Cessna Chooses China's Shenyang Aircraft Corporation as Manufacturing Partner for Model 162 SkyCatcher

Cessna Chooses China's Shenyang Aircraft Corporation as Manufacturing Partner for Model 162 SkyCatcher

Beijing, November 28, 2007 – Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, will partner with Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC) to manufacture the new Model 162 SkyCatcher light sport aircraft (LSA). SAC is a subsidiary of China Aviation Industry Corporation I (AVIC I), which is a government-owned consortium of aircraft manufacturers.

The company made the announcement today during a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

"The LSA market demands the latest avionics, safety and reliability, light-weight equipment and a competitive price tag," said Cessna Chairman, President and CEO Jack J. Pelton. "Our solution is to partner with SAC, a company with excellent facilities, state-of-the-art technologies and a workforce highly experienced in aircraft manufacturing. SkyCatcher customers will get an advanced design, high-quality workmanship and world-class product support, all at an affordable price from Cessna, a brand known and trusted worldwide."

Cessna will design the aircraft and handle American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) compliance work, as well as provide on-site personnel to oversee manufacturing, quality assurance and technical design. SAC will be responsible for assembling the SkyCatcher.

"SAC greatly values the cooperation with Cessna, and sees Cessna as a significant partner in the general aviation segment. Since the start of the cooperation between the two companies that began in 2003, a good foundation has been established," said Chairman and President, Mr. Luo Yang of SAC. "The communications and exchange of visits between the management of our two companies have strengthened the trust and understanding, which leads to today's signing of the Model 162 contract, making SAC the sole source supplier of this great airplane."

President, Mr. Lin Zouming of AVIC I added, "With the continual economic growth in China and the changes in China's policies for the general aviation industry, AVIC I has placed strategic importance on general aviation development and will strongly support and promote the business."

Founded in 1951, SAC is a civilian and military aircraft manufacturer with 16,000 employees in Shenyang, China. Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier, Spirit AeroSystems and Singapore Aerospace are just a few of SAC's clients.

"Through decades of joint production ventures and sub-assembly ventures with the industry's top manufacturers, SAC has emerged as the premier aircraft enterprise in China," Pelton said. "That experience and their outstanding facilities and production capabilities make them the perfect partner for us on the SkyCatcher program."

Cessna unveiled a proof-of-concept aircraft in July 2006 to gauge market response, then announced in July 2007 that it would proceed with development of a light sport aircraft, dubbed the Cessna 162 SkyCatcher. An introductory price of $109,500 USD will hold for the first 1,000 orders and then increase to $111,500 USD. Orders have already approached 900.

The SkyCatcher features an exclusive Garmin glass cockpit - the G300 - and a Teledyne Continental O-200D 100-horsepower engine designed specifically for the LSA. The aircraft will cruise at speeds up to 118 knots and will have a maximum range of 470 nautical miles. It will be capable of Visual Flight Rules/Day/Night operations.

The aircraft has a maximum gross weight of 1,320 pounds, a service ceiling of 15,500 feet, a useful load of 490 pounds and a usable fuel load of 24 gallons. Its cabin width at shoulder height is 44.25 inches, and two cabin entry doors and forward pivoting seats give access to a 12.5 cubic-foot baggage compartment. The SkyCatcher has tricycle landing gear with a castering nose wheel and standard dual toe-actuated disc brakes.

The aluminum aircraft will meet ASTM standard F2245 for light sport aircraft. First flight of the prototype SkyCatcher is set for the first half of 2008 and deliveries are expected to begin in the second half of 2009. Cessna expects to produce up to 700 a year at full-rate production.

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Re: Cessna Chooses China's Shenyang Aircraft Corporation as Manufacturing Partner for Model 162 SkyCatcher

I can see the lead in to the Leno monologue now...

So what do the C-162, poison dog food, and lead paint toys all have in common?

They are all "Made in China" to the same exacting safety standards.

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Re: Cessna Chooses China's Shenyang Aircraft Corporation as Manufacturing Partner for Model 162 SkyCatcher

The "made in China" news was very disappointing.  To me, this is kind of like a Harley-Davidson motorcycle being made in China.  Wonder how may order cancellations will be forthcoming??

