Cessna LSA Unveiled

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The proposed Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) made its debut at AirVenture Oshkosh Monday to an eager sun-drenched crowd. LSA's are defined by a maximum gross weight of 1,320 pounds, maximum level-flight speed of 120 knots, and no more than two seats ... so that much was no surprise. Cessna's uncommitted proof-of-concept (click for images) offering features a strutted high wing spanning 30 feet and side-by-side seating in a cabin with a maximum width of 48 inches (hop into your local Cessna 152 and add six inches). The cockpit is accessed via upward opening doors and sports large windows and dual control sticks. Targeting pleasure flyers and new pilots the aircraft sits on tricycle gear, steers (while on the ground) via toe brakes (plus a castering nose wheel), and is pulled aloft by a 100-hp Rotax 912 engine. Construction is mostly aluminum, with selective use of composites for the cowl, wing and dorsal fin. Cessna chairman, president and CEO, Jack Pelton, said first flight of the aircraft is planned for later this year. Cessna says reaction to the aircraft will help determine whether the company will enter into the budding LSA sector.