Cessna gives details of NGP family

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Scylla
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Cessna gives details of NGP family

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Cessna revealed more details of plans for its Next Generation Piston (NGP) family at the AOPA Expo in Palm Springs, California last week. The sleek, four-seat proof-of-concept aircraft that began 40h of flight tests earlier this year is made almost entirely of composite materials.

"That doesn't necessarily mean we're committed to going to composites," says president and chief executive Jack Pelton. He stresses that the test aircraft is not a prototype, but a changing tool to develop a new family of light aircraft. The full-scale mock-up displayed at AOPA Expo showed refinements to the design of the high-wing, fixed-gear aircraft.

The NGP is likely to be the first Cessna aircraft produced with a diesel engine. Jet-fuel diesels will not be in the first models, but Pelton says their use is one of the design and testing considerations. He will not say which engine is on the proof-of-concept aircraft, but Cessna has started looking at diesels on its other aircraft.

"We've flight-tested the 1.7 litre Thielert [turbo-diesel] and now we're beginning to flight test the 2 litre. We are advocating to anybody who builds engines to build a higher horsepower diesel or alternative fuel engine," says Pelton.

Cessna is not releasing NGP performance goals or specifications. Flight testing has satisfied initial structural requirements, aerodynamic performance, engine cooling and proved balanced and simple handling characteristics, says Pelton. "We have a host of system integration and new technologies we're looking at."
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