LSA goes into production as Model 162 SkyCatcher

Cessna has revealed that its highly anticipated Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) will be called the Model 162 SkyCatcher.First flight of the prototype 162 – as opposed to the proof-of-concept aircraft that has been flying for a year – is set for the first half of 2008 and deliveries are expected to begin in 2009. Cessna expects to produce up to 700 a year at full-rate production.The 162 will be powered by a 100hp Continental O-200D engine with a fixed-pitch composite propeller. It is expected to cruise at 118kt and have a maximum range of 470nm.The SkyCatcher will feature a Garmin G300 avionics system, 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 VFR day/night operations.“For the past year, we have been soliciting feedback from the market on our proof-of-concept aircraft, and the result is an airplane that we believe is the most advanced and innovative in its class,” said Cessna Chairman, President and CEO Jack Pelton at a press conference at Oshkosh.It will have a maximum gross weight of 1,320lb, a service ceiling of 15,500ft, a useful load of 490lb, and a usable fuel load of 24 gallons. The aircraft will have tricycle landing gear with a castering nose wheel and standard dual toe-actuated disc brakes.The SkyCatcher will cost $109,500 for the first 1,000 orders and then increase to $111,500.