Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Leader Of The Pack
Fuel injection, constant refinements: why the CT line remains number one
Jonathan Carter, the certified flight instructor (CFI) who transitioned my CFI John Lampson into the CT a few years back, makes an excellent point: "Pilots need to hit the books with these digital displays. It's too distracting to learn how to operate them during a flight lesson; there's just too much to learn."
I couldn't agree more. Over the years, I've noticed how hard it can be to locate a specific readout on an unfamiliar display.
To conclude, let's wrap up with a few more highlights.
Flight Design's engine installation for the 912iS is simply immaculate. It's roomier, easier to work on and requires less maintenance (no carb tuning, for example).
The engine will operate on avgas or auto fuel (MOGAS with up to 10% ethanol content). The wing tanks are rated for ethanol, which can slowly erode improperly formulated composite materials, as happened on earlier CT and other maker's tanks.
The 912iS, although slightly heavier, has a 30% power-to-weight ratio advantage over the new Lycoming IO 233 LSA and 20% over the Continental 0-200D. CO2 emissions using MOGAS are 38% and 44% higher, respectively—even the conventional-carbed Rotax 912 has 21% higher emissions!
A new header tank with 1.7 more gallons of fuel accommodates the fuel injection system. There's also increased alternator output to enable Garmin's GNS 650 and 750 touch-screen displays: no extra alternator required.
The landing light and all other illumination is by LED. There's even a 12-volt plug for iPad, iPod and other mobile devices. My one little squawk for the entire airplane: the new fuel selector lever on the rear bulkhead, between the seats, feels awkward to reach—a potential safety challenge if switching tanks after fuel starvation.
My takeaway: If you're searching for a top-line, thoroughly refined, robust long-distance S-LSA with all the latest bells and whistles and the benefits of fuel injection, do yourself a favor: demo a CTLSi to experience what LSA state-of-the-art is all about.
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