Avionics Report

October 2014 Issue

Cheaper But Not Cheap

Both AOPA’s new 152 Reimagined and Redbird’s Redhawk drive down the cost of like new. But only a few schools say they can make the numbers work.

A month after Cessna announced its $420,000 diesel Skyhawk, our test-the-waters opinion sampling drew two reactions from flight schools: impolite guffaws or stony silence. Logically, that ought to make emerging refurb projects like Redbird’s Redhawk and AOPA’s new remanufactured Cessna 150s/152s a shoe-in cinch for a market starved for affordable trainers. Well, not exactly. Both the AOPA and Redhawk projects are aimed at taming the escalating cost of the world’s most popular trainers, but the overwhelming majority of schools we interviewed about both of these airplanes say they’re still too expensive, albeit a dramatic improvement over the price of new Skyhawks, which are increasingly out of reach.

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