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zachary165
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Cessna scraps unsold skycatcher frames

Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:15 pm

It seems the remaining 90 frames will be used for spare parts to support the current fleet.

http://www.kansas.com/news/business/avi ... 67978.html
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SEPilot
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Re: Cessna scraps unsold skycatcher frames

Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:41 pm

It clearly did not catch on, anyone know why not?
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
ILNFlyer
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Re: Cessna scraps unsold skycatcher frames

Fri Dec 16, 2016 4:04 pm

SEPilot wrote:
It clearly did not catch on, anyone know why not?


I would think the rising prices and the crashes would have discouraged potential buyers maybe...
 
VSMUT
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Re: Cessna scraps unsold skycatcher frames

Fri Dec 16, 2016 4:06 pm

SEPilot wrote:
It clearly did not catch on, anyone know why not?


From what I could gather, prices rose by 50% and the tail section required a complete redesign.
 
WIederling
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Re: Cessna scraps unsold skycatcher frames

Fri Dec 16, 2016 4:34 pm

VSMUT wrote:
SEPilot wrote:
It clearly did not catch on, anyone know why not?


From what I could gather, prices rose by 50% and the tail section required a complete redesign.


a complete and repetitive failure on the design and certification side.
Cessna appears to be out of the loop for "designing from new".
Murphy is an optimist
 
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CV990A
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Re: Cessna scraps unsold skycatcher frames

Fri Dec 16, 2016 5:00 pm

I was also led to believe that the aircraft suffered from performance shortfalls - it was less capable than the 150s / 152s it was intended to 'replace'
Kittens Give Morbo Gas
 
WIederling
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Re: Cessna scraps unsold skycatcher frames

Fri Dec 16, 2016 5:19 pm

CV990A wrote:
I was also led to believe that the aircraft suffered from performance shortfalls - it was less capable than the 150s / 152s it was intended to 'replace'


did the Chinese do any designing or did they only do the manufacturing ?
Murphy is an optimist
 
DiamondFlyer
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Re: Cessna scraps unsold skycatcher frames

Fri Dec 16, 2016 5:34 pm

The 162 was doomed from the beginning, with their poor engine choice. With the way the LSA category has a hard MTOW limit of 1320 lbs, they went with an engine that is roughly 100 pounds heavier than the most common engine in the category, the Rotax 912. That was the end of the plane, long before the first one ever flew
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atcpeter
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Re: Cessna scraps unsold skycatcher frames

Fri Dec 16, 2016 6:10 pm

Cessna also set a high price point that discouraged first-time pilots (over $100,000 when it was said and done). Do you really need a glass cockpit when you're learning to fly? The price of a new 162 would get you 2-3 respectable used 172s, with the glut of used GA aircraft that have been on the market since 2008.
 
INFINITI329
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Re: Cessna scraps unsold skycatcher frames

Fri Dec 16, 2016 6:13 pm

Hopefully Cessna goes back drawing board. I think they can have a winner for an airplane that designed for flight training. However they need to get it right. Which includes designing better, picking the right engine and making the airplane IFR capable.
 
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VirginFlyer
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Re: Cessna scraps unsold skycatcher frames

Fri Dec 16, 2016 7:39 pm

INFINITI329 wrote:
Hopefully Cessna goes back drawing board. I think they can have a winner for an airplane that designed for flight training. However they need to get it right. Which includes designing better, picking the right engine and making the airplane IFR capable.

If it is designed for basic flight training, is IFR capability that essential? I did my basic training on a 152, but never did any IFR in one of them.

V/F
It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens. —Bahá'u'lláh
 
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zachary165
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Re: Cessna scraps unsold skycatcher frames

Fri Dec 16, 2016 8:19 pm

SEPilot wrote:
It clearly did not catch on, anyone know why not?


It's useful load was also around 490 pounds a 152 has a useful load of around 590 pounds
"Keep true to the dreams of thy youth." - Schiller
 
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zachary165
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Re: Cessna scraps unsold skycatcher frames

Fri Dec 16, 2016 8:21 pm

VirginFlyer wrote:
INFINITI329 wrote:
Hopefully Cessna goes back drawing board. I think they can have a winner for an airplane that designed for flight training. However they need to get it right. Which includes designing better, picking the right engine and making the airplane IFR capable.

