Textron, parent company of Cessna Aircraft, held its first-quarter 2013 earnings call yesterday, and the news was not particularly uplifting for its Wichita-based business segment. Customers in the light jet market, who tend to be small business owners, continue to defer purchase decisions, “reflecting continued concerns about their financial outlook,” said Textron chairman and CEO Scott Donnelly. As a result, he continued, Cessna delivered 32 new jets in the first quarter, six fewer than the same quarter last year, “resulting in a segment loss in the quarter of $8 million.”
Cessna Aircraft rolled out the first production copy of the new Citation X yesterday at its Wichita manufacturing facility, to the applause of some 200 Cessna employees. The upgraded twinjet was first announced at the 2010 NBAA Convention.
Tamarack Aerospace received a contract this week for up to 10 CitationJet active winglet kits (a firