By Marino Boric, European Correspondent
July 30, 2013 - Flight Design announced the selection of Garmin avionics for its new C4 all-carbon, composite four-seat light aircraft, along with the occupant-safety crashworthiness initiative.
The C4 is based on the popular CT series, which has delivered more than 1,800 units in the last 25 years.
"Garmin's innovative glass cockpit avionics will enhance the capabilities and safety of the C4," said Matthias Betsch, Flight Design president/CEO. "The ability to offer our customers features like angle of attack, dual air data heading reference system, and an autopilot control module along with an integrated glass cockpit at a competitive price makes the C4 an exceptional value."
Added Carl Wolfe, Garmin's vice president of aviation sales and marketing, "We look forward to offering an integrated cockpit with features like synthetic vision technology and an integrated autopilot with a one-touch level button to restore the aircraft to straight and level flight to this class of aircraft."
C4 key features include the new Continental IO-360AF alternate fuels engine, conceived to "future-proof" the C4, an advanced glass panel cockpit, and an integrated, full airplane parachute system.
Like other Flight Design airplanes the C4 is designed for exceptional cross-country performance, too; the C4 is planned to have up to a 1,200 nautical mile range and a very high useful load of 1,320 pounds.
Flight Design also announced an advance in pilot safety on Tuesday.
Initiated by Norlin (Northern Lightweight Design Network) of Hamburg, Germany, and with the C4 as target project, development funding has been granted to the project Safety Box through the German Ministry of Economics and Technology.
The project will identify realistic crash-design cases for the complete aircraft. Considering design constraints of real aircraft, a Safety Box concept has been developed. The concept will include dedicated energy-absorbing elements, as well as improved seat and restraint integration, on the basis of a crashworthy cockpit ergonometric and interior design.
"This is a major step forward compared to today's design philosophy, where elements are considered on their own, but not in concert as an integrated system," said Oliver Reinhardt, Flight Design technical director. The project involves multiple partners like HAW and iDS Hamburg for cabin design and system simulation); FIBRE Fiber Institute Bremen for development and tests of crash absorbers; Titan Prazis Mettalurgie GmbH for fire protection; CH Schneider for integration of seat and occupant restraint systems; and Silence Aircraft for composite elements and crash absorbers production.
Flight Design integrates the system to the C4 aircraft overall design. The system will be developed in a way that allows subsequent integration to the other Flight Design aircraft models. It will also be available to other manufacturers as Flight Design will share the experiences in a suitable way within ASTM F37 and F44 committee meetings.
For more information visit Flight Design at Exhibit 83-87.