Cessna LSA: Under $100K, Or Not At All?

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Cessna's LSA proof-of-concept design was "mobbed every day," at AirVenture, Jack Pelton, Cessna CEO, told The Wichita Eagle. "I can't tell you how many have said, 'I'll write you a check today.' It's been unbelievable." With many still waiting for a new $40,000 airplane, Pelton said the trick would be to produce Cessna's LSA offering for under $100,000. "If we can do that, I think the market is very much there," adding that even that won't be easy. "As you dissect the cost, if you do business as usual, we'll never make the price point," Pelton said. "We're going to have to look at every possible place to be competitive." From what we heard in AVweb's audio news segment with Pelton, that very much means Europe, too. He said current estimates suggest Cessna could sell 600 LSAs per year. A decision about the program's future is expected in early 2007, and decision seems eagerly awaited. Pelton told the Eagle prospective customers who were told that the company wasn't yet accepting orders -- never mind checks -- asked to be put on a waiting list. In short, Pelton said the response to Cessna's introduction of its Light Sport Aircraft "proof-of-concept" at last week's EAA AirVenture was overwhelmingly positive, but what that means for the little guy (and the little airplane) in the future of aviation has yet to be determined.