If it is designed for basic flight training, is IFR capability that essential? I did my basic training on a 152, but never did any IFR in one of them.

V/F


IFR isn't required unless you're getting instrument training. Otherwise the J3 wouldn't be a successful trainer
"Keep true to the dreams of thy youth." - Schiller
 
sevenair
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Re: Cessna scraps unsold skycatcher frames

Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:06 pm

A 152NEO is all people need. Give it a couple of trendy winglets and a glass cockpit and away you go. They're not as sexy as an all composite but the difference is they'll still be flying in 40 years time.
 
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Aesma
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Re: Cessna scraps unsold skycatcher frames

Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:10 pm

I hadn't heard of this latest tidbit, seems to me Cessna just didn't know what they were doing :

In November 2012 Cessna issued a Mandatory Service Bulletin (MSB) as a result of cracks found on its cyclic test aircraft. The MSB requires addition of new wing ribs and modifications to the wing attachment structure for the first 228 Cessna 162s delivered. The modification was extensive and required 32 man-hours to complete and was required to be done within the next 100 flight hours or at the next annual inspection, whichever came first. Cessna paid to modify all aircraft involved.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
JoeCanuck
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Re: Cessna scraps unsold skycatcher frames

Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:57 am

Basically, Cessna long ago forgot about its roots. The LSA market evolved from the homebuilt community, which resulted in a plethora of affordable, innovative options that left the Skycatcher in the dust, long before the first sheet metal was punched.

A school could buy a half a dozen good, used 150's or 3 or 4 good 172's for the price of a single Skycatcher.

Basically, a bad idea that is best forgotten.
What the...?
 
77H
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Re: Cessna scraps unsold skycatcher frames

Sat Dec 17, 2016 1:28 am

I get that they are using the unsold units for spare parts but what about donating a few of them to flight schools? Could be a goodwill gesture that might spur future orders for 172's or whatever Cessna cooks up next.
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: Cessna scraps unsold skycatcher frames

Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:14 am

A question: wouldn't a modern 4 cylinder Toyota engine have more horsepower and lighter weight than what is in a 172/182. And aren't the reliability of those engines the match of what they are using now?
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Newark727
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Re: Cessna scraps unsold skycatcher frames

Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:22 am

frmrCapCadet wrote:
A question: wouldn't a modern 4 cylinder Toyota engine have more horsepower and lighter weight than what is in a 172/182. And aren't the reliability of those engines the match of what they are using now?


Even the most bombproof car engine would still have to be extensively tested and certified for flying conditions - and I'd actually be surprised if it was much lighter, given that modern car engines are liquid cooled. Multicam/multivalve engines also tend to be a bit heavier and take up more space than the old stuff.
 
flightsimer
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Re: Cessna scraps unsold skycatcher frames

Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:44 am

These last 80 frames are not being used for parts, they have been scrapped. They were use for parts from 2014-Yesterday and as of yesterday have all been or are being crushed down for the shredder.
Commercial / Airline Pilot
 
a320fan
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Re: Cessna scraps unsold skycatcher frames

Sat Dec 17, 2016 3:13 am

My local asroclub bought 2 of them and were among some of the first deliverys, I drifted away from real flying about the time they came in due to been a poor uni student, yet I do remember making a comment to my instructor that they looked nice sitting on the ramp, I clearly remember his reply of "that's all they're good for"
A319, A320, A321, A330-200, A350-900, A380, 737-700, 737-800, 777-200ER, 777-300, 777-300ER, 787-8, Q300, Q400
 
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Byron1976
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Re: Cessna scraps unsold skycatcher frames

Sat Dec 17, 2016 3:38 am

JoeCanuck wrote:
Basically, Cessna long ago forgot about its roots.

:checkmark:
Cessna does not need to invent the gunpowder again. Training will always be training.
 
BiggerJetsPlz
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Re: Cessna scraps unsold skycatcher frames

Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:20 am

zachary165 wrote:
SEPilot wrote:
It clearly did not catch on, anyone know why not?


It's useful load was also around 490 pounds a 152 has a useful load of around 590 pounds


Which means after it's normally equipped, useful load was about 450, add oil and 15-20 gallons of gas, and you can only carry 300-350 lbs.

