Cessna Hints At Change In NGP Project

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Cessna has stopped calling its NGP design project a next-generation piston, and this week instead identified it as a "next generation propeller" aircraft. With the addition of the former Columbia single-engine airplanes, now the Cessna 350 and 400, Cessna said it is working on re-positioning the NGP to "fit logically" into its product lineup. “Our team is working on finalizing the configuration,” said Van Abel, Cessna’s project engineer for the NGP. “We continue to evaluate features and materials that will produce a new, unique aircraft family with a potential for multiple powerplants.” Cessna has displayed the NGP concept at numerous air shows to gather customer feedback, while a cross-functional team continues to assess the business case for adding what Cessna calls "a family of innovative airplanes." Cessna added that it will not release any performance data or specifications until a launch decision is made.

Meanwhile, Cessna said it is continuing to integrate the former Columbia manufacturing plant in Bend, Ore., into the company, and will deliver 150 of the airplanes this year. The NGP proof-of-concept debuted at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh . Since then, engineers have collected performance numbers and made aerodynamic modifications based on those figures, Cessna says.