Cessna's LSA On Exhibit Next Week
AOPA Expo starts a week from today in Palm Springs, Calif., and among a few other things, Cessna's new Light Sport Aircraft will be there. The airplane flew for the first time just a couple of weeks ago. CEO Jack Pelton says he expects to decide by early next year whether Cessna will produce the airplane. "An important part of our thought process in looking at LSA is the value in terms of new pilot starts," Pelton said. "Experience has shown that Cessna brand loyalty is a powerful force in our success, and we believe this new category of aircraft could provide a conduit for new pilots to grow through the Cessna product line in the years ahead." Cessna's LSA proof-of-concept features a high wing spanning 30 feet, side-by-side seating for two in a cabin with a maximum width of 48 inches (six inches more than the venerable Cessna 152), tricycle gear and a 100-hp Rotax 912 engine. The cockpit features dual control sticks and upward opening doors. Construction is primarily of aluminum, with selective use of composite parts for the cowl, wing and dorsal fin.