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Re: Cessna Chooses China's Shenyang Aircraft Corporation as Manufacturing Partner for Model 162 SkyCatcher

I was very surprised myself, the people at Textron seem to be very good at their job and I know they are bright. I really wish the jobs were kept in the states and efforts made to produce/build production facilities here (USA), there are obvious reasons why this was done, I just pray that it pans out for Textron.

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Re: Cessna Chooses China's Shenyang Aircraft Corporation as Manufacturing Partner for Model 162 SkyCatcher

I can't feed my pets food made in China but Cessna will make sure I can fly my kids around in a plane made in China. Are they out of thier minds?
Whay to go Mr Pelton. Once again we all have been sold out to save a few dollars on the bottom line. I hope everyone that odered a 162 cancels the order. The CT is a much better plane anyway. You can trust the Germans to put out a good product.

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Re: Cessna Chooses China's Shenyang Aircraft Corporation as Manufacturing Partner for Model 162 SkyCatcher

Basically what we have going on here in this country is our corporate CxO's all committing subtle acts of treason, in return for profit, by selling our country up the river to China, a communist foriegn superpower.

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Re: Cessna Chooses China's Shenyang Aircraft Corporation as Manufacturing Partner for Model 162 SkyCatcher

Yes, but the corporate CEOs would not be selling our country up the river to China if we the consumer stopped buying all this Made in China stuff.  Unfortunately we all have the same "save a few bucks" mentality about it, and the corporate CEOs know this.  My guess is that the Skycatcher will have record sales because the flight schools will buy them and we will rent them (great for training at about 1/3 the cost of a new Made in USA 172).  A few years later, we will buy the used 162s so the flight schools can go out and buy new ones.  Ask anyone from COO if they are willing to sell their airplane in protest and buy a Piper, or spend 3 times as much for a new 172 to train primary students.  Has anyone with a deposit on a Skycatcher actually cancelled their order in protest, or written Jack Pelton to express their concern? I haven't heard of a single one.

The problem we have now is that a lot of stuff is no longer made in the USA at all.  I tried to buy some after market parts for my Saturn. They don't make the parts in the US. You can only buy Made in China parts, even directly from the Saturn dealer. My guess is it is only a matter of time before this is true of all aircraft parts and accessories, and then new 172s, 182s, and 206s.  And we will buy it because it saves a few bucks, at least until so many of us are unemployed or working low paying service jobs that no one can afford to fly, period.

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Re: Cessna Chooses China's Shenyang Aircraft Corporation as Manufacturing Partner for Model 162 SkyCatcher

I agree with the statement that this is like Harley Davidson being built in China. Cessna is an american aviation icon, having survived many a storm in the past. The corporate community is slowly but surely eroding the basis of our great country. This is a very sad time for our country. Not even cool Mr. Pelton.

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Re: Cessna Chooses China's Shenyang Aircraft Corporation as Manufacturing Partner for Model 162 SkyCatcher

Since the price was established and people put down deposits it was assumed that the Skycatcher (nee Flycatcher) was going to be built in the USA. Now that it is going to be built in China, for apparently a much cheaper building cost, are the depositers going to be given a less expensive final cost when their aircraft is delivered. Now that  Cessna has out sourced the whole airplane, they should reduce their delivery price. They probably are not going to do that, you think?
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Re: Cessna Chooses China's Shenyang Aircraft Corporation as Manufacturing Partner for Model 162 SkyCatcher

Well, jplaxton00, as a 'private' buyer who purchased a SkyCatcher on the first day of Oshkosh '07, I can tell you that I will likely NOT follow thru  with the purchase - in PROTEST! - even though that means I'll lose $5K.  I'm drawing MY personal "line in the sand" with this ridiculous Chinese manufacturing location decision.  As aptly pointed out, Cessna and Harley ARE U.S. manufacturing icons and, as a consequence, have a duty and obligation to our Country to uphold that reputation.  Apparently, Jack Pelton doesn't agree and puts a few dollars of bottom line ahead of the inherent value of it's Cessna 'brand' ... now very seriously damaged.  ALL the blogs aren't talking about the design shortcomings of the airplane (and they ARE there), they're moaning about the Chinese decision.  How many folks have to write with this common complaint before Jack listens?  THIS CEO is so busy making his shareholders happy (and collecting his own bonuses and perks) that he isn't listening to the source of the revenues ... da CUSTOMER!  Maybe he thought it wouldn't matter or maybe he just didn't think ... but he sure as heck knows about the unhappiness of the faithful rank and file NOW.  So the BIG question is ... what's he gonna DO about it? 

