while the C4 is largely still vaporware
I wouldn’t call a flying prototype for vaporware. More like a beta release A P210 vs the C4 ? the C4 is cooler in all respects in my opinion
More like a beta release
Maybe, but in software, most beta software makes it to the market pretty soon, but in aviation, I’ve given up counting the projects that had flying prototype but never made it to series production.
And performance numbers change quite a bit from before certification to after… so it’s unfair to compare the performance of a certified series production aircraft to the optimistic sales numbers of an aircraft that didn’t yet have any substantial flight tests.
but in aviation, I’ve given up counting the projects that had flying prototype but never made it to series production.
In software, beta release is the same as production release these days. Related to aviation it would be like all aircraft are experimentals/microlight/LSA and we all are “test pilots”, which in fact is not very far from the state of things.
Also, it seems like for certified GA, the truth and the effect of a downward spiraling market is not fully understood up front in most cases. The C4 could change that, or some of it at least, because:
Only time will tell of course, but if the C4 does not make it, then the market is dead for sure.
Well, there were many examples of competitors that were faster, sexier, better looking, built in other materials by superb engineers and craftsmen, yet did not manage to retire the C172. For instance Cessna 177, DR300/DR400, RS180…
If the C4 is built in carbon reinforced plastics is completely irrelevant. I don’t think the C4 looks better than the 172, but that is debatable. Glass can be installed in both aircraft. The Chute might be a strong selling point, though.
To understand the success of the Cessna 172, you must learn to appreciate its all-rounder capabilities. It is a very balanced aircraft for every flight club / charter operator / flying school, has a very good maintenance support and maintenance documentation. It is an optimised mediocrity and can do everything (except aerobatics) reasonably well.
The C4 not so much. It might be faster, but it pays in worse take off performance. It has a carbon structure, that is not so easy to repair in any location on the world, than riveted aluminium. The carbon is nicer to shape an aerodynamic fuselage, but there is no benefit for the rectangular wing of the C4.
I wish them high sales, I have no antipathy against them, but I doubt it is the wonder-aircraft you are looking for.
, but if the C4 does not make it, then the market is dead for sure.
I doubt that. “the market” is not dependend on one aircraft model. Would be nice to have more sound manufacturers, though.
success of the Cessna 172,
This plane was the right one for the right time but that time has long passed (50s, 60s, 70s). The C4 is not just new tech, it’s also a revolutionary new product/price point in the sweet spot of GA missions. 4 seats and 140ktas cruise.
The 172 new sells for over $400k. It is an all metal ancient design that modern avionics cannot fix. The price is too high, the fuel efficiency too low, the cabin too cramped, the range too short and lacks modern safety features.
The C4 changes all of that and more….it will breath new life into GA since the aging fleet of old Cessnas and Pipers are rapidly running out.
To be able to get a new strutless high-wing aircraft in the mid $200k price range with a 1320 lbs useful load, 1000nm range, four seats, BRS + crashbox tech, all glass panel, under 10gph (multifuel), 150ktas cruise is a paradigm shift.
t’s also a revolutionary new product/price point in the sweet spot of GA missions. 4 seats and 140ktas cruise.
The 172 was never designed for that “sweet spot”. (Besides, the pure notion of one “GA-sweet spot” is nonsense).
As far as I am concerned its got a musem piece of an engine in it. So out of choice I would never buy one.
If the C4 is built in carbon reinforced plastics is completely irrelevant
Not when selling it. Carbon sells no matter what, and CT knows how to use composites like no other. That is what I like about it. Carbon sells, but CT use carbon because they know how to use carbon. It’s a real thing inside out. The engine is old school, but at least it has 6 cylinder smoothness and is not pushed to any sort of limit. It use g3x touch instead of the ancient (and hopelessly complicated to use) G1000, which btw is the original topic, and a key feature getting the price down.