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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:17 am 
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looks like the new executive management team at Cessna has modified the base configuration on the C162 starting in 2012 and significantly increased the base price.


http://aero-news.net/ANNTicker.cfm?do=m ... b08ee1af55


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:11 am 
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What a downright sneaky underhanded tactic by Cessna. Bait the buyers in with a low initial price, take alot of deposits and build your order book up, and then right at the end stick it to them with a huge price increase. Evidently they feel their backlog is big enough to take a gamble and bet alot of people will swallow the price increase. If I had a deposit on one I'd ask for it back and tell them to shove their very crappy LSA. This is the type of thing that's wrong with GA and why it's so screwed up.

I hope the recent effort by AOPA and EAA to change the 3rd class medical rules and allow pilots flying the most common single engine aircraft recreationally to use a driver's license and self certification will succeed. For the $ 150K they now want for a Skycatcher LSA you can buy an awfully good used 172. But I strongly suspect it will fail. The powers to be will be more interested in protecting the pockets of corporations like Cessna than what's best for us.

In the end big money wins every time.

Stick it Cessna.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:59 am 
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I would rather run my school using an Evektor SportStar (like Dr. Shuch) or Remos GX (like Michael S.). I am not considering dedicated trainers like Flight Design MC only because I do not know anyone actually flying them in a school environment. Still, they are out there. You don't have to take it from Cessna -- assuming that the Campbell's article is confirmed at all.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:13 pm 
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..."Skycatcher not such a good deal any more."

Was it ever? Brand identity aside (and multiple design failures would seem to justify that...), has the Skycatcher exceeded expectations in the marketplace or exceeded competitors' performance and pricing numbers?

"What a downright sneaky underhanded tactic by Cessna."

There's nothing 'sneaky' about what they did. The deposits anchored a production spot, not a price. Rational depositors in 2008 would not have expected 2008 prices would apply to their 2009 (then 2010, then 2011) Skycatcher? .

But more to the point, note the post I made several weeks ago discussing the new management team at Cessna. These are GE guys and part of their religion is going to be that a product either produces its fair share of profit or it isn't worth having. Then note the discussion on the contribution that the LSA product line is having on Mothership Textron. Cessna performs well in the jet classes, and they make almost all of Cessna's corporate contribution to Textron. Single piston a/c production contributes very (very) little, and most likely the Skycatcher least of all.

"The powers to be will be more interested in protecting the pockets of corporations like Cessna than what's best for us."

Huh? You are expecting the shareholders of Textron to be more concerned about you than the performance of the company that they own? You want Textron management to cater to your needs moreso than to those of the investors who fund their company and make their products possible?

Pipistrel just announced an excellent example of what it takes to not just be competitive in the LSA/LSA trainer marketplace. Let's consider Skycatcher in this context:

"[Pipistrel] just officially announced this morning, introducing the Alpha Trainer, a purpose-built version of the company's winning Virus SW (Short Wing) cruiser. Designed for the flight school market, it carries an introductory price that should raise a few eyebrows: $83,000 just about everything, including delivery, shipping to the US, FAA fees etc. *** Yep, I'd call that news. *** Rand Vollmer of SALSA Aviation, a U.S. Pipistrel dealer, tipped me off this morning about the official release. Pipistrel makes elegant, fun-flying, functional aircraft and the Alpha (200 were recently ordered by the Indian government) should prove to be no exception. *** It’s targeted at LSA Flying Schools wherever ASTM or FAA-LSA regulations hold sway. *** In its release, the company states: *** “With the economy the way it is most aircraft have been priced (out of) the marketplace for the average person or flight school.”

See J Lawrence's post in D Johnson's LSA blog...

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:33 pm 
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I saw Lawrence's post about Alpha, but it's too good to be true. I'll believe it when I see it. FD MC is real though.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 7:35 pm 
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Jack, FYI, the original SkyCatcher order contract assigned you a production position and froze the price based on a CPI, if you recall the first 1,000 deposit holders where offered a price of $109,500. I quote from the original Cessna press release below.

So the new pricing announced yesterday to the deposit holders, violates the CPI and offers to refund the deposit to those deposit holders not willing to pay the new price. So Cessna have had 'free' money for 4 years at the expense of their potential customers. We know they got their 1,000 deposits, so that is a cool $5M at 0% interest. Not bad.