I logged about 25 hours of flight time in a local club's c162, and while it is a fun sporty plane to tool around in, with some decent features (great visibility, efficient, and 15 knots faster than a 152), the VFR only garmin g300 avionics were pointless, and it does feel extremely cheap.

I heard the real reason Cessna killed it was because they were competing with themselves for flight school business. Flight schools who wanted to be Cessna certified have to buy a new Cessna every so often to qualify, so they naturally were all buying $150k c162s instead of $400k c172s.
 
VSMUT
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Re: Cessna scraps unsold skycatcher frames

Sat Dec 17, 2016 8:30 am

zachary165 wrote:
IFR isn't required unless you're getting instrument training. Otherwise the J3 wouldn't be a successful trainer


Isn't the amount of PPL students dropping, and CPL students on the rise? That means more people who will need IFR training at one point or another.

sevenair wrote:
A 152NEO is all people need. Give it a couple of trendy winglets and a glass cockpit and away you go. They're not as sexy as an all composite but the difference is they'll still be flying in 40 years time.


A Diamond is what flying schools want, and increasingly buying.

:)
 
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VirginFlyer
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Re: Cessna scraps unsold skycatcher frames

Sat Dec 17, 2016 9:02 am

VSMUT wrote:
zachary165 wrote:
IFR isn't required unless you're getting instrument training. Otherwise the J3 wouldn't be a successful trainer


Isn't the amount of PPL students dropping, and CPL students on the rise? That means more people who will need IFR training at one point or another.

Yes, and when it gets time for someone to do IFR training, then do it in an IFR certified aircraft. I did my basic training in a mix of 152s and 172s. If you're banging around in a circuit or doing basic manoeuvring, the 152 is amply sufficient. If you're doing cross country nav exercises, you probably want the 172 for the range and extra space. If you're doing IFR training, you can happily get an IFR 172. In fact if you're doing basic training in an IFR certified set up, you're going to be up for some expenses maintaining instruments which aren't needed a lot of the time (and which are being slowly wrecked by rough landings and the like). If you're a single aeroplane operation trying to cover everything from ab initio to instrument, then maybe you need an IFR 152 (or equally maybe you have an IFR 172 since you'll be able to do more with it range-wise). If you're an operation with a few aircraft, you're better off having a mix of VFR and IFR set ups.

V/F
It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens. —Bahá'u'lláh
 
WIederling
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Re: Cessna scraps unsold skycatcher frames

Sat Dec 17, 2016 9:24 am

don't look, nothing is here. ( .. anymore ;-)
Murphy is an optimist
 
TSS
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Re: Cessna scraps unsold skycatcher frames

Sat Dec 17, 2016 9:38 am

Newark727 wrote:
frmrCapCadet wrote:
A question: wouldn't a modern 4 cylinder Toyota engine have more horsepower and lighter weight than what is in a 172/182. And aren't the reliability of those engines the match of what they are using now?


Even the most bombproof car engine would still have to be extensively tested and certified for flying conditions - and I'd actually be surprised if it was much lighter, given that modern car engines are liquid cooled. Multicam/multivalve engines also tend to be a bit heavier and take up more space than the old stuff.


What Newark727 said.

Furthermore, multicam/multivalve engines tend to trade torque for horsepower by being most efficient in the upper reaches of the rev range beyond normal prop speeds, thus requiring a reduction gear between the engine and the prop (more weight and complexity). Also, Toyota (and all other major manufacturers except Subaru and Porsche*) don't produce horizontally-opposed engines, only inline or V-type. If you mounted a stock-ish Toyota engine on, say, a 172, how would you be able to see around it looking forward?

*Porsche did attempt to enter the aircraft engine market in perhaps the late 70s or early 80s, with little or no success in the endeavor. Maybe someone here remembers more about that project than I do and can shed more light on that subject.
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77H
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Re: Cessna scraps unsold skycatcher frames

Sat Dec 17, 2016 10:03 am

flightsimer wrote:
These last 80 frames are not being used for parts, they have been scrapped. They were use for parts from 2014-Yesterday and as of yesterday have all been or are being crushed down for the shredder.


