Cessna is at EBACE full of good news about its Diesel-powered 182 and the new TTx. formerly known as Corvalis, but it is saying less about its Light Sport contender, the 162 Skycatcher.
According to GAMA figures, not one of these two-seaters was delivered in the first quarter of the year, prompting rumors of problems associated with their manufacture in China. After all, “more than a thousand” had been ordered by 2008.
A simpler answer was forthcoming from Cessna president and CEO Scott Ernest when interviewed at the show. “We were losing money on every one, so we put the price up and the backlog just disappeared,” he explained. A little more than 200 have been delivered (but many more registered), and the prospects for more appear bleak.
Pressed on possible future Cessnas, Ernest was giving less away. However, in October 2010, Aviation Week ShowNews revealed secret trial flights of a turboprop, slightly shortened version of the Mustang light twinjet, and more recently, the company has been seeking the reaction of potential owners to the cabin mockup of a six/seven-seat, low-wing turboprop that would fit between the TTx and Mustang. The time is not yet right to announce a next step, says Ernest.