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Cessna Skycatcher - According to Cessna they have no plans

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Seems to me Cessna would have been better off lobbying for the C-150 and C-152's to be ruled into the LSA category versus spending the funds to manufacture the 162 (www.avweb.com) עוד...

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bill54494
Bill Menzel 4
The problem with the Skycatcher is not where it is made. It was pretty much designed and engineered as a very expensive toy; it would have failed no matter where it was assembled. I "tried one on" once. At 6'7", I was always able to fit in a C150 and even a C152, but the C162 was an impossible fit. I was barely able to get in, and there was no way I could have safely flown it.
N5827P
N5827P 3
Many problems,1st: LSA's were supposed to reduce the cost of flying. $150,000 for a 2 place 120mph airplane. Not exactly thrifty. 2nd: Poor quality, this is Cessna's fault for placing too much emphasis on profit and little on quality. See examples of Mexican Corvalis and Chinese Skycatcher. Neither country is incapable of quality, but it must be monitored closely and apparently Cessna was too cheap to do so. 3rd, Cessna never heard of market evaluation. Maybe next time see if there is a market for such a machine.
grinch59
Gene Nowak 1
Agree with both of you. QC is the key to selling a viable aircraft, combined with ease of repair and availablility of parts locally.
preacher1
preacher1 1
Quality Control is needful in any country of manufacture. Even here, if left to their own devices, people will get sloppy. It's just a lot more expensive to base a QC in a foreign country rather than a U.S. Plant. Price may be cheaper but if QC is not policed, you will get what you pay for. That is one reason Cessna has such a good name here and has had so many successful lines, they have QC'd heavily. That extra cost must be figured in before sending anything off shore.
adanziger
adanziger 4
They chose to manufacture the 162 in China, and then complained about the quality of the finished product? Are they kidding me? What tree have they been sleeping under for the last 10-15 years.

Almost everything that comes out of China is cheap junk, why would they have thought this was going to be any different? I avoid Chinese manufactured garbage like the plague and will gladly spend more money for something made here. When you buy something from China, you need to but two, to be reasonably certain of getting one that works.

It's a real shame but this was totally predictable.
vanbess
vanbess 3
The same goes with the product lines in Mexico. They moved the Corvallis line from Bend, Oregon where is was produced without a single issue to Central Mexico and in that plant the first planes out had to be destroyed following an inflight delamination of the wing in the fuel tank of all places.

Even if I had the money to buy something newer or bigger than I have. I am only going to buy an older US manufactured plane. I know our plants have greater attention to detaila and quality.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 6
Mine was made in Bend. I only buy tequila from Mex.
stave
Edgar Murphy 2
About a year after deliveries began, I called a Cessna Pilot Center and asked when they were going to have a 162 available for flight training. Owner said he never heard of a 162.
chalet
chalet 1
What brand of Smart phones, PCs or Tablets do you own, perhaps some Jos. A. Bank shirts too. They are made in China, right?. All these things and many others are manufactured there are top quality and one of the reasons is that the designers or whoever outsourced them to Chinese manufacturing are very strict in quality assurance/control. Having said this therea there are other pieces of consumer products made in China with their own designs which are very good too and granted, there are pieces of junk also but have you Heard that Thou Shall Not Generalize
vanbess
vanbess 1
but Chalet your talking about expendable items -- does your life depend on a shirt or electronic toy. Its not even close to the arguement of a plane. You are comparing Apples to Almonds.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
Actually people are comparing Apples and airplanes.

One is known for being reliable most of the time. The other must be reliable all of the time, or your plane and your life may be on the line.

Apple has the most robust supply chain in the world, sourcing parts from all over. The most valuable components are made elsewhere, but many of their products are assembled in China because doing so is cheap.

Apple has rejected entire shipments of product because the quality was not acceptable to carry their brand.

No aircraft manufacturer has the supply chain chops to go head to head with Apple. Boeing tried and is still paying the price for it, literally in many instances.