So again, I must ask... instead of turning these birds (as "useless" as they may seem) into soda cans, why not donate/sell at rock bottom rates to FBO's / flight schools around the country/world? Certainly there are plenty of flight schools who would have been happy to take such aircraft? The flight school/FBO I did my instrument at had planes that were nearly falling apart. I'm sure the students and instructors there would be happy to be in a Skycatcher.

As an interesting aside, Jeff Skiles (US1549 co-pilot) once rented an aircraft (PA-28 Arrow) to take on personal trip to AK while I was working at said FBO. When he return the aircraft after a week, he had a laundry list of MTX discrepancies noted in the logbook. One of the most memorable was "vent window unexpectedly departed the aircraft". Again, plenty of FBO's / Flight Schools would have been happy to take those aircraft.

Mahalo,
77H
 
ltbewr
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Re: Cessna scraps unsold skycatcher frames

Sat Dec 17, 2016 10:20 am

Probably Cessna's actions are more about liability risks with their potential costs and our tax laws that encourage scrapping.
 
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Aesma
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Re: Cessna scraps unsold skycatcher frames

Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:50 pm

Using a modern inline four automobile engine in an airplane is possible and already done, it's called a Thielert (now Continental), the base engine is a Mercedes. It was so difficult a feat that the company went bankrupt, but now it works OK, and yes you can get it on a Cessna 172 and still see outside.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
SteinarN
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Re: Cessna scraps unsold skycatcher frames

Sat Dec 17, 2016 6:01 pm

Aesma wrote:
Using a modern inline four automobile engine in an airplane is possible and already done, it's called a Thielert (now Continental), the base engine is a Mercedes. It was so difficult a feat that the company went bankrupt, but now it works OK, and yes you can get it on a Cessna 172 and still see outside.


Isn't that engine a modern common rail diesel engine?
 
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Aesma
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Re: Cessna scraps unsold skycatcher frames

Sat Dec 17, 2016 6:06 pm

Yes. I guess for the investment money needed a gas engine that would in the best case scenario not be much better than a Rotax doesn't make sense, whereas a turbo diesel has other advantages.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
JoeCanuck
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Re: Cessna scraps unsold skycatcher frames

Sat Dec 17, 2016 6:29 pm

Aesma wrote:
Using a modern inline four automobile engine in an airplane is possible and already done, it's called a Thielert (now Continental), the base engine is a Mercedes. It was so difficult a feat that the company went bankrupt, but now it works OK, and yes you can get it on a Cessna 172 and still see outside.


The Thielert engines formerly used on the Diamonds, work because they are diesels. While they still need a reduction gear, they produce significantly more torque than a typical 2l gas engine...and torque is really what pulls around aircraft.

They still have steel blocks but their smaller displacement and size, put them in the same weight range as the stock engines.

Certifying an engine for aircraft is a nightmare and the world is littered with engines that couldn't make the grade.

The LSA market has basically taken up where the 150 left off and has significantly leapfrogged the 162, even before it was born. What really killed the 162 is that it just wasn't good enough compared to the many other superior offerings.

They should have done what they did with the 400, formerly Columbia. Bought up a small company already producing a great product and rebadge it.
What the...?
 
beechnut
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Re: Cessna scraps unsold skycatcher frames

Sat Dec 17, 2016 6:57 pm

BiggerJetsPlz wrote:
Which means after it's normally equipped, useful load was about 450, add oil and 15-20 gallons of gas, and you can only carry 300-350 lbs.


That's the crux of the problem. In other words, it was a trainer only good to train female pilots: try to find a male instructor and male student that weigh in at 150 lbs each!

frmrCapCadet wrote:
A question: wouldn't a modern 4 cylinder Toyota engine have more horsepower and lighter weight than what is in a 172/182. And aren't the reliability of those engines the match of what they are using now?


A car engine is only generating about 20 hp at 60 mph. So for example, my 170 hp VW Golf would be putting out 11% of its power on long-distance drives at the local speed limit. An aircraft typically cruises at 65-75% power. Big difference! Most aircraft engines these days have a 2000 hour TBO, but often need a top overhaul between major overhauls (cylinders, piston rings). So a Cessna 172 cruising at say 125 mph, would be good for about 250,000 miles or 400,000 km, with a top overhaul at maybe 125k miles (200k km). That's about what a car engine can typically deliver but without a top overhaul; I had a Honda that ran to 300k km (180k miles) and died because the body rusted out and a friend drover her Accord to 400k km.

