May 5–Quite a Cinco de Mayo for Cessna Aircraft. For perhaps the first time in the 80-year-old company’s history two new models had their first flights on the same day–sort of. The first flight of the CJ4 prototype business jet rocketed off of Wichita’s McConnell Air Force Base
for a 2-hour and 22-minute test flight. Meanwhile, just a few thousand yards away under the approach path to McConnell, the first production model of the tiny Cessna SkyCatcher light sport aircraft put daylight under its tires as it lifted off from Cessna Aircraft Field Airport
for a 30-minute flight.
As points of contrast, the CJ4 will cruise at a max speed of 435 knots while carrying 1,000 pounds of fuel and with a max payload of 2,100 pounds. The SkyCatcher is expected to breeze along at 118 knots (about the CJ4′s approach speed) while carrying about 144 pounds of fuel and a useful load of 490 pounds.
But, hey, they both have glass cockpits–the CJ4 sports a Collins Pro Line 21 system while the SkyCatcher panel hosts a Garmin G300.
Which would you rather have–high and fast or low and slow?
Tags: Tom Haines