New Airplane: 2005 Flight Design CTSW (N722VJ)

After losing our Citabria (see: Citabria N5156X Landing Gear Accident), we set about looking for a new (well a replacement) airplane.  The main things we were after in the search were the following:

  • 2 seats (more is better, but budget is an issue)
  • efficient fuel burn
  • inexpensive maintenance
  • newer design and materials

The overall cost of ownership was probably the biggest consideration.  And the more we talked about it, the more we gravitated toward Light Sport Airplanes.  They’re newer, fairly inexpensive to buy, and definitely less expensive than traditionally certified airplanes.

Budget dictated that we find a fairly inexpensive used model, so I did a fair amount of hunting around.  In doing so, I learned that most of the cheaper used LSAs are either fairly high-time, used by flight schools, or both.  Those that remained were tens of thousands of dollars above what we were able to spend.

So imagine my surprise when, on my second visit to the Flight Design Forum, I discovered that the price had just been reduced on N722VJ: a 2005 Flight Design CTSW.

Flight Design CTSW Solo

After a bit of phone and email contact with the owner(s), I arranged a time to visit back in January (after our cruise to Mexico) and see the airplane in person.  And, to make a long story short, we took delivery of our new airplane a few weeks ago.

Flight Design CTSW Solo

So far I have about 5.5 hours of flying time in it and am really enjoying it.  It’s fairly quiet, comfortable, easy to fly, and has great visibility.  The most notable difference between the CTSW and other airplanes I’ve flown is the landing technique.  I find that treating it like a high performance glider makes the landings a lot easier.

More pictures of N722VJ are in my Flickr account.

About Jeremy Zawodny

I'm a software engineer and pilot. I work at craigslist by day, hacking on various bits of back-end software and data systems. As a pilot, I fly Glastar N97BM and high performance gliders in the northern California and Nevada area. I'm also the original author of "High Performance MySQL" published by O'Reilly Media. I still speak at conferences and user groups on occasion.
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10 Responses to New Airplane: 2005 Flight Design CTSW (N722VJ)

  1. Roger says:

    Does it include the parachute system? It looks like there is a panel in the right place.

  2. Nelson says:

    It’s a really pretty plane, I’m glad I got to see it. I’m amazed that all 6’5″ of me fits inside! That ~600lb useful load is really impressive, too.

  3. fd says:

    What’s the -6 degree flap setting for?

  4. It’s for cruise flight!

  5. fd says:

    Cruise flight. Hmm. I wonder what aerodynamic principle(s) explain how a negative flap setting improves performance–and how the designers figured out that “-6” was better than any other setting.

  6. James says:

    Epic Blog.
    Epic Plane.

  7. joanna says:

    hi jeremy,
    nice plane. i was hoping you could help me out. its my fiancees bday soon, and he was taking flying lessons here in san antonio, tx. and he told me how he would one day love to fly in san francisco, that’s where he is from. do you have any recommendations? i was looking into Discovery Flights. But seeing how he already has some experience is this the best route to take?
    I would appreciate any suggestions.
    Thanks!

  8. Spikey Mike says:

    About that negative flap setting: Maules do this too – the high-lift wing will cause the airplane to ‘plow’ through the air. Giving negative flaps will spoil some of the lift, requiring less elevator input, eliminating or reducing the ‘plow’ effect.

  9. Pingback: Our Trip to Montana De Oro State Park | How To Eat And Live

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