Buyers at Oshkosh were lead to believe that only sub-assemblies would be fabricated "someplace" overseas to speed U.S. production while final assembly and customization, flight test and delivery would occur here. Further, Cessna created a buyer's frenzy with that big red sold count board.  In actuality, they had revealed the airplane on Saturday PM to its dealers and many of the first surge of Monday's orders were from dealers, not private individual buyers, like myself.  We didn't know that then.

Cessna has sold about $110million of SkyCatchers but only collected $5 million in deposits.  If many of the buyers walk away from this thing - despite their individual losses - Cessna better start renting ramp space in China to park 'em all.  Oh well, I guess they'll use the deposits from folks who walk away from this airplane in protest to pay for it so it won't matter to Cessna's 'bottom line.' Buyers WILL unite and cause Cessna a heckuva lot more in lost good will, lost business and legal fights than it saves by building this CHESSNA in China. I hope that red sold count board runs in both directions, Jack.  Do you realize that you have now obligated Cessna to the difference between $5million in deposits and $110million in airplanes?  You're going to have to build the airplane before you find out the people who ordered it walked away!  You better hope many other's don't do what I am gonna do or you've just lost something in between those figures.  And if you raise the price to make up for buyers who walk, you'll cause still more to walk.  I'm screwed for $5K.  You're screwed for the delta between $5M and $110M.  Buying an airplane is a discretionary event available only to those with financial independence.  Those that fall into this category can - and will - walk if it suits them without great harm if something displeases them.  If the CEO of Cessna doesn't care, maybe he CEO of Textron does?

I'm headed to Sebring in the next weeks and am hoping I can find a Flight Design dealer willing to absorb some or all of my CHESSNA deposit loss.  If so, I'll just walk away from the SkyCatcher.  In the end, Cessna is going to wish it never made this decision.  Unfortunately, 'ol Jack is the Chairman, CEO, and President and all HE has to do is pull the big red handle on his BRS golden parachute.  The rest of us have to live with his ridiculous decision.

If Harley Davidson announced that they're going to build all their new Hogs in China, a hoard of bikerboys would show up in Milwaukee and beat the CEO into oblivion.  Airplane people, on the other hand, are more sophisticated ... they'll speak with their feet and wallets and send their money to a Company who listens to its customers (and comes up with a great gen III design! - sic).

Shame on you, Jack Pelton.  By your own admission above, you KNEW you were gonna build this CHESSNA in China at Oshkosh...but hid it from us.  Well, get ready for the consequences of that decision!  You were running a scam trying to collect deposits before you "sprang" the China decision on us.  You have destroyed the purity of the name Cessna for the maximization of instant up front profit.  You'd better redouble your efforts to get these 'things' built and sold cuz every day you wait, the people who signed up will go elsewhere.  While you're at it, you'd better lower the price by $10K, as well.  WalMart does it ... so should you!  If those who can live with the Chinese decision stick with you, at least they should be rewarded with a falling price "well south of 100K" like Cessna originally tempted us with.

You will NEVER convince me that you couldn't build this airplane 100% in the good 'ol USA for the money you are charging ... period!

I see myself as a member of the very core of people Cessna ought to be courting.  I currently own a C172M, learned to fly in a C150 and have owned other Cessnas in my 36 years of piloting. I'm getting older and see LSA as the means to keep flying until I determine it's time to drive my Corvette full time.  I'm not moving UP in their line, I'm moving down because my mission and interests are changing.  I waited for Cessna to make their decision, was led to conclude that they had done everything right and have now had it stuck right where the sun don't shine.  I want my $5K back, Jack. (HEY! ... that sounds like a good cowboy song title).  I may not get my deposit back but Cessna is gonna know it has been in a $5K fight when I am done with 'em. 

