Cessna Aircraft completed the first flight of the first production model SkyCatcher May 1, about eight weeks after the first prototype SkyCatcher flew.
The 30-minute SkyCatcher flight departed Cessna Aircraft Field Airport adjacent to McConnell Air Force Base and consisted of flight maneuvers evaluating the controllability and stability of the aircraft. The SkyCatcher, flown by Cessna Engineering Test Pilot Dale Bleakney, returned to Cessna Field (KCEA) as scheduled where it will continue development testing.
In addition to having two aircraft in the test program, Cessna is set to begin static and fatigue testing on a separate airframe in mid-May.
Cessna plans to produce three airframes prior to commencing normal production: a prototype, the first production model, and an ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) test article that Cessna’s engineering team will build in the development phase of the SkyCatcher program. All engineering work and testing of the 162 will be completed in Wichita. The aluminum aircraft is planned to meet all ASTM standards for light sport aircraft.