Cessna Sees the Future, and It’s Diesel-Powered

 - August 23, 2007, 10:52 AM

Beginning with the 2008 model year, Cessna 172 buyers can pay $15,000 more for a 155-hp, two-liter turbocharged Thielert diesel engine-powered Skyhawk instead of the current avgas-burning 180-hp Lycoming version. Cessna dealers told AIN that the factory diesel Cessna 172 will retail for $298,500, including Garmin G1000 avionics and integrated GFC700 autopilot. A lower-cost version should also be available without autopilot for $269,500. Performance specs for the jet-A-powered Skyhawk, according to a dealer, include 4.9 gph fuel burn; 129 ktas cruise speed at 8,000 feet and 132 ktas at 10,000 feet; and 690-nm range with a 550-pound payload. In June, Cessna announced that it would work with Thielert on unspecified diesel-engine projects but did not say what models might be converted to diesel power. Dealers reported, however, that at a dealer meeting at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, Cessna revealed plans and a schedule for the Thielert-powered Skyhawk.