SHENYANG, China, Sept. 17, 2009 – Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, announced today that the first Model 162 Skycatcher fabricated and assembled on production tooling flew here Thursday at the factory in Shenyang in northeast China.
The aircraft performed a number of handling quality tests during the flight.
“The Skycatcher program continues to make significant progress, today with the first flight of our very first aircraft produced on production tooling, following closely on the heels of our announcement in July of ASTM compliance for the aircraft,” said Jack J. Pelton, Cessna chairman, president and CEO. “We are excited about this program and eager for the Model 162 Skycatcher to take its place in the industry as the light sport aircraft of choice.”
The Model 162 Skycatcher is a two-place, single-engine piston, high-wing aircraft in the Light Sport Aircraft category, defined in the United States as an aircraft with a gross weight under 1,320 pounds and with a top speed of no more than 120 knots. LSAs are built to and comply with ASTM International standards.
The 162 is powered by a Continental O-200D 100-hp air-cooled, carbureted engine and a fixed-pitch propeller. The aircraft will cruise at speeds up to 118 knots and will have a maximum range of 470 nautical miles. The Cessna 162 Skycatcher features a Garmin G300 avionics system. Information is presented in a single, split-screen primary flight display (PFD) and multi-function display (MFD), or as two full-screen displays with an optional second screen. The Skycatcher will be capable of Visual Flight Rules/Day/Night operations.
Shenyang Aircraft Company was selected following a global search for a production partner that could handle high-quality production. SAC has a long history with experience in military and civil aircraft production and assembly. SAC is fabricating the fuselage and integrating U.S.-made engine, systems and avionics.
Following shipment to the U.S., the 162s will be reassembled for delivery at one of three regional locations.
Cessna, in association with King Schools, has also developed a new Web-based training system for sport and private pilot certificates that will be available through the Cessna Pilot Center network of flight schools.
Cessna launched its Skycatcher program at AirVenture Oshkosh in 2007 and has since received more than 1,000 orders.