Cessna SkyCatcher prototype nears completion

Cessna SkyCatcher prototype nears completion
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February 27, 2008 The Cessna SkyCatcher, which has been attracting a steady stream of attention since the program was officially launched last year, will have a prototype ready to fly in the coming months.

Designed for the sport flying and training market, the Model 162 SkyCatcher is an all-metal, twin-seater monoplane with a single engine that packs 100-horsepower. The high-wing craft can travel at 118 knots to a maximum altitude of 15,500 feet and will have a maximum range of 470 nautical miles. Other key design specs include a maximum gross weight of 1,320 pounds, a useful load of 490 pounds and 24 gallons of usable fuel. Two top-hinged cabin entry doors and forward pivoting seats give access to a 12.5 cubic-foot baggage compartment and the plane will have tricycle landing gear with a castering nose wheel and standard dual toe-actuated disc brakes.

The aircraft will feature a Garmin G300 avionics system with information presented in a single, split-screen primary flight display (PFD) or as two full-screen displays with an optional second screen. The aircraft will be capable of day and night, visual flight rules operations.

Cessna's engineering team is building three airframes: prototype, first production and a test article for American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) compliance work. The aluminum aircraft will meet the ASTM standard for F2245 light sport aircraft, and be priced at around US$100 000.

Cessna engineers have tested and tweaked the proof of concept aircraft for nearly a year, and have recently evaluated its engine cooling and propeller pitch settings. Cessna is currently selecting vendors for SkyCatcher’s optional equipment.

Further reading at the SkyCatcher site.

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