The China manufacturing decision won't be reversed.  The best thing Cessna can do NOW for folks like myself who can't live with this decision is to be strong enough to offer them their deposits back.  Only THAT will revive the good name "Cessna" that Clyde gave it so many years ago.  Nothing less will do.

And the best thing OTHER LSA manufacturers can do for the folks who erroneously trusted Cessna to do the right thing is to lower THEIR prices by $5K for those who can verify they've ordered a SkyCatcher.  That'll invigorate THEIR bottom line and teach Cessna a good lesson in the process.  Maybe you should make that discount $4k ... the $1K difference will teach ME to never fall for a scam again.  It was almost embarrassing to see the lack of prospects at other LSA vendors at Oshkosh while the SkyCatcher had hoardes surrounding it.  Now it's time for the vendors who were negatively impacted by Cessna to get a blow in.

Bottom line:  I thought I was buying a mostly US made airplane.  Since I'm not, I'm NOT going to trust the same folks who poisoned our dogs and tried to kill our kids to build me an airplane that won't - likewise - try to kill me.  If I'm going to buy a foreign made airplane, I'm going to go to the folks who build BMWs and Mercedes Benz, not crap.  I can deal with a cheap Chinese wrench that fails; I am not going to trust my life to the same folks.  And if I'm going to pay an exorbitant price - well NORTH of $100K - then I want the airplane's quality to that matches the price.  Bye bye, Cessna.  Good luck...you're gonna need it.

Flight Design ... Matthias, Christian, Tom ... are ya listening?  Remos did it ... so should you!!  Cirrus ran right over the top of Cessna causing Cessna to buy Columbia, as a defensive move.  Now it's YOUR turn to, likewise, run right over the top of Cessna in the LSA arena.  You're already #1 and if you sell enough CT's, it'll be years before there are enough CHESSNAs on the line to compete with you.  Now's your chance, boys.  Cessna can park its CHESSNA right next to its NGP in the Cessna museum if you do it right.

If folks reading this get the idea that THIS Cessna owner and former future customer is mad as hell and isn't gonna put up with what has happened, you'd be right!

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Re: Cessna Chooses China's Shenyang Aircraft Corporation as Manufacturing Partner for Model 162 SkyCatcher

LARRY,

Remos aircraft is doing just what you suggested, offering $5K credit for those who put down a deposit on the 162, to switch to the Remos G3 instead.

It's a German-made composite high-wing that looks very nice on their website, their plane looks very similar to the FlightDesign CT.

You've got until 12-31-2007 to place your order with them to get the credit. See: http://www.remos.com/en/news.php?item=092707

If I were in your shoes, I'd give them a phone call.

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Re: Cessna Chooses China's Shenyang Aircraft Corporation as Manufacturing Partner for Model 162 SkyCatcher

Cessna fax 316.517.2772

Dear Cessna

Just a quick not to let you know how disgusted we are at the fact that China will be involved in building the new Skycatcher !!   I own a wonderful 172M model and was going to upgrading to a New 182 (My mind was maid up on the 182, since my business will now support that. But SADLY, as much as I have loved Cessna products I will NOT be looking at Cessna any longer for my next purchase, do to the fact that I stated above, BUILD IN THE USA!!! Cessna has really fallen off the edge on this one !  I'm fed up with company's like YOU !! And from what I am reading... so are a LOT of other people. (Read Cessna Owner May 2008 "Air Mail"  "Message from irate Cessna Owner")  Cessna ?? YOU REALLY SUCK ON THIS ONE !!!

K Davis
Diversified Service
Lodi, Ca.

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Re: Cessna Chooses China's Shenyang Aircraft Corporation as Manufacturing Partner for Model 162 SkyCatcher

dont blame cessna or walmart or any ceo
blame bush's & obamas and all
the S.O.B's in washington
that have committed treason
with our trade policys
if you think that bunch of slugs in D.C.
gives a rats behind about america
you are nieve to say the least

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Re: Cessna Chooses China's Shenyang Aircraft Corporation as Manufacturing Partner for Model 162 SkyCatcher

I'm afraid the Remos and Flight Design do the same way as a Cessna.
Remos probably makes the a/c  at Poland and Fight Design at Ukraine.

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