By Alton K. Marsh
Cessna Aircraft has received a lot of e-mail since announcing that it would build the light sport SkyCatcher in China.
Cessna marketing Vice President Tom Aniello has posted an open letter to those who disagree. He said many of the remarks were based on inaccurate or incomplete information, and he wants to set the record straight.
The Cessna 162 SkyCatcher will be built by Shenyang Aircraft Corp. in Shenyang, China. The 56-year-old commercial and military fighter aircraft company has 16,000 employees and already counts among its clients The Boeing Company, Airbus, Bombardier Aerospace, Spirit AeroSystems (formerly owned by Boeing and located in Wichita, Kan.), and Singapore Aerospace. Shenyang Aircraft, located some 500 miles northeast of Beijing, will assemble the SkyCatcher while Cessna will design it, assure it meets the light sport aircraft standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials, and provide on-site personnel to oversee manufacturing, quality assurance, and technical design.
The two companies began to form a partnership in 2003. Shenyang Aircraft Corp. is a subsidiary of China Aviation Industry Corp., a government-owned consortium of aircraft manufacturers. Shenyang, an industrial town, will host soccer competition during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
Cessna claims more than 900 orders for the Cessna 162.
January 4, 2008