Textron To Deliver 15 Cessna Skyhawks to Epic Flight Academy

The flight school has a fleet of 43 Cessna 172, which is its exclusive single-engine airplane.

Cessna’s 172 Skyhawk has long been a mainstay of flight training because of its forgiving flight characteristics and reliability. [Coutesy; Epic Flight Academy]

Textron Aviation said it agreed to deliver 15 new Cessna 172 Skyhawks to Epic Flight Academy as part of a plan to expand the flight school’s fleet. The companies announced the deal during the recent Sun n’ Fun Aerospace Expo.

Epic, based at New Smyrna Beach, Florida (KEVB), has been training pilots since 1999. Its list of graduates includes thousands of students from more than 80 countries, the company said. 

The Skyhawk is Epic’s exclusive single-engine airplane, and the school has a total fleet of 43 that it has ordered since 2016. Textron Aviation, the Wichita, Kansas-based unit of Textron Inc (NYSE: TXT), designs and builds the Skyhawk, which has been in production since 1956.

“The Cessna Skyhawk has been one of the world’s top training aircraft for over six decades,” said Chris Crow, vice president of Textron Aviation’s piston sales. “We are thrilled to see these aircraft continue to inspire the next generation of professional pilots through this agreement with Epic Flight Academy.”

The Skyhawk’s stable, forgiving flight characteristics and steady evolution and modernization over the decades have made it a perennial favorite for flight training. The new models have advanced features, including Garmin’s G1000 NXi avionics and a standard angle-of-attack display.

"At Epic, our motto has always been ‘Safety first!’ This is why we train our pilots in the Cessna Skyhawk,” said Danny Perna, Epic’s founder and CEO. “This aircraft proves itself with every flight and prepares our students for a successful career. We can't wait to take delivery and expand our fleet."

Since the Skyhawk’s first flight in 1955, Cessna has delivered more than 45,000 of the aircraft around the world, making it the most popular aircraft in the industry.

Jonathan Welsh is a private pilot who worked as a reporter, editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal for 21 years, mostly covering the auto industry. His passion for aviation began in childhood with balsa-wood gliders his aunt would buy for him at the corner store. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @JonathanWelsh4

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