Just a year after certifying the diesel-powered Cessna Skyhawk JT-A, Textron Aviation has quietly discontinued production of the model, originally thought to be a strong contender for international flight schools operating in places where the cost or availability of avgas made it a seemingly logical choice.
Textron Aviation offered no reason for the move, which comes after the recent discontinuation of the Cessna TTx high-performance single and the abandonment of another diesel model, the Skylane JT-A, which never entered production.
The diesel Skyhawk which earned its FAA and EASA certification papers last June has been removed from the Cessna product webpage. Cessna sales of the JT-A model were under engine maker Continental's STC approval, and buyers can still choose that route if they would like to convert a Skyhawk to the CD-155 diesel engine after taking delivery.
Cessna has been interested in offering Jet-A-powered piston singles since at least 2007 when it planned to introduce a version of the Skyhawk powered by a Thielert engine. After that company went bankrupt, Continental Motors purchased its assets in 2013.
In 2012, Cessna introduced a prototype Skylane powered by an SMA diesel engine, but certification delays led to the cancelation of the program in 2015.
Price appears to be a primary factor in slow sales to the diesel Skyhawk that led to its demise.
Cessna’s exit from diesel aircraft production leaves two primary competitors, Piper and Diamond Aircraft, which offer various compression-ignition engine models. For the international training market, the Piper Archer DX and Diamond DA40 NG are the companies’ entry-level diesel models.