Wichita, USA: After more than a year of research and marketing, Cessna Aircraft Co officials announced the company would proceed with its light sport aircraft (LSA) programme. The announcement comes almost a year after Cessna drew large crowds to its booth during the Oshlosh AirVenture 2006 when it had displayed a proof-of-concept mockup of an LSA.
An LSA would give the Wichita-based airplane manufacturer a two-seat airplane capable of training new pilots and would fill a gap in the manufacturers product line that was once held by the Cessna 150, a two-seat trainer aircraft.
Cessna will unveil a full-scale mockup of the airplane and reveal more details about the programme at the Experimental Aircraft Association's AirVenture 2007 in Oshkosh, Wis.
"It is clear to us there is a great need for this aircraft as we strive to drive down the cost of flying and learning to fly," said Jack Pelton, Cessna chairman, president and CEO, in a statement.
Pelton has said in the past that Cessna would build an LSA if the company could keep the price below $100,000. Cessna officials believe there's a market for up to 600 such aircraft a year.
The Federal Aviation Administration regulations limit a light sport aircraft to a single engine, no more than two seats, a gross weight of 1,320 pounds and a cruising speed of 120 knots.