Plane & Pilot
Monday, October 1, 2007

October 2007 Readback

oshkosh 2007More than 560,000 visitors and 10,000 airplanes flocked to Oshkosh, Wis., for EAA AirVenture 2007. There was something for everyone, including daily air shows featuring performers such as the Red Barons, Patty Wagstaff and Michael Goulian.
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model 162 skycatcherNew Top-Name LSAs
At the opening of EAA AirVenture, Cessna Aircraft Company announced details and rolled out a full-scale mock-up of its highly anticipated LSA, the Model 162 SkyCatcher. At an introductory price of $109,500, the 162 will be powered by a 100 hp Continental O-200D, air-cooled, carbureted engine and a fixed-pitch composite propeller. The aircraft will cruise at speeds up to 118 knots and will have a maximum range of 470 nautical miles. (A Cessna 152 reaches a maximum speed of approximately 109 knots with a similar range.) It will feature a Garmin G300 avionics system with information presented in a single, split-screen PFD and MFD, or as two full-screen displays with an optional second screen. The SkyCatcher will be capable of VFR day and night operations.

The tricycle-gear aircraft has a maximum gross weight of 1,320 pounds, a service ceiling of 15,500 feet, a useful load of 490 pounds, a usable fuel load of 24 gallons and a cabin width at shoulder height of 44.25 inches. (Gross weight on a 152 is 1,600 pounds and useful load is 571 pounds. Service ceiling caps off at 14,700 feet.) It features two cabin-entry doors and forward pivoting seats giving access to a 12.5-cubic-foot baggage compartment.

prototype 162First flight of the prototype 162 is set for the first half of 2008, and deliveries are expected to begin in 2009. Once at full-rate production, Cessna expects to produce up to 700 per year. Since the official launch, Cessna has taken approximately 570 orders for its new LSA. Visit for more details.

Another significant light-sport announcement was made at Oshkosh by Cirrus, debuting its own take on an LSA, the Cirrus SRS. This streamlined, composite LSA will cruise at a maximum speed of 120 KCAS. “We’re working some things out, such as how to get it a little slower,” said Cirrus cofounder Alan Klapmeier with a laugh. “It’s too fast. But that’s an easier problem than the other way around!” The low-wing two-seater has a useful load of 400 pounds, burns premium mogas or 100LL avgas and has the Cirrus hallmark CAPS airframe parachute system. For more information, visit

Diamond DA50 SuperstarDiamond DA50
Diamond Aircraft unveiled its five-seat, 350 hp, FADEC, turbocharged DA50 SuperStar aircraft at Oshkosh. “We looked at the piston-single market and saw a sweet spot,” said Diamond VP of Sales & Marketing Heike Larson. He describes it as “a plane with room for more than four people, a high-performance plane made simple to fly with a FADEC, turbo engine, a plane to step up to for owners of other singles who want to take on more serious traveling.” The aircraft’s 52-inch-wide cabin has a three-seat back bench with an optional rear-seat entertainment system. To place your $15,000 refundable deposit toward a position reservation, visit


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