Third Year flying my Skycatcher

Talk about airplanes! At last count, there are 39 (and growing) FAA certificated S-LSA (special light sport aircraft). These are factory-built ready to fly airplanes. If you can't afford a factory-built LSA, consider buying an E-LSA kit (experimental LSA - up to 99% complete).

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Nomore767
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Re: Third Year flying my Skycatcher

Postby Nomore767 » Thu Jun 18, 2015 3:11 pm

azsportpilot wrote:
drseti wrote:Unlike SportPilot, I would gladly trade the O200 for more useful load. The weight difference between it and the Rotax equates to another 10 gallons of fuel. That's two extra hours of endurance!


agreed, a US made Skycatcher with a 912s and doors that stay closed would be a lot better trainer and more marketable


You mean…like the Glasair Merlin LSA?

Looks just like a Skycatcher, similar numbers, Rotax 912i Sport engine, Dynon Skyview, BRS, etc

http://www.glasairaviation.com/merlin.html

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Re: Third Year flying my Skycatcher

Postby 3Dreaming » Thu Jun 18, 2015 3:30 pm

SportPilot wrote:
azsportpilot wrote:
drseti wrote:Unlike SportPilot, I would gladly trade the O200 for more useful load. The weight difference between it and the Rotax equates to another 10 gallons of fuel. That's two extra hours of endurance!


agreed, a US made Skycatcher with a 912s and doors that stay closed would be a lot better trainer and more marketable
The doors stay closed if you latch both latches, a checklist item. Some people prefer the Rotax and more useful load. Others prefer the Continental engine. The Continental is my choice. Four hours endurance is more than enough for me. US made is a right-wing issue. Again, not a problem for me.


I am not trying to pick a fight, but wanted to point out that Continental is a Chinese owned company. While final assembly is made in the USA I have seen some Continental parts with stamps indicating they were made in a foreign country.

Rotax is built in Austria with the primary shareholder of the company being Bain Capital located here in the USA.

Based on 35 years aviation experience as both a mechanic and a pilot for most light sport applications I prefer Rotax, however there are a few where I would rather have a Continental.

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Re: Third Year flying my Skycatcher

Postby FastEddieB » Thu Jun 18, 2015 3:58 pm

SportPilot wrote:US made is a right-wing issue.


Hardly.

"US made" simply indicates country of manufacture.

Not political unless one sees nearly everything through that lens.
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SportPilot
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Re: Third Year flying my Skycatcher

Postby SportPilot » Thu Jun 18, 2015 4:02 pm

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Last edited by SportPilot on Wed Aug 19, 2015 4:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Third Year flying my Skycatcher

Postby drseti » Thu Jun 18, 2015 4:03 pm

Howard, the Merlin certainly looks like an exciting product. I wish them great success.
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Re: Third Year flying my Skycatcher

Postby Nomore767 » Thu Jun 18, 2015 6:44 pm

drseti wrote:Howard, the Merlin certainly looks like an exciting product. I wish them great success.


Paul,

I was just pointing out that the Merlin is very much the Skycatcher with the 'fixes' that many critics of the Cessna had brought up.
Such as:-

Composite, Rotax engine, lower empty weight, Dynon Skyviews (double screen option), BRS to name a few.

Meanwhile, it looks very much like the Cessna, right down to the 'stoke', and still has 24 gallons which using the 912iS Sport engine could improve range considerably or allow for more weight capacity with a range still close to current C162 figures.

I think it's interesting that a US company like Glasair saw a way to 'fix' the Skycatcher, especially as it got so much criticism. For me I really like the Skycatcher, so the Merlin is intriguing.

