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Cessna Pins a Market for Skycatcher Concept

Cessna is marketing its new SkyCatcher aircraft, for short flights, as an affordable option for new pilots.

"We see the SkyCatcher as an airplane that will enable people who previously could not afford to fly to start flight training," said Pia Bergqvist, Cessna spokeswoman.

Its cockpit is as wide as the cockpit in the 206, Cessna's largest single-engine aircraft, and was designed with a Garmin G300 glass display. Certain features will enable pilots to transition to Cessna's other single engine products and also to Cessna jets, Bergqvist adds.

The SkyCatcher is a single engine propeller aircraft, powered by a Continental O-200D engine and a fixed-pitch composite propeller. It is not a jet.

The aircraft was introduced at $109,500. Estimated maximum cruise speed is 118 knots and the estimated maximum range is 470 nautical miles. It's first flight has been scheduled to place in 2008 and deliveries are expected to begin in 2009. Cessna expects to produce up to 700 SkyCatcher aircraft per year.

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