Company To Reveal More Details At AirVenture
It's an announcement too big to save for Oshkosh. Just shy of
one year since Cessna premiered its light sport aircraft concept at
AirVenture 2006, the planemaker tells ANN it will go ahead with
plans to produce a Cessna LSA.
"After conducting extensive market research, it is clear to us
there is a great need for this aircraft as we strive to drive down
the cost of flying and learning to fly," said Cessna Chairman,
President and CEO Jack J. Pelton. "We believe this aircraft will
make a major contribution to stimulating new pilot starts and will
encourage already-licensed pilots to continue to fly because it
will be more affordable."
The planemaker is saving most of the details of its LSA for the
annual extravaganza at Wittman Field, however. Cessna will unveil a
full scale mock-up and program details at the show, which kicks off
to the public July 23. Cessna will hold a pre-show briefing on
Sunday, July 22 to announce more details.
There are many questions still to be answered. For example, what
powerplant will be used? When Cessna unveiled its "Cessna Sport"
concept last year, it was powered by a 100-hp Rotax 912S
powerplant. A Continental O-200 was hanging off the plane's
nose at April's Lakeland Fly-In.
Also up in the air are questions regarding the aircraft's
avionics... its designation (will it remain the "Sport?")... and
where it will be produced. And while it's likely Cessna will stick
with the same basic configuration as the original LSA concept -- a
conventional high-wing monoplane with a conventional swept tail,
straight wings with flaps and ailerons each of about half-span, and
tricycle landing gear -- it's possible several detail changes are
in the offing.
Of course, there is also the question of price. Cessna has
maintained all along it would not go ahead with production of an
LSA unless the company could bring it to market for less than
$100K; given consumer complaints of the high price of
several LSA, it will be very interesting to see just how much
lower the base price for a Cessna LSA will be.
"We have developed a business case that makes sense; we have
incorporated several innovative features into the design; and we
believe we can deliver the finest aircraft in the category,
combined with our extensive customer service, flight training and
distribution networks, at an attractive price," Pelton