Textron Aviation announced on Tuesday that it had earned FAA and EASA certification for its next-gen Cessna 172 JT-A light single engine plane. The Skyhawk, the most popular model in aviation history, can now be operated on jet fuel, making it easier and cheaper to operate everywhere, but especially in foreign locales, where 100LL is hard to get and prohibitively expensive.
The 172 JT-A has been a long time in coming, but little of that can be blamed on Textron, which started the program when German company Thielert was the engine supplier. That company went into receivership, and it wasn’t until Continental Motors acquired the company, improved the design and restarted production that this Skyhawk had an engine to call its own.
The Continental CD-155 turbodiesel which boasts, you got it, 155 horsepower, is a bit improvement over the 135-hp of the last diesel Skyhawk, and the difference can be measured in performance. The new Turbo Skyhawk is a pretty good climber, with a max rate of climb under standard conditions of 767 fpm and a cruise speed of 134 knots, around 10 knots faster than today’s gas piston Skyhawk. The new model’s range, at 963 nm, is also far greater than the 100LL Skyhawk.
Base price of the Skyhawk JT-A is $438,000. Deliveries are slated to begin shortly.
Learn more at Textron Aviation.