SEBRING, Fla., Jan. 20, 2011 – Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, said today at the annual U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, Fla., that it has received more than 60 Skycatcher light sport aircraft from Shenyang Aircraft Corporation. In conjunction with its reassembly site at Yingling Aviation in Wichita, Kan., Cessna has delivered more than 30 Skycatchers.
“Our U.S. reassembly facility is receiving Skycatchers from Shenyang Aircraft Corporation at an increased cadence, but most importantly the quality of the aircraft continues to be excellent. Feedback from our customers – individuals and flight schools alike – has affirmed the need for a light sport aircraft with the Cessna brand. It’s encouraging to see the Skycatcher enter service in such a positive way,” said Jack J. Pelton, Cessna chairman, president and CEO.
The company is on track to deliver 150 Skycatchers in 2011, including the first models featuring the McCauley two-blade, fixed-pitch composite propeller.
The Skycatcher, announced in 2007, is Cessna’s entry in the popular light sport aircraft category. It features the Garmin G300 avionics suite and a Teledyne Continental O200D engine. Priced at $112,250, the two-seat, single-engine aircraft has a maximum cruise speed of 118 knots with a maximum range at 6,000 feet of 440 nautical miles. Fabrication and assembly is centered at Shenyang Aircraft Corporation in Shenyang, China. Aircraft are shipped to Cessna’s U.S. reassembly site.
Other program milestones in 2010:
- Designed as a low-cost flight trainer, Skycatchers have been delivered to several Cessna Pilot Centers around the country. Cessna Pilot Centers are independently owned and operated flight training affiliates that offer Cessna’s proprietary training curriculum and Cessna aircraft for flight training. There are more than 280 CPCs in the United States and around the world, providing customers with an array of services including flight training. The following CPCs are now using the Skycatcher in flight training: Atlas Aviation, Tampa, Fla.; Bay Air Flying Service, St. Petersburg, Fla; Bob Miller Flight Training, Lancaster, N.Y.; Downtown Aviation, Memphis, Tenn.; Eagle Aircraft, Valparaiso, Ind.; Falcon Executive Aviation, Mesa, Ariz.; Kansas Aviation, Wichita, Kan.; Panorama Flight Service, White Plains, N.Y.; SkyVenture Aviation, Fayetteville, Ark.; Space Coast Aviation, Merritt Island, Fla.; Spirit Aviation, Thomason, Ga.; Suburban Aviation, Ypsilanti, Mich.
- The complete pilot handbook for the Skycatcher is online. The handbook provides system descriptions and basic operating parameters. Having it online complements Cessna’s new online Sport/Private Pilot Course available through Cessna Pilot Centers. The Skycatcher POH is also available through the course’s online library. Cessna expects to expand the program to include an instrument rating course in the future. The new training program is a key component of Cessna’s effort to make flying more accessible and to re-energize pilot training. Customers pursuing the sport certificate have access to all parts of the Cessna Sport/Private Pilot Course and can easily move into the private-pilot-only segments of the course when ready. The Web-based system keeps track of every aspect of their training and they can access training materials from any location where they have access to the Internet. And since it is web-based, changes and updates can be made instantly, with no replacement materials to distribute. Click here to access the Skycatcher POH.
- The Skycatcher design team was named winner of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Piper General Aviation Award for 2010. AIAA presents the Piper General Aviation Award annually for outstanding contributions leading to the advancement of general aviation. The award honors William T. Piper, Sr., who was founder and first president of Piper Aircraft Corporation 1929-1970.