Cessna to Build LSA in China
November 28, 2007 — Cessna's entry into the light-sport aircraft (LSA) market, the Model 162 SkyCatcher, will be built in China, the company announced today (Wednesday) in Beijing. Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC), a subsidiary of China Aviation Industry Corporation I (AVIC I), will manufacture the aircraft from Cessna blueprints. Cessna will ensure compliance with the ASTM International standards for special light-sport aircraft, as well as provide on-site personnel to oversee manufacturing, quality assurance, and technical design.
Cessna unveiled a proof-of-concept LSA at EAA AirVenture 2006, and this past summer brought a flying SkyCatcher to Oshkosh. The company plans to make the first flight of the SkyCatcher prototype in the first half of 2008, with deliveries expected to begin in the second half of 2009. At full production capacity, Cessna expects to build up to 700 airplanes a year.
Current orders for the aircraft are approaching 900 at the introductory price of $109,500, which is in effect through the first 1,000 planes. Thereafter, the price increases to $111,500.
Jack Pelton, Cessna chairman, president and CEO, called SAC a company with excellent facilities, state-of-the-art technologies, and a workforce highly experienced in aircraft manufacturing. "The LSA market demands the latest avionics, safety and reliability, light-weight equipment and a competitive price tag," he said. "SkyCatcher customers will get an advanced design, high-quality workmanship and world-class product support, all at an affordable price from Cessna, a brand known and trusted worldwide."
The SkyCatcher features the Garmin glass cockpit, a 100-hp Teledyne Continental O-200D engine for a 118-kts cruise and a maximum range of 470 nm. It is capable of VFR/Day/Night operations. Other SkyCatcher specs are: maximum gross weight - 1,320 pounds; service ceiling - 15,500 feet; useful load - 490 pounds (usable fuel load - 24 gallons).
SAC is a civilian and military aircraft manufacturer with 16,000 employees in Shenyang, China. Clients include Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier, Spirit AeroSystems, and Singapore Aerospace.
"Through decades of joint production ventures and sub-assembly ventures with the industry's top manufacturers, SAC has emerged as the premier aircraft enterprise in China," Pelton said. "That experience and their outstanding facilities and production capabilities make them the perfect partner for us on the SkyCatcher program."