Comes One Year After Model's Introduction
Cessna unveiled to the public the first production Model 162
SkyCatcher light sport aircraft, complete with a production
interior, Monday morning at the Experimental Aircraft
Association’s AirVenture 2008.
The unveiling comes one year from the date, and at the same
venue where Cessna officially launched the light sport aircraft
program. Since the launch, Cessna has taken orders for more than
1,000 SkyCatchers and completed three airframes for the
Cessna says 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. A third airframe serves as an ASTM test article
and has started static testing. The primarily aluminum aircraft
will meet ASTM standard F2245 for the light sport category.
All engineering work and testing of the 162 will be completed in
Wichita, KS at Cessna Aircraft Field Airport adjacent to McConnell
Air Force Base. 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 what it terms a "cross-functional" team located in
Shenyang, China, working in the areas of Operations, Quality,
Engineering, Manufacturing and Supply Chain. Once production
begins, all SkyCatchers will be built in Shenyang, then shipped to
the US for reassembly.
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, where information can be presented either in a single,
split-screen primary flight display and multi-function display, or
as two full-screen displays with an optional second screen. The
aircraft will be capable of day and night, visual flight rules
Preliminary design parameters for the SkyCatcher include a
maximum gross weight of 1,320 pounds, a service ceiling of 15,500
feet, useful load of 490 pounds and a usable fuel capacity of 24