Cessna Continues NGP Assessment
Hartford, Conn.– Flight test engineers at Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, have racked up more than 180 hours over the past 15 months in the next generation piston (NGP) proof-of-concept (POC) aircraft.
The POC made its first flight on June 23, 2006, and debuted to the public at the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh that year. Since then, engineers have collected performance numbers and made aerodynamic modifications based on those figures.
“The latest modifications have shown positive changes to the performance characteristics,” said Van Abel, Cessna’s project engineer for the NGP. “Our team has captured data that validates predictions for the production configuration.”
Meanwhile, Cessna has displayed the concept at numerous air shows to gather customer feedback, while a cross-functional team continues to assess the business case for adding a family of innovative airplanes that would set the standard among single engine pistons for performance, comfort and value.
“There is still much work to be done,” Abel said. “We are in the process of working the configuration so we would have the potential of multiple powerplants, and we continue to study features and materials.”
The POC incorporates a higher percentage of composite materials than Cessna’s traditional aircraft. No performance data or specifications will be released until Cessna makes a launch decision on the program.
Cessna is participating in the annual Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Expo, running Oct. 4-6 in Hartford, Conn. At the static display at Hartford-Brainard Airport, Cessna features the Skyhawk TD, Skylane, Stationair, Grand Caravan, Citation Mustang and Citation CJ2+. In the exhibit hall, the company showcases a mock-up of the SkyCatcher.
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