering price on a Cirrus or Cessna upper 200's is cheap.  I have not been following the FAA LSA category potential updates as the CTsw in current regs fits me fine, but if those play out and impact new designs from manufactures, that could be a factor to consider?  May be a long time before that dust settles, and designs shift.  Although maybe the F2 is already perfect if speed / weight increase / who knows what - is purely a specification update relative to what F2 is currently capable of.  I don't know, but would be a worthy topic when you're kicking the tires at dealer.

Edit - I see on FD website the F2 would be about 200k landed here, must have been the F4 in the upper range of price stated.  Glancing at spec's, the F2 has empty weight of 770lbs, these birds keep getting heavier.  That is 60 lbs over the CTLSi, or in other terms 10 gallons of fuel and 2-3 hours of cruise time.  So, if you plan to cruise any distance with passenger and baggage, consider that.

Edited by GrassStripFlyBoy
correcting info shared

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As for EMPTY WEIGHT the F2 at 770 lbs is 40 lbs LIGHTER than the 2020 CTLSi per the FDUSA website.

On the contrary seems like they're making them lighter now days.

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LSA specifications/limitations are set in stone at this time, and the CTLSi pushes to the edge of those specs. Since the CTLSi and the F2 are confined to the LSA specs, then I don't see that there'd be much difference between the two aircraft. other than design tweaks. What am I missing?

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Personally, I would buy tried-and-true before I bought the latest model.  Every vehicle designed and built whether it be a plane, car or computer, has teething issues.  With that said, it doesn't look like there is much of a leap in ops design from the CTLS to the F2.   My CTLSi is roughtly 15 months old now.  I love it. 

The F2 has a couple of features that I like, for ex, the "C-152" style storage area behind the seats... and, FD is advertising that the F2 is easier to land, I would like that but as I gain more experience, that feature is becoming less important.  The CTLS is easier on the eyes, but that is just me.  The F2's wings are longer, I really like the compactness of the LS.  And of course, the F2 will be more expensive, I doubt it will be that much more expensive than the CTLS.  Surprisingly, the other "premium" LSA's are wackingly more expensive than the CTLSi (Rotax injected model), so FD is probably going to reach for the stars on pricing.

I am looking forward to seeing if the F2 is "faster" than the LS or SW models in real world flying.  And, I am looking forward to seeing if the F2 has a bumpier ride than the LS.  I am very surprised how smooth the LS is in the -6 Flap setting compared to my pals in their Arrows, Bonanzas and Cessnas.  

 

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A MAJOR difference is that the F2 marks the conversation of the FD product line to GARMIN avionics going forward.

All the while DYNON appears to be migrating towards the certified aircraft market.

What that will mean for legacy CT panels in terms of software updates and feature enhancements??? Compare v3 to today's v15.4.7.

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27 minutes ago, NC Bill said:

A MAJOR difference is that the F2 marks the conversation of the FD product line to GARMIN avionics going forward.

All the while DYNON appears to be migrating towards the certified aircraft market.

What that will mean for legacy CT panels in terms of software updates and feature enhancements??? Compare v3 to today's v15.4.7.

Hmm ... Sling line of aircraft standardized on Garmin as well and so did TL Ultralight - and here I am with my 2012 TruTrak efis 🙂

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On 12/21/2019 at 8:33 AM, NC Bill said:

As for EMPTY WEIGHT the F2 at 770 lbs is 40 lbs LIGHTER than the 2020 CTLSi per the FDUSA website.

On the contrary seems like they're making them lighter now days.

Yeah... I was thinking of my SW weight when typing LSi, that's crazy - 810lbs empty, pushing 100 lbs over mine.  Full fuel leaves ~300 lbs useful load, not much to work with.  I'd go with F2 given it's lighter, easier baggage access, and other design elements appeal to me.

