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Cessna giving up on diesel?

It was clear for some time now this would happen … embarrassing, I would say. First the 162 desaster, now that. I think the SMA Diesel is dead now. The next chance might be TCM’s CD-300 …

Doesn’t this simply mean that

  • nobody in the USA wants a diesel Cessna (because avgas is cheap and has many advantages over diesel)
  • the USA is their main market
  • China has been too slow developing
  • Europe is not buying new Cessna 182s (or much “new anything” really)

But surely everybody knew all of this?

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Well, this is ultimately good. More Diamonds and maybe Mooney 10s is the only result of this. It is limits for how long Cessna can continue to convince people that their piston line of aircraft is modern.

The elephant is the circulation

I agree with LeSving, it’s mainly bad for Cessna. Their fleet is stone aged, hardly anything changed in 40 years. The factory diesel was the last major move from Cessna to modernize the product portfolio and it appears to have failed. It makes it more likely that Cessna will gradually lose its market share and favor of other vendors. It didn’t help that they bought Beech which has the same problem: stone aged products that hardly sell.

That’s all true for people who want a stylish new plane.

Socata did that in the 1980s-2002, Diamond and Cirrus did it c. 2000-present.

And clearly there is a big market for that. Probably 10k-20k planes were offloaded into that segment since 1980.

But the C182 holds the market for a special mission profile. An hour ago I was talking to one owner who goes to 200m grass strips (not at MTOW). Also anybody who has two functioning legs can get inside a C182; you can’t say that for the above types.

The problem, IMHO, is that people who want that mission profile are probably not too concerned about a stylish new plane. It is going to end up a bit beaten up pretty soon anyway.

The C172 has applications in training, where you want a rugged workhorse which delivers the lowest price on the school’s PPL price list. The fact that most people chuck away their new PPL pretty soon (and aren’t too bothered what they trained in… or so the wisdom goes; not sure I agree with it) just plays into that.

So stone aged products can achieve a certain level of sales and I guess Cessna decided that avgas will do for that.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I think that there would have been a market for that plane … yes, it is basically a very old design. But what the 182 does well a Cirrus cannot do. The 182 is a much better “bush” plane, it can be repaired by thousands of A/P’s all over the world, and if you equip it with a BRS system it can be just as safe as a Cirrus.
The problem is that it’s really too expensive … but nevertheless there would have been a niche in the market into which maybe 30 to 50 planes could have been sold,

But the C182 holds the market for a special mission profile.

They didn’t sell a single one last year, so much about the size of that market you’re referring to… The used market is huge, hardly worth continuing production at today’s prices. I wouldn’t be surprised if Cessna ended SEP production (again).

I think that’s what I said. People who want a “bush plane” (etc) don’t need a new one; they can in most cases buy a used one.

To sell new planes you need to offer something special, exclusive, not available last year or with last year’s graphics. Applies to surfboards, cars, Cirruses, etc.

If you want a Land Rover for your farm, you don’t need a new one. The people who buy a new one are mostly posers who stick Medicines Sans Frontiers stickers all over it, big spotlamps on the front, and “off road” means parked on the kerb outside the bar

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Checking the GAMA site for 2014 piston engine aircraft sales, it looks a little better than 2013:

Cirrus 308
Cessna 220
Diamond 202
Tecnam 190
Piper 172

I imagine Cessna will see some additional sales now they’ve got the 182 back in production, but not enough to move from #2 to #1.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 13 May 17:52
90 Posts
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