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All-but-New 172

By Randy Dufault

  • All-but-new 172
    Yingling Aviation's Ascend 172 is virtually a brand new airplane. The remanufactured craft is intended to be an affordable option for flight schools and flying clubs.
July 21, 2015 - While it still is possible to buy a brand new Cessna 172, the cost of doing so is very high. And often that cost simply does not make economic sense for many flight schools and flying clubs.

Enter the Ascend 172 from Yingling Aviation of Wichita, Kansas. The Ascend program will remanufacture existing 172s to essentially new condition and offer them for sale to businesses and the public.

The company announced the program, in conjunction with AOPA, Monday here at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015. Yingling will produce the airplanes, with AOPA helping to market, finance, and insure them.

“This program is designed to bring low cost flying back to where it is within reach,” said Yingling CEO Lynn Nichols. “The market is right for it, particularly when you compare the price of this to new aircraft prices.”

AOPA President Mark Baker added, “At AOPA we stand by to help finance and insure these airplanes. We are excited that this airplane can be out here for another 40 or 50 years serving the public through clubs and flight schools.

“This movement, as I call it, of restoring airplanes is in its early stages. We want to be part of helping the standards get written as to what constitutes a rebuilt or refurbished airplane, not just a repainted or reupholstered airplane.”

 In 1946 Yingling became Cessna’s first sales and service dealer, and today is still the largest parts dealer for the Wichita–based manufacturer.

With facilities to maintain or overhaul everything in airplanes like the 172, except for overhauling the engine and painting the airframe, Nichols indicated Yingling is uniquely qualified. The Ascend program leverages that capability to create what is essentially a new airplane.

Ascend 172s start out as a used, but serviceable, 172 N model. Once they arrive the entire airframe is stripped of its contents and meticulously inspected. Any corrosion or other potential problem areas are addressed.

The engine is sent out for a complete overhaul. Engine truss and prop are overhauled or replaced as necessary.

Outside of the airframe and the engine, virtually everything thing else is brand new. Although a number of standard paint schemes are available, the yellow that the model here at AirVenture 2015 sports is intended to be noticed and start conversations about affordable flying.

Base price for the Ascend 172 is $159,000 and it can be seen in AOPA’s booth at the corner of Knapp Street Road and Waukau Avenue.
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