Online Community of Zenith Builders and Flyers
From AvWeb today:
Cessna CEO Scott Ernest told aviation media at NBAA 2013 in Las Vegas the company's made-in-China S-LSA Skycatcher has "no future" but he didn't have much to say about it other than that. His answers were also short when he was asked about the progress of the diesel-powered Cessna TurboSkylane JT-A following the test article's off-airport landing earlier this year. Asked specifically about the Skycatcher, Ernest responded "There's no future for the SkyCatcher." When asked if the company was ending production of the LSA, Ernest answered by repeating, "there's no future."
Ah, thanks for your insight on this, it makes it VERY clear to me now. I have to say i would love to see this happen as it would remove mean restriction now in place but i would also hate to see the end of LSA.
I think, however, that companies like Zenith would continue to do well. By plans or kit building, you still can have a "new" airplane with all the bells and whistles that non-certified technology allows for far less than most entry-level certified airplanes. Older, used planes would still be hampered by the high cost of maintenance, certified parts and certified avionics.
I would have loved a C152III instead Cessna built the skycatcher. I'm over 6'2" and cant get in the plane wiht an instructor and 1/2 tanks... The target for the skycatcher should have been 2 average humans and full tanks. If you cant get that done don't build it. How Cessna decided to build to a different target is beyond me. Atleast piper figure out you can licence aircraft...
If they designed the Skycatcher for two full size adults (makes for a bigger structure which is more weight) and full tanks (more weight, again) it would end up being too heavy for the Light Sprort category. The Light Sport Aircraft rules put designers into a pretty tight box. Most Light Sport planes are pretty marginal with two adults and fuel, let alone a bit of cargo. I think the general expectation is that folks will just fly them a bit over gross in order to make everything work out. Even our Zeniths are marginal two seaters unless the builder really works on keeping the weight down during construction -- we all need to avoid the temptation to add extra brackets and/or structure, handy storage boxes, extra radios, etc as we build.