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Re: Third Year flying my Skycatcher

Postby azsportpilot » Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:30 pm

The Skycatcher is a good product that promised to bring LSA into mainstream GA

Both Cessna and Piper jumped into LSA and then withdrew

Imagine what could have been if Cessna simply improved upon an already good product, the Skycatcher II

improved door design, more useful load etc

My point with the Chinese vs US made is not a statement about quality but more a marketing blunder, many buyers may have shied away due to the Chinese manufacture.... perhaps if it were US made it would be the exact same product but possibly sell better

Pilots tend to be a patriotic bunch
Last edited by azsportpilot on Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Third Year flying my Skycatcher

Postby SportPilot » Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:38 pm

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Last edited by SportPilot on Wed Aug 19, 2015 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Third Year flying my Skycatcher

Postby azsportpilot » Thu Jun 18, 2015 10:02 pm

SportPilot wrote:That's not a marketing blunder, it's a manufacturing decision to reduce cost and increase profits. That decision may well have been a management blunder. You can be patriotic and still buy foreign made goods. How many of us drive foreign made cars and own foreign made electronics? It's the "patriotic" corporate management who is outsourcing jobs to increase profits and bonuses. That whole issue is disingenuous in my opinion.


and with all the cost reduction, their price increases were not gradual, they priced themselves out of the market.

they made some mistakes but I think they could have corrected them and stayed in the game, I wish they had
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Re: Third Year flying my Skycatcher

Postby SportPilot » Thu Jun 18, 2015 10:03 pm

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Last edited by SportPilot on Wed Aug 19, 2015 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Third Year flying my Skycatcher

Postby FastEddieB » Thu Jun 18, 2015 10:17 pm

azsportpilot wrote:Both Cessna and Piper jumped into LSA and then withdrew


Even Cirrus had a prototype. A rebadged European model - I forget which one.

I think in all these cases there was simply more profits to be had elsewhere.
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azsportpilot
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Re: Third Year flying my Skycatcher

Postby azsportpilot » Thu Jun 18, 2015 10:38 pm

SportPilot wrote:
azsportpilot wrote:
SportPilot wrote:That's not a marketing blunder, it's a manufacturing decision to reduce cost and increase profits. That decision may well have been a management blunder. You can be patriotic and still buy foreign made goods. How many of us drive foreign made cars and own foreign made electronics? It's the "patriotic" corporate management who is outsourcing jobs to increase profits and bonuses. That whole issue is disingenuous in my opinion.


and with all the cost reduction, their price increases were not gradual, they priced themselves out of the market.

they made some mistakes but I think they could have corrected them and stayed in the game, I wish they had
I agree. I think it's a great product. If useful load was the real issue, they could have offered a Rotax option or gone totally Rotax.


or possibly the Lycoming 115hp motor (light weight and an extra 15 hp) might have helped

http://www.lycoming.com/Lycoming/PRODUC ... ption.aspx

but I think the bigger issue was the door problems.
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Re: Third Year flying my Skycatcher

Postby chavycha » Fri Jun 19, 2015 1:59 am

Cessna's leadership changed in the middle of the 162 development cycle and the choice was made to focus on high profit margin aircraft.
The biggest issue with the 162 is/was that Cessna wants to make jets and $500k piston singles because that's where the money is. Now, you can certainly argue that is a short-sighted move as pilots who train in Cessnas are probably a lot more likely to eventually buy Cessnas, but that doesn't get a lot of traction in the here-and-now corporate world.

The O-200 was a smart choice for the aircraft when it was designed. The goal was to provide both a competitive LSA and a new primary trainer. They gave up a bit in performance, weight, and useful load with the O-200, yes. However, students training in the 162 would learn proper care and feeding of a traditional aircraft engine, thus be more prepared to transfer to a 172, 182, etc. The Rotax, though there is nothing inherently wrong with it, is simply a different beast to own and operate than most aircraft powerplants.

I've mentioned it before, but I'd love to see Cessna sell the 162 tooling and production rights. I think a company whose primary focus was LSA could really make a go of it.
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Re: Third Year flying my Skycatcher

Postby azsportpilot » Fri Jun 19, 2015 7:25 am

that would be nice but I doubt Cessna will sell the tooling/rights

we are talking about the same company that ceased production of the top selling 172 due to liability, no 172's for 12 years
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Re: Third Year flying my Skycatcher

Postby MrMorden » Fri Jun 19, 2015 8:07 am

FastEddieB wrote:Even Cirrus had a prototype. A rebadged European model - I forget which one.


Fk Lightplanes Fk-14 Polaris:

http://www.fk-lightplanes.com/aircraft.php?af=3&ln=2&pg=19
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