Thing is, the car engine is only developing less than 20% power most of the time during long-distance travel.

If you stressed it to cruise at 75% power most of the time, it wouldn't last anywhere near as long as an aircraft engine. That would be the equivalent of powering my Golf with a 26 hp engine... you can imagine how long it would last.

Beech
 
BravoOne
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Re: Cessna scraps unsold skycatcher frames

Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:56 pm

Anyone recall the Cessna Skyhook. Another Cessna with a similar fate.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cessna_CH-1_Skyhook
 
flightsimer
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Re: Cessna scraps unsold skycatcher frames

Sun Dec 18, 2016 6:23 pm

77H wrote:
flightsimer wrote:
These last 80 frames are not being used for parts, they have been scrapped. They were use for parts from 2014-Yesterday and as of yesterday have all been or are being crushed down for the shredder.


So again, I must ask... instead of turning these birds (as "useless" as they may seem) into soda cans, why not donate/sell at rock bottom rates to FBO's / flight schools around the country/world? Certainly there are plenty of flight schools who would have been happy to take such aircraft? The flight school/FBO I did my instrument at had planes that were nearly falling apart. I'm sure the students and instructors there would be happy to be in a Skycatcher.

As an interesting aside, Jeff Skiles (US1549 co-pilot) once rented an aircraft (PA-28 Arrow) to take on personal trip to AK while I was working at said FBO. When he return the aircraft after a week, he had a laundry list of MTX discrepancies noted in the logbook. One of the most memorable was "vent window unexpectedly departed the aircraft". Again, plenty of FBO's / Flight Schools would have been happy to take those aircraft.

Mahalo,
77H
these planes were used to support the already delivered fleet. What parts would be used to support them? A manufacturer does not just build planes, they have to still support those planes as well. Cessna determined it was not worth it to them. Prices will go up,eventually the fleet will draw down and all OEM support will stop.
Commercial / Airline Pilot
 
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atypical
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Re: Cessna scraps unsold skycatcher frames

Fri Dec 23, 2016 9:32 am

beechnut wrote:
BiggerJetsPlz wrote:
Which means after it's normally equipped, useful load was about 450, add oil and 15-20 gallons of gas, and you can only carry 300-350 lbs.


That's the crux of the problem. In other words, it was a trainer only good to train female pilots: try to find a male instructor and male student that weigh in at 150 lbs each!

frmrCapCadet wrote:
A question: wouldn't a modern 4 cylinder Toyota engine have more horsepower and lighter weight than what is in a 172/182. And aren't the reliability of those engines the match of what they are using now?


A car engine is only generating about 20 hp at 60 mph. So for example, my 170 hp VW Golf would be putting out 11% of its power on long-distance drives at the local speed limit. An aircraft typically cruises at 65-75% power. Big difference! Most aircraft engines these days have a 2000 hour TBO, but often need a top overhaul between major overhauls (cylinders, piston rings). So a Cessna 172 cruising at say 125 mph, would be good for about 250,000 miles or 400,000 km, with a top overhaul at maybe 125k miles (200k km). That's about what a car engine can typically deliver but without a top overhaul; I had a Honda that ran to 300k km (180k miles) and died because the body rusted out and a friend drover her Accord to 400k km.

Thing is, the car engine is only developing less than 20% power most of the time during long-distance travel.

If you stressed it to cruise at 75% power most of the time, it wouldn't last anywhere near as long as an aircraft engine. That would be the equivalent of powering my Golf with a 26 hp engine... you can imagine how long it would last.

Beech


These are good points but the biggest difference between a car engine and an LSA or an "entry level" aircraft comes down to 1 component: the cooling system. Base model aircraft engines are all air cooled. In an aircraft car engines are going to be more expensive and bulkier than their air cooled counterparts. Since the engine is more complicated getting it certified will be much more difficult and the automobile cooling system will be susceptible to icing on an aircraft. The maintenance costs are going to be much higher, probably double. Any water cooled engine is going to be prohibitive even if it doubled the performance of current aircraft engines.

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