Light-Sport Aircraft Employed To Assess Problems for
European scientists are studying the eruption and ash plume from
the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland with a tool that you might
not expect ... a specially equipped Flight Design CT Supralite.
Dusseldorf Technical University's Department of Volcanology is
using the CT for flights to measure volcanic ash and other volcanic
output. During the flights, sulfur and particle concentrations were
measured in steps of 1,000 feet up to 14,000 feet. The objective
was to quantify or correlate the calculated location and density of
the ash cloud with reality.
To allow for those higher altitude measurements, the CT
Supralite was equipped with an oxygen system for the occupants.
Supralite is a version of the CT series sold in Europe.
The university says the CT Supralite was selected as a research
aircraft because of its strong climb performance of more than 1,000
feet per minute, and its high ceiling for a non-turbine or
non-turbocharged-powered aircraft which has a low risk for damages
from the volcanic ash. Supralite's high cruise speed, range, and
cockpit spaciousness also contribute to its usefulness in this
"It is interesting to see that a Light-Sport airplane can help
in this very public case," said Flight Design CEO, Matthias Betsch,
who was one of those delayed in getting home from Lakeland in
April due to the eruption. "As the CT series is a perfect survey
aircraft, Flight Design believes that more of its aircraft will be
used for this kind of purpose."