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Cessna's Model 162 SkyCatcher Light Sport Aircraft

Cessna SkyCatcher completes ASTM compliance, clearing the way for deliveries

Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, announced today its Model 162 SkyCatcher Light Sport Aircraft is in compliance with ASTM International standards for Light Sport Aircraft. Deliveries are expected to begin before year's end.

"This is significant not only for Cessna, but for the aviation community as a whole," said Cessna Chairman, President and CEO Jack Pelton. "Once these airplanes enter service, they will act as a catalyst for increased pilot starts. They will significantly change the economics of ownership and operation for flight schools, aircraft renters and aircraft owners, and will benefit the entire GA community."

The Model 162 SkyCatcher is a two-place, single-engine piston, high-wing aircraft in the Light Sport Aircraft category, defined in the United States as an aircraft with a gross weight under 1320 pounds and with a top speed of no more than 120 knots. LSAs are built to ASTM International standards.

The 162 is powered by a Continental O-200D 100-hp air-cooled, carbureted engine and a fixed-pitch propeller. The aircraft will cruise at speeds up to 118 knots and will have a maximum range of 470 nautical miles. The Cessna 162 SkyCatcher features a Garmin G300 avionics system. Information is presented in a single, split-screen primary flight display (PFD) and multi-function display (MFD), or as two full-screen displays with an optional second screen. The SkyCatcher will be capable of Visual Flight Rules/Day/Night operations.

In several areas, Cessna conducted additional tests on the SkyCatcher not required by the ASTM International standards, such as an extensive Ground Vibration Test (GVT) and instrumented, in-flight flutter testing. Planned testing, also not required by ASTM, includes an airframe fatigue test to ensure a durable product for the training environment.

After conducting a global search for a production partner that could not only handle high-quality, high-rate production, but could make the requisite investment in the program, Cessna chose Shenyang Aircraft Company in Shenyang, China, a company with experience in military and civil aircraft production and assembly. SAC will fabricate the fuselage and integrate the U.S.-made engine and avionics.

Following shipment to the U.S., the 162s will be reassembled for delivery at one of three regional locations.

Cessna, in association with King Schools, has also developed a new Web-based training system for sport and private pilot certificates that will be available through the Cessna Pilot Center network of flight schools.

Cessna launched its SkyCatcher program at AirVenture Oshkosh in 2007 and has since amassed more than 1,000 orders.

Press release issued by Textron Aviation Inc. on July 27, 2009


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