Cessna's SkyCatcher Grows a Larger Tail

At the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo, Cessna arrived with a new tail configuration for its SkyCatcher light sport aircraft. The new tail is Cessna's response to a spin accident last year in which a prototype SkyCatcher was lost-the pilot parachuted to safety. The new vertical tail is larger and has less sweep than its predecessor, giving the new SkyCatcher a slightly different look. Also, the ventral fin that had been expected to supply directional stability has been eliminated. Cessna first flew a prototype SkyCatcher in the new configuration on December 15, and according to the company, the first factory SkyCatcher will roll out of the Shenyang, China, factory sometime between April and June. Cessna holds orders for more than 1,000 SkyCatchers priced at $111,500 each.