I am reminded of the idiom "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me"

I am not sure customers will be so quick to drop down deposits to Cessna in the future.

And, yes, in my humble opinion at $109,500 the C162 was a good deal.


Quote:
http://www.cessna.com/NewReleases/New/NewReleaseNum-1192249527675.html

Cessna Announces Light Sport Aircraft Details

Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company, today announced details and rolled out a full-scale mock-up of its highly anticipated Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) - the Model 162 SkyCatcher - during a press conference at the opening of the annual Experimental Aircraft Association convention.

First flight of the prototype Model 162 is set for the first half of 2008 and deliveries are expected to begin in 2009. Cessna expects to produce up to 700 a year at full-rate production.

At an introductory price of $109,500, the 162 will be powered by a Continental O-200D 100-hp air-cooled, carbureted engine and a fixed-pitch composite propeller. The aircraft will cruise at speeds up to 118 knots and will have a maximum range of 470 nautical miles.

“For the past year, we have been soliciting feedback from the market on our proof-of-concept aircraft, and the result is an airplane that we believe is the most advanced and innovative in its class,” said Cessna Chairman, President and CEO Jack J. Pelton.

The Cessna 162 SkyCatcher will feature a Garmin G300 avionics system. Information is presented in a single, split-screen primary flight display (PFD) and multi-function display (MFD), or as two full-screen displays with an optional second screen. The SkyCatcher will be capable of Visual Flight Rules/Day/Night operations.

Orders are being taken at Oshkosh with a $10,000 deposit. The introductory price will hold for the first 1,000 orders, and then increase to $111,500.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:00 pm 
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Jack Tyler wrote:
Pipistrel just announced an excellent example of what it takes to not just be competitive in the LSA/LSA trainer marketplace. Let's consider Skycatcher in this context:

"[Pipistrel] just officially announced this morning, introducing the Alpha Trainer, a purpose-built version of the company's winning Virus SW (Short Wing) cruiser. Designed for the flight school market, it carries an introductory price that should raise a few eyebrows: $83,000 just about everything, including delivery, shipping to the US, FAA fees etc. *** Yep, I'd call that news. *** Rand Vollmer of SALSA Aviation, a U.S. Pipistrel dealer, tipped me off this morning about the official release. Pipistrel makes elegant, fun-flying, functional aircraft and the Alpha (200 were recently ordered by the Indian government) should prove to be no exception. *** It’s targeted at LSA Flying Schools wherever ASTM or FAA-LSA regulations hold sway. *** In its release, the company states: *** “With the economy the way it is most aircraft have been priced (out of) the marketplace for the average person or flight school.”

See J Lawrence's post in D Johnson's LSA blog...

Hey, Pipistrel is AWESOME! I work with SALSA's Apollo Fox a good bit and have flown their demo Virus and expect to be rated in it shortly. Dave (the primary CFI) just finished up a guy today in the Virus and his new shorter wing bird can do 140 KTS as a motorglider on just about 4 gph... NOT BAD!

I took this shot of it from our Cub...

Image

Ryan

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:27 pm 
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Does the 80 hp Rotax have any advantages over the 100 hp version? Price? Longevity or TBO?

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:30 pm 
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zaitcev wrote:
Does the 80 hp Rotax have any advantages over the 100 hp version? Price? Longevity or TBO?

I don't know. I'm still looking over the POH... and I'm not the salesman, just want to see my buddy Dave do well. He's a great guy to work with and a good ambassador for aviation in general.
Give him a call via SALSA's website: http://www.salsaaviation.com.

Ryan

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 5:59 am 
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Pete, I believe you'll find that the 80 hp Rotax can use 87 mogas (what we used to call the 'cheap' stuff altho' now no gas is cheap) where as the 100 hp requires a higher octane reading. At least, that's what one LSA mfgr. offering an 80 hp engine was recently claiming.

Re: Cessna, it is true they found a clever way to market the Skycatcher, promising to freeze the price in their marketing spiel (such as posted above). But the actual purchase order signed by the customer will no doubt have much more specific limits on the a/c pricing. Perhaps someone here has such a PO and can reference the actual contract terms? It's quite a case study, isn't it: poor initial design, which built delay into the production plans, an American product that lost of its buy-American marketing appeal because one of our few legacy aviation mfgrs. had to build subassemblies in China, production volume that lagged by years and now - right when they've got it where it should be - it's offset by a large price increase and yet another PR black mark.

