As of November 11th, Cessna Aircraft Co. has sent the fiftieth production model of their popular two-seat Light Sport Aircraft, the Skycatcher, to their U.S. reassembly facility. Cessna continues to increase production on the $112,250 model 162 with the intent of delivering 30 aircraft by the end of the year.
The program, which has introduced a number of changes to the traditional aircraft manufacturing process, has suffered a number of setbacks in the recent past, but Cessna seems to be back on track and plans to deliver at least 150 Skycatchers by the end of 2011.
As quoted by AOPA, Cessna CEO, Jack Pelton said, “We are happy, not only with the increased pace of deliveries coming from Shenyang Aircraft Corporation, but with the high level of quality of the aircraft,” “We are getting these aircraft into operations with individual owners and flight schools. The response from our customers has been excellent.”
The increase in production and deliveries is good news for Cessna Pilot Centers across the country. There are more than 280 flight schools within Cessna’s Pilot Center network and many of them have been waiting for Cessna’s LSA to launch Sport Pilot training programs. The first group of schools that have taken delivery of Skycatchers include schools scattered throughout the US.
In addition to the increasing deliveries of aircraft, Cessna has also announced five additions to their more than 280 Pilot Centers in the United States. The announcement, which was made at AOPA Aviation Summit in Long Beach, welcomed Alliance International Aviation in Chino, California; GenesisFlight Academy LLC in Georgetown, Texas; JacksonAir in Thermal, California; North Florida Flight Training in West Palm Beach, Florida; and Tailwind Flight Center in Appleton, Wisconsin to the Cessna Pilot Center network.
Through their network of flight schools, Cessna aims to “make flying more accessible and to re-energize pilot training.” The expansion of the network, which represents more than 280 possible locations for Sport Pilot training, and increasing deliveries of Cessna’s LSA should come as good news to pilots looking for LSA to rent and train in.