Monday, 21 September 2009

SkyCatcher nearly here

The Kings have taken delivery of the first customer SkyCatcher, (nicknamed Flycatcher or Spincatcher by some) and the first Chinese-built example has made its first flight. The SkyCatcher should offer a decent(ish) cruise, bags of room, modern instrumentation, i.e. glass cockpit, and that 'new aircraft experience'.

Before long, deliveries will start en masse - over 1,000 have been ordered - and the face of aviation training will change, or will it? If clubs and schools have decided how much they're going to charge for an hour in the SkyCatcher, they're playing their cards close to their chests; but whether in the UK or US, it's going to have to offer a decent saving over the new C172s that are on offer.

Talking of the UK (the SkyCatcher is an LSA in the US), Euro versions will either have to be certified, or go down the EASA LSA route. That will mean a Permit to Fly until EASA gets it all sorted. It'll be interesting to see how conservative Cessna deals with this issue. Deliveries over here will probably start in the next three to six months.

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