Cessna couldn't expect to offshore their production and do better than Boeing, with fewer people. And in no way could they approach Apple's supply chain expertise, just out of the gate.
chalet
chalet 0
Look the American consumer is extremely demanding, you put out to the market a flawed smart pone, disc player, anything and the market will bait you. Granted none of these things will kill you but your company would die in a nonasecod.
preacher1
preacher1 4
All you really have to look at is the auto industry. They started out as being poo pooed as junk and some were as well as other Japanese products. Now, they have factories all over the U.S. and a sizable market share. Where their productivity methods and work ethic have been adopted by American companies, American companies are putting out a good product. Where they haven't they have gone away. Prosperity brings laziness in some quarters.
bishops90
Brian Bishop 1
Yeah, and the power button on my brand new IPhone brole after three months. Now wouldn't THAT suck at 8500ft!
CaptainFreedom
CaptainFreedom 1
To add to your point, it's up to Cessna to monitor the QA of its production facilities. You can manufacture in the North America, China, or Antarctica...wherever you want. If you do not have engineers and production specialists to monitor adherence to specs and production quality, you will get product that is neither to spec nor quality....duh!
chalet
chalet 1
Right on. That is why iPhones are really really excellent products, all made in China.
bishops90
Brian Bishop 1
See my post above about my Iphone.....
preacher1
preacher1 1
I did the same thing to my UPS here at the house. Got heavy handed with the power button; pushed it down and it kept on going. Lite touch BB. LOL
chalet
chalet 0
What do you do use your iPhones for guys, throw them like rocks to smash your neighbors windows because their parties are terribly noisy (and they did not invite you) LIMAO.
mpradel
Marcus Pradel 0
The iPhone is a disposable electronic accessory. It's not made to last any longer than the batteries that come with it. Don't bet your life on one..
vanbess
vanbess 1
C-162 for $150 K or a US Made ICON for 120K and you get multiuse capability if you had to have new. Then of course Like I said earlier in the tread a nice 152 for 25K
bovineone
Jeff Lawson 2
ICON has still not entered production yet, and its current final price is estimated at $189K.
jagerardi
jagerardi 1
Really? Almost all computers, cellphones, DVD players and large-screen TV's are manufactured in China, as are most of our cards, our appliances, our clothes, etc. The list is pretty-much comprehensive of what is made there. The much, much shorter list is what's NOT made there, and that's because unions like the UAW have simply priced themselves out of the workplace. China will manufacture whatever you want to whatever level you ask, and herein lies the problem: Cessna was trying to build to a price, not to a level of quality.

Remember: in the end, Cessna was happy enough with what they received to market and deliver them as a Cessna. The Chinese had nothing to do with that. Cessna felt that the ship lived up to their quality and brand stature, so who really made the mistake?

..Joe
distar97
Dennis Harper 1
Quick... name a famous Chinese brand manufacturer that exports under their own name.
Not so easy it it. You can think of well known quality brands from most western nations. The Chinese are merely order takers for their factories. They rarely innovate on their own. Haier is the only one that comes to mind. I have an A/C from them, only because we no longer make room a/c's in the USA, and it sucks. Shame on us. And Cessna expected us to buy a Chinese built airplane? Don't they know lead is heavy?
biorider
John Jones 1
Lenovo. IBM used them to make laptops, and the Chinese bought out the line.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
Any quality that may remain in Lenovo laptops comes entirely from the IBM culture of excellence, they acquired with that division and all of the engineers that were working there at the time.
preacher1
preacher1 1
I had one too and it went out after 2 years. Impossible to contact for warranty or service
btweston
btweston 1
Interesting. So you don't really know where your products come from.

Apple says you're wrong, by the way.
bill54494
Bill Menzel 1
Exactly. iPads, iPods. Made in China.

Lots of other high quality electronics under other brand names are also made there.
preacher1
preacher1 2
Did an upgrade on my PC a few years back. Fussed & fussed with the primary part; couldn't make it work. Went and got a 2nd one. Snapped in and worked just fine. Tech told me later on that you had a 9:1 chance of a new part working and no real way to check most. Just change parts. I guess this is why.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
Actually just assembled in China.

Apple products are designed in California, and components are mostly made in Korea, Japan, Germany, US, Taiwan, and Thailand, then assembled in China. Factories for assembly have also been opened recently in Brasil and US.

Research has shown that only about 3-4% of Apple products' value is made in China (including assembly) of those products that are assembled in China.
vanbess
vanbess 1
We aren't depending on the gadgets like Ipads, Ipods and Cell phones to keep us in the air. But we all know those gadgets have a short lived lifecycle verse 50+ years a quality built 172's in the states
CaptainFreedom
CaptainFreedom 1
Agree. The specs of electronic gadgets are incredibly simplistic compared to the precision required to build an airplane properly.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
All these I's are just trinkets. Not exactly a major investment. Throw away items.
mpradel
Marcus Pradel 2
At least Cessna was honest enough to refund all the deposits when the Manufacturing move to China was announced. That should've been the sign to rethink the move.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 2
We have really been dummed down if anyone would really buy a plane made in China. It ain't like buying a decorative trinket.
CaptainFreedom
CaptainFreedom 1
or an iPad :)
Cbill2fly
Bill Smith 2
150 and 152 proven planes should be in lsa class. I know a bank that did not want to make small loans and went broke. Cessna needs to make the small planes to teach people to fly and love air planes so they will have more people to fly and buy planes. Every one started someplace.
whew39
william wood 1
I spoke with a couple of mechanics who worked on them for a flight school. They unceremoniously referred to the Skycatcher as "junk".
N5092E
Russ Kaye 1
does it sound like Scott Ernest is only interested in Cessna's jet business? No real answers about how the 162 line could work, and no discussion about the Jet A piston line.
pkuhns
Peter Kuhns 1
that's where the money is. For now...
klausfein
Klaus Feinberg 1
what was the incident they're talking about?
chalet
chalet 1
The failed 162 Project was one of the reasons why the board of directors fired Cessna president Glenn Tilton who, according to a scathing article in Aviation Week & Space Technology did not know how much cost the manufacturing of the aicraft assembled by Cessna. As for the diesel engined C-182, it is hard to see people splurging more than half a million dollars to get one. Another of Tilton's misses who by all accounts is a hell of a nice guy.
preacher1
preacher1 1
Nice guys don't always finish first
KennyFlys
Ken Lane 1
Cessna's effort toward a diesel engine won't go far. I spent a significant amount of time talking with the Continental guys at Fort Worth. Their diesel engine is far superior than the gizmo Lycoming is creating from scratch. It was already proved with great success in the DA-42 before the original manufacturer's owner killed the company.