It's disappointing to me that just about every facet of Cessna's approach in entering the LSA market (and by extension, supporting SP license training via their affiliate training centers) has been underwhelming. Because of their GA heritage and their American identity, I'm sure they enjoyed a lot of initial support from the aviation community. Perhaps it's a case where an established business can't easily compete in a new market segment (non-Type 23 a/c) for which they were not suitably structured. Perhaps it's the incremental loss of much of their single piston talent during the 90's. Perhaps its the loss of identity that occurs with a larger corporate owner placing new/different demands on the company. Probably it's all of those things and more. But sadly, they didn't get out of the gate well and are now trying to catch up production-wise, only to not have had their cost structure sorted out well. No doubt about it, the price increase will surely hurt them.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:28 am 
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Jack,

I don't think that's true about mogas in the 100hp vs 80hp. You can safely run it in either version (if the manufacturer so states in the manual) if it is of course ethanol-free, which we can't get right now anyway... In fact, I'd prefer to run the 100hp on mogas if we didn't have the stupid ethanol laws requiring us to use some of it in the fuel here in TX.

Ryan

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:11 am 
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RyanShort1 wrote:
Jack,

I don't think that's true about mogas in the 100hp vs 80hp. You can safely run it in either version (if the manufacturer so states in the manual) if it is of course ethanol-free, which we can't get right now anyway... In fact, I'd prefer to run the 100hp on mogas if we didn't have the stupid ethanol laws requiring us to use some of it in the fuel here in TX.

Ryan


Ryan, the Rotax is OK with up to 10% ethanol, but the airframe may not be.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 4:20 pm 
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3Dreaming wrote:
Ryan, the Rotax is OK with up to 10% ethanol, but the airframe may not be.

That is precisely the problem. I don't know if Pipistrel is better, but Apollo won't approve it.

Ryan

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 6:05 pm 
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EAA has run the same story:

http://www.eaa.org/news/2011/2011-11-17_cessna.asp


Cessna Ups Price for 162 Skycatcher
Deliveries made before the end of the year unaffected


November 17, 2011 – Cessna sent a letter this week to everyone holding purchase deposits on the 162 Skycatcher informing them that the price for delivery of the LSA would increase to $149,900 in 2012. However, there are a limited number of 162s available for delivery before the end of this year and they are available on a first-come, first-served basis at the old price.

The Skycatcher was unveiled at AirVenture in 2006 with an initial base price of $109,900 and Cessna reportedly received more than 1,000 deposits for the airplane over the next couple of years. Inflation adjustments had increased the base price now to just under $115,000.

Under the new higher price for 2012 Cessna has included a number of what was previously optional equipment including the Garmin GDU-375 flat glass multifunction display, an intercom, EGT, sun visor, and other items. Cessna also is increasing the warranty from one to two years. If the optional items, which will be standard under the new price, are included in today’s price the value would be $130,100.

Cessna spokesperson Diane White said the price increase was made necessary by Cessna’s commitment to sustain piston airplane production. “The aviation world is a whole different picture than when the Skycatcher was announced and we must sell the airplane at a price that makes the program sustainable,” she said.

Cessna offers deposit holders four options. The first is to close a sales contract on the remaining Skycatchers available for delivery before the end of 2011. If no airplane is available when a deposit holder responds, or if the deposit holder waits, a second option is to take delivery next year, in 2012, for the new base price of $149,900. A third option for deposit holders who want delivery in 2013 is to wait until that year when Cessna will provide a price. Finally, Cessna offers to refund the initial $5,000 deposit in full.

Cessna’s White said she didn’t know how many deposits are outstanding on the Skycatcher, and it had not been determined how many more airplanes could be delivered before the end of the year.

But as evidence of Cessna’s commitment to the Skycatcher, White said Cessna President/CEO Scott Ernest is learning to fly in the airplane.

---------------------------


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 6:15 pm 
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Ryan,

As Jack pointed out, one advantage of the 80 HP Rotax is the ability to use 87 octane MoGas. Not the same as unleaded car gas. There are several airports across the country that stock MoGas. Navzilla has about 200.

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