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.
The first production Cessna 162 Skycatcher.
Photo by Amy Gesch
interior. Photo by Dan Moore
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
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.