Throw in the fact those engines started out being headed for a Mercedes and it's obvious the Continental powerplant has great potential for replacing gas engines, especially at schools.

The downside is those engines will never make it into a Cessna glass panel bird. Garmin won't revise the software for monitoring the engine without Cessna's blessing and Cessna isn't giving it. One could call that a Textron conspiracy. They want the Lycoming engine even if it is inferior.
pkuhns
Peter Kuhns 1
The American business model these days only works on high-ticket items. There is no profit (none, I repeat none) in low-quantity, consumer-grade anything. Especially if it's made by American workers. The prez was just being straight-up business honest. Such is life. With the current FAA thumbscrews, a litigious society, continuing high-wages, and a thorough lack of interest by the Xbox generation, it's pretty amazing Cessna exists at all.
shampjs
Jim Shamp 1
Cessna missed the point of an LSA. The Light Sport market was to create an inexpensive means to own an aircraft. Why would any one by a 162 for that price when there are hundreds of LSA aircraft out there for under 30K. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure that one out, just talk to any red blooded GA pilot.
chalet
chalet 1
Ooops, the correct name of Cessna's ex-prez is Jack Pelton, sorry about that.
JimmyMack
James Herrington Sr. 1
I have always been of the opinion that Cessna should not have moved Mfg. operations to China. I agree with a previous comment that they would have been better off lobbying for the C-150 series to be qualified to meet the LSA category. China can't even manufacture safe pet food!
grinch59
Gene Nowak 1
True! Move the operations to China and you have done another thing that most of the people commenting have missed. At 7+% unemployment in the US, can we afford to send more jobs overseas? We've seen the damage done by NAFTA to jobs in the US. Do we need another lesson from the Asian Pacific proposed Pact?
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Going to get worse because we no longer put America first.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
It's the nature of their culture to cut corners. If you want quality from there you better be on top of all processes every day every hour. They could care less about the consumer. What are you gonna do, sue 'em??
JimmyMack
James Herrington Sr. 2
I know about quality; that's what I do for a living as a Supplier Quality Engineer. Sue them? No, I am careful not to buy anything made in China for my personal use. It was reported just recently that a number of US Corporations are pulling out of China. It may upset a few folks but in my opinion organized labor is partially responsible for offshore manufacturing decisions.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
I agree that organized labor has some blame. But government bears lots more blame: trade policies and the entitlement system namely. People will not work when the government pays them to not work (money, food, healthcare, education, housing, etc). Social programs are a total disaster.
gefrieden
gefrieden 1
I think the weight issue led to the demise, more so than cost or manufacturing quality (China). See Lou Mancuso's comments in the article below by Dan Johnson:

http://www.bydanjohnson.com/showsplog.cfm?id=1652

Gary
bovineone
Jeff Lawson 1
The FAA extremely restrictive weight maximums for the LSA category are difficult for many manufacturers. ICON had to request a weight exemption in order to meet their usability goals. I got the impression that the Skycatcher had the horsepower to safely carry more weight, but the legal restrictions required them to publish lower weight maximums to comply with LSA regulations.

Perhaps lifting the LSA weight restriction, and allowing existing LSAs to retest/recertify with higher maximums might be beneficial to the industry. I'd assume that LSA aircraft would still want to be limited to 2 seats maximum though.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
My iPad ain't gonna kill me.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 2
But a Surface 2 might (depending on reliability). At least one carrier has adopted these as their standard EFB, despite pilot protestations.

On the flip side, an iPad may save your life. (Apparently they tested well with the pilots, and many plan to bring their personal iPads along as a backup).
Kjoden44
Ken Oden 2
I finally had a chance to look over the Cessna Fly - ummm.m.m.. SkyCatcher (what committee came up with that name?) at an airshow. The workmanship was... unlike anything I've seen in the past. Actually, I did see similar workmanship on an IL-2 Sturmovik in a European museum I visited recently. In other words, On My Goodness!!! Is Cessna really selling something of this questionable quality and calling it a Cessna product? No wonder the new guy at the helm is in trouble.

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