Cessna has “slowed down the Columbus program significantly,” company chairman, CEO and president Jack Pelton said during a Q&A session after giving the keynote speech at yesterday’s Aviation Insurance Association conference in San Francisco. While Cessna will maintain its current level of research and development spending at 6 to 7 percent, he said, “Our revenues have gone down significantly in the last year.
Cessna Aircraft yesterday confirmed that, global economic woes aside, it is moving forward on new product development projects, including the Citation Columbus and CJ4, as well as the Cessna 162 SkyCatcher light sport aircraft. “Despite the uncertainty of the world’s economic environment, we believe it is critical that we not compromise our future.
Last month’s maiden flight of the Cessna Citation CJ4 prototype was “a rousing success,” according to the Wichita-based OEM. “I think ‘flawless’ was the term the pilots used,” said a Cessna spokesman. At press time, the aircraft had logged four more hours of flight time.
The Cessna Citation CJ4 prototype successfully achieved a two-hour 22-minute maiden flight yesterday morning, taking off from McConnell AFB in Wichita and landing at nearby Mid-Continent Airport. “It was an outstanding first flight,” said Cessna senior engineering test pilot Dan Morris, who flew the aircraft with engineering flight-test manager Dave Bonifield as copilot.
The first Citation Sovereign production aircraft, S/N 001, completed its first flight June 27, “several weeks ahead of schedule,” according to Cessna Aircraft. During the 1.8-hr flight, tests included stability and control, configuration changes and engine operation, including in-flight restarts.
Demand for aircraft in the Asia Pacific region has become increasingly diverse, to the delight of Cessna senior vice president of sales and marketing Roger Whyte.
Cessna unveiled a mockup of a large-cabin intercontinental jet at the 2006 NBAA Convention, and based on strong market acceptance announced on January 24 the formal launch of the biggest Citation yet. Yesterday, Cessna revealed many more details about the newly named Citation Columbus, and AIN asked Cessna chairman, president and CEO Jack Pelton for his insights on the new jet.
Less than two weeks after Charlie Johnson replaced Russ Meyer to take over the leadership of Cessna Aircraft, the Wichita airframe manufacturer announced major reductions in production rates and workforce.
Jack Pelton was appointed Cessna’s president and CEO last December. He joined the Wichita-based manufacturer in November 2000 as senior vice president of product engineering, with full responsibility for engineering and product development activities–including new aircraft design, development, flight test and certification–and product improvements for all aircraft in production and service.
Cessna Aircraft broadened its single-engine aircraft line yesterday after the company submitted the winning $26.4 million bid for bankrupt Columbia Aircraft, a Bend, Ore.-based producer of high-performance, all-composite piston singles. The Wichita manufacturer disclosed at the NBAA Convention in September that it had signed a letter of intent to buy Columbia, though the bankrupt airframer still had to be formally auctioned.