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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS FeedFirst production SkyCatcher makes Oshkosh debut
  

The first production Cessna 162 Skycatcher.
Photo by Amy Gesch

Skycatcher interior. Photo by Dan Moore

When the prototype Cessna 162 was unveiled to the public at EAA AirVenture 2007, it was to rave reviews-and a hefty order book. The Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. company, had successfully launched their light-sport aircraft initiative.

Today, Cessna unveiled the first production Model 162 SkyCatcher, complete with a production interior. Three airframes have now been completed against an order book totaling more than 1,000 aircraft.

The 162 prototype and the first production aircraft have accumulated more than 90 hours for ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) flight testing, which will be completed later this year. All engineering work and testing of the 162 will be completed in Wichita, Kansas. Flight testing is now focused on gathering the test data to show compliance with the ASTM standard.

Beyond flight testing, design of the production assembly jigs and tooling by Shenyang Aircraft Corporation is progressing rapidly. All assembly tool designs are complete with 30 percent built and located in the assembly building. All detail tool designs to support fabrication are complete and are in process. Cessna has a cross-functional team located in Shenyang, China, working in the areas of Operations, Quality, Engineering, Manufacturing, and Supply Chain.

Deliveries are scheduled to begin in the second half of 2009, and at full-rate production, Cessna plans to produce up to 700 SkyCatchers a year.

Priced at $111,500 in 2007 dollars, the 162 is expected to cruise at speeds up to 118 knots with a maximum range of 470 nautical miles. The aircraft will feature a Garmin G300 avionics system, which presents the pilot with a single, split-screen primary flight display and multi-function display, or two full-screen displays with an optional second screen. The aircraft will be capable of day and night, visual flight rules operations.

Preliminary design parameters for the SkyCatcher include a maximum gross weight of 1,320 pounds, a service ceiling of 15,500 feet, a useful load of 490 pounds, and a usable fuel capacity of 24 gallons. It has a cabin width at shoulder height of more than 44 inches, equaling that of the much-larger, six-place Cessna 206 Stationair. It features two top-hinged cabin entry doors and forward pivoting seats giving access to a baggage compartment.

Stop by and see the SkyCatcher and other Cessna products at their exhibit in the Main Aircraft Display area between Exhibit Hangars A and C.

 

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