Diesel Cessna Skylane Delayed until 2015

Cessna engineers still tweaking design.

Cessna 182 JT-A

Cessna 182 JT-A

Initial customer deliveries of Cessna's new diesel-powered 182 JT-A won't be made until some time in 2015 as engineers continue to hone the design, the first production piston single from the manufacturer intended to run on jet-A fuel rather than avgas.

Cessna last spring said certification of the 182 JT-A was "imminent" after stumbles in the test program that included an engine failure and forced landing in a cornfield outside Wichita, Kansas, in August 2013. Cessna launched the diesel Skylane at the Oshkosh airshow in July 2012.

AOPA first reported news of the new certification timetable on its website on Tuesday, writing that no reason was given for the latest delay. Cessna has ceased production of the gasoline-powered Skylane, and the latest delivery numbers released by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association show that no new 182's have been delivered this year. A Cessna spokeswoman confirmed to _Flying _that certification of the diesel Skylane is now expected in "early 2015."

The 182 JT-A is powered by a 227 hp SMA Safran compression ignition engine that will burn 11 gallons an hour, allow the diesel Skylane to fly 1,160 nautical miles on a single fill-up and cruise at 155 knots. Price has been set at $515,000.

At Oshkosh this summer, Cessna announced its second diesel model, the 172 JT-A. That airplane is to be powered by a 155 hp Continental CD-155 engine. Certification of the diesel Skyhawk, priced at $435,000, is targeted for next year as well.

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