SKYCATCHER PROTOTYPE FLIES
PUBLISHED: 15:15 11 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:52 10 October 2012
Cessna's 162 SkyCatcher prototype makes one-hour flight from factory
The one-hour SkyCatcher flight departed Cessna Aircraft Field Airport adjacent to McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kansas, just after 7 am on 8 March. It consisted of flight manoeuvres evaluating the controllability and stability of the aircraft. The SkyCatcher, flown by Cessna engineering test pilot Dale Bleakney, proceeded to Mid-Continent airport where it will continue development testing.
"The first flight of the SkyCatcher is a significant step ahead toward our goal of bringing an affordable training aircraft to market,” said Jack Pelton, Cessna’s chairman, president and CEO.
This is the first of three airframes: a prototype, the first production model, and an ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) test article that Cessna’s engineering team will build in the development phase of the SkyCatcher program. All engineering work and testing of the 162 will be completed in Wichita. The aluminum aircraft is planned to meet ASTM standard for F2245 light sport aircraft.
“Cessna’s dedicated SkyCatcher team made an incredible effort to complete the first flight ahead of schedule and I’m extremely proud of their accomplishments,” said Derek Mookhoek, program manager for the SkyCatcher.
Fabrication of the first production 162, scheduled to fly later this spring, is progressing as planned and the ASTM test article last week completed limit load testing alongside the new Citation CJ4 test article at Cessna’s structural test facility.