Yesterday I flew the Flight Design CTLS for about an hour. My instructor was Bob Chandler, owner of Chesapeake Aviation. My impressions of Chesapeake Aviation are that it is very much what I expected and what I have seen at a number of flight schools. Bob's wife Dot answers the phones and greets people at the door. She put's in seven days a week there, I may suggest they take a couple off. Bob was outstanding, very knowledgeable about the aircraft and he took nearly an hour showing me all of its eccentricities before we even took off in preflight. The Citabria was sadly down for engine maintenance but it looked very nice. Bob thinks I should get my Sport pilot in the CTLS and then get a tail wheel endorsement after the fact in the Citabria. Then he says I can build my time for my private and so forth in my own plane. Bob thinks my plan is a good one and economical.
The CTLS is fast (cruise 130 mph, stall 39 mph) and it takes some getting used to. For example we had to back way off power on the downwind leg of the pattern just to give it time to slow down enough to land.
It's the first plane I've ever flown that used a stick instead of a yoke. It's extremely sensitive and responds to the slightest control input. Since it's a two seater when you are in the left seat you hold the stick in your left hand and right hand on the throttle, from the right seat you fly the opposite way. Compared to the GA planes I've flown up till now the CTLS handles like a sports car.
The other thing that took some getting used to is the glass cockpit. Pretty much everything was displayed on three LCD screens, engine numbers on the right screen, GPS middle screen, and then the flight instruments on the left screen in front of me. It's fairly intuitive but still different and I struggled some.
The cockpit is quite roomy inside and we didn't rub shoulders like I usually do in GA planes.
We went up and flew out of the pattern and Bob let me make some turns and then just cut me loose. He asked what I would like to do. I told him I would like to head back and shoot approaches so we flew back to the airport and did a few touch and goes and then landed full stop.
At home I've been building work benches. Just about finished with the first bench. I decided to buy new wood and build from scratch because the loft stuff just isn't built flat and true enough to be considered. Decided to use the full sheet of plywood so these project benches are each 4 x 8 and 33 inches tall. Today I am going to pick up some carriage bolts to make them adjustable on the bottom.
I still have to bring the loft storage platform in the garage down to make room for a new closet and I am still going to use the loft structure. I am just going to make tall narrow tool benches out of it (instead of low wide work benches) to hold some of our bench mounted tools (bench sander, bench vice, etc.