Cessna 162 Skycatcher Should Grab a Chunk of the Flight Training Market

By Robert Mark on July 22nd, 2007

AirVenture is so much different than Paris. You can actually get close to the new machines in Oshkosh, which is just what I did this morning when Cessna officially unveiled the new Cessna 162 Skycatcher, the airplane giant’s new entry in the Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) category.

EAA president Tom Poberezny sat on stage today with Cessna CEO Jack Pelton during the ceremony. “People today have much higher expectations for training airplanes than they did years ago,” he told the audience. Cessna hopes the 162 will fill that hole that has been vacant in the training aircraft marketplace for many years.

Although copies of the new two-place Cessna won’t become available until the second half of 2009, orders are now being taken in Oshkosh. $5000 reserves a slot on the first 1,000 airframes.

The cabin is wide, as wide as a Cessna 206, according to Cessna CEO Jack Pelton. I didn’t do the math, but I can tell you the 162 was much more comfortable than either of the Cessna 152s I’ve owned.

The airplane will use a composite propeller attached to a standard 100 hp Continental engine that Cessna market research revealed customers wanted.

The 162 uses a stick that emerges from the center panel like a control wheel. Cessna didn’t want to waste valuable floor real estate with a traditional control stick. The company has a patent pending on the new style too.  Avionics are the Garmin 300 with a moving map.  An autopilot is an option. There are no current plans to certify the aircraft for IFR.

The airplane uses gull-wing doors mounted in front of the strut for ease of entry. Ground handling is via differential braking and a castering nose gear.

An interesting side-note is that even though it is not required for certification, Pelton said, Cessna will submit a 162 to fatigue and static load testing before it comes on line.

Cessna plans to paint the interior on this airplane, rather than sell the model we’re all used to with those ugly plastic bits. They would either fall on the floor during flight or buzzed so much I wanted to tear them off myself.

Useful load on the 162 comes in just a tad under 500 lbs. With maximum fuel load at 24 gallons, two people and gas with leave room for a few small items, or about the same as the 152.

Cessna has borrowed an idea from Cirrus that will add just one more element of trust to any student who learns to fly in the 162 … a ballistic parachute option.

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13 Responses to “Cessna 162 Skycatcher Should Grab a Chunk of the Flight Training Market”

  1. Garry Conn Says:

    Sounds and looks like a real nice plane. It has a redefined and futuristic look to it. It’s pretty trendy. Any word of price?

  2. Cessna Model 162 Skycatcher Unveiled Says:

    […] and trendy new style and an excellent price to boot! Robert Mark at JetWhine published an excellent review of the Cessna 162 Skycatcher. Robert Mark was there when the new Cessna was unveiled. He speaks highly of the new aircraft and […]

  3. The Cessna 162 Skycatcher Says:

    […] article that tells more about the airplane and pilot Robert Mark who authors JetWhine wrote a very descriptive review of the aircraft. The Cessna 162 is an airplane that is targeted toward the flight training […]

  4. GeraldZ Says:

    http://SportPilotTalk.com

  5. Eric Gideon Says:

    What’s coolest about Light Sport aircraft is that, based on my reading of 61.303, they can be used to train pilots working on other ratings.

  6. Fred Says:

    This Cessna will fade as fast as came about.
    People will realize, that the technology is just too outdated.
    It needs a Diesel engine. It is too slow. It doesn’t carry enough load. (I am one of the fat people – 325 pounds!) That makes it a one seater for me.
    No IFR possible.
    Range is too limited.
    And it has a stick! Who wants that?

  7. ed Says:

    It seems to fill a gap very well as a 152 replacement with proven components (engine, Garmin) with an established service network.

    The training world is clearly the market as opposed to leisurely light sport pilots. Any flight school would rather have a few of these as opposed to more expensive new 172s for basic flight training.

    Is it utility class like the 152?

  8. John Toothaker Says:

    Congratulations and best wishes to Cessna. What an incredible starting point for a new airplane. I am a diesel fan myself and will be watching powerplant developments in that area, and you can bet that Cessna will be doing the same. This aircraft, backed by the Cessna reputation for support and reliability will be a winner. Any plans for an Acro version? I’ve started putting some money away………

  9. William Thurston Says:

    A diesel engine would be nice but I am wondering if it will tilt it out of the LSA category. Diesels are not light. Given the price and performance, an alternative engine would tip me into the buying mode.

  10. Upamanyu Says:

    The Skycatcher has brilliant looks for a brilliant price ($111,500). I’m looking forward to purchasing one.

  11. ali.mirzaloo Says:

    Iam retired from air forc
    Iworked about 34 years in aionic coarse
    Igot interested in to sky catcher.
    Ireally like it very much .
    so i hope to have one of itat least.
    i hope to be the firstyour representative inmy country(IRAN).
    Igot too much exprience in electronic job.
    Ihaveworked on 214-c chinoock helicopters.
    tecnam pippers cessna 172.
    at the i wish you help me to worke with your very lovely LSA sky catcher.
    with the best regard
    col,mirzaloo ali

  12. Stephen Wilson Says:

    Flight training, is at it’s lowest point in 44 years of such record keeping. Marketing efforts are practically non-existent at small aviation businesses that serve and would be the promoters of the value of general aviation to local communities. AOPA’s extraordinary efforts and industry partnerships, like GA Team 2000 (Be A Pilot.com) in the late ’90s fizzled out as the economy turned south. Unless flight training becomes more attractive a business and more affordable for students, and soon, we can predict the end of public access to light general aviation in our lifetime. Pilots and planes are already old. An affordable Cessna’s 162 Skycatcher with new enticing learn-to-fly promotions cannot come soon enough. http://stevewilsonblog.com/2009/09/17/the-162-cant-get-here-soon-enough.aspx

  13. Alan Smoak Says:

    I feel that after looking at the numbers and other light sport Cessna is right on. Imagine first its a Cessna with thier reputation then look at the numbers, 4hrs range, 115 to 118 knots, 900 ft per min climb, 44 inches wide and 490 lbs useful. You can relax knowing 1300 stalls and 531 spins means it is probally the most tested light sport out there. Another is the wing loading of 11 per square foot thats better than 10 for the 150 so it should handle windy days better than a 150. Its my ticket for me start flying again with desent speed , useful and only 6 gph. I have mine on order!

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