The other day, I posted an announcement that Premier Aircraft Design had released their Flight Design CTws for FS9/FSX. Now that I am back from vacation, I had a chance to take it out for a spin to see how it flies. I flew the FSX version from Medford, Oregon, down to Ashland, then up to Crater Lake and back to Medford.
I must say that I am very impressed with this aircraft. It reminds me a lot of a Piper Super Cub, but with many more creature comforts. It willingly leaves the ground and is susceptible to winds, like the Cub. Cruising is around 110knts while sipping gas. Banking the aircraft brings no real surprises. However, the small engine lacks the power needed for aggressive climbs, but then this isn’t a Mooney. Overall, it is very well behaved and gets the job done on the cheap.
PAD’s model is very detailed, with all of the usual animations. There is a pilot modeled in the exterior view, which offers lots of detail. The shape is a little strange, but then aerodynamics are never “traditional.” The virtual cockpit is detailed as well and has a landing checklist right on the panel. However, it does lack a horizontal horizon (HSI) gauge. This took a little bit of getting used to. With such a simple aircraft, PAD has put a lot of detail that really makes it payware quality… for free.
PAD’s Flight Design CTws is a superb aircraft that should find a welcoming home in every pilot’s hangar. The inexpensive aircraft offers enough performance and comfort to satisfy all but the pickiest pilot’s.