Cessna has delivered its first Light Sport Aircraft model 162 Skycatcher to Rose Pelton, the wife of Cessna president and CEO Jack Pelton, Dec. 18. The first delivery was announced at AOPA Summit 2009 in Tampa in November. The company held a ceremony Friday at Yingling Aircraft in Wichita, Kan., which is one of three U.S. re-assembly facilities (much of the airframe is made in China) for the aircraft. Cessna says it has gathered more than 1,000 orders for the Skycatcher since the program was announced in 2007 at AirVenture Oshkosh. The company, together with King Schools, has developed a Web-based training system for sport and private certificates that will be available through the Cessna Pilot Center network.
The Skycatcher is Cessna’s answer to the Light Sport Aircraft rules and fits within the restrictions that hold it to a 1320-pound gross weight and a 120-knot top speed. The aircraft is powered by a 100-hp Continental 0-200D that drives a fixed-pitch propeller. It has a maximum range of 470 nautical miles and is available with a split-screen Garmin G300 avionics package. The aircraft is built to be both day and night VFR capable. Pricing is currently set near $110,000.