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The F2 isn’t much lighter than the CTLS.  The weight revealed above is for the carb Rotax not the injected, 3 screen version.  But the F2 “should” be lighter given the new production process.  Let’s wait until the recently frozen design is actually made, weighed and sold to a real customer.  Then we can compare the weights.

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F2 might be years away, so I'd probably go for a CTLSi.  You can always trade it in later if you must have the F2, and if the LSA rules change you could potentially go E-LSA and raise the weight to whatever seems reasonable and legal.  I always think flying now beats waiting for something with an unknown time frame.

If you get a CTLSi I guarantee you will enjoy it.  I have an "old" CTSW, and I love it so much I'm not sure I'd trade it for an F2, especially given the cost.

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I agree with Andy, I've had a 2008 CTLS and now have a 2014 CTLSi.  I really enjoy this aircraft and I think you would too.  However, if they offer an F2 with the 915 engine I'll mortgage the house just to have it.

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On 12/22/2019 at 7:35 PM, AGLyme said:

The F2 isn’t much lighter than the CTLS.  The weight revealed above is for the carb Rotax not the injected, 3 screen version.  But the F2 “should” be lighter given the new production process.  Let’s wait until the recently frozen design is actually made, weighed and sold to a real customer.  Then we can compare the weights.

To wait to see an actual delivered aircraft is a valid point. At the time I bought my new 2007 CTSW in early 2007, the then current FDUSA website listed the weight of a new one at 660#. So, why is mine 751# and change? Is mine an outlier? No. Seems every CTSW until the end of the CTSW run was heavier than the the one before it. So, trust but verify!

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6 hours ago, okent said:

Not to get too much thread drift but if you go E-LSA, what weight are people saying is reasonable.

Right now 1320lb is your only option for a CT.  If it were unlimited, we know that CTs have flown around the world at 1675lb.  BUT the structure is not designed for that weight, and remember that at 1320lb a CT is designed for +4/-2g loads.  What are those numbers at higher weights?  Nobody knows (well, FD might be able to tell you, but they never would).  But you can be fairly confident the horizontal stab would be the first area to fail.

If I were allowed to reset the weight of my CT, I'd probably choose 1430lb.  It's a nice 110lb bump, and the CT float planes have operated at that weight (yes I know the floats make lift).  The gear, BRS, etc all seem capable of operating at that weight, and it's not such a large weight change I'd be concerned about structural issues in normal operation.  Really all I want is sufficient weight to carry two 200lb-ish people, full fuel, and full baggage (or close to it).

 

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My thoughts exactly.  I've been told that the police units were OK to 1500# but the stall speed changed which was an issue with at least one crash.

In my weight/balance spreadsheet it automatically calculates stall speed for weight at all flap settings and bank angle up to 60 degrees(not that I would fly at that bank)

I look over this each time I fly so I get a mental note of my minimum speeds.  This isn't for the max weight but more so for lighter weights.

I'd be super happy with a plane good for two standard americans, full fuel, full bags.

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17 hours ago, sandpiper said:

To wait to see an actual delivered aircraft is a valid point. At the time I bought my new 2007 CTSW in early 2007, the then current FDUSA website listed the weight of a new one at 660#. So, why is mine 751# and change? Is mine an outlier? No. Seems every CTSW until the end of the CTSW run was heavier than the the one before it. So, trust but verify!

All that accumulated FD build experience apparently has some heft...   :D

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It was done with google sheets but the download is an XL file.  I uploaded the first XL screenshot and the second one is the google sheets view.

Plug in the weight and arm of your airplane along with the pilot/passenger/fuel/baggage and it automatically calculates everything.

The lower sections show speeds at max gross weight and the lowest section shows what you will be at the input/loaded weight.

The lower right section in white is the VSx1.3 to give a speed with safety margin.

What I learned with this is that you just can't get out of CG with this airplane.  If can load it in the plane and be within MGW it is safe.

Screenshot (35).png

Screenshot (36).png

W&B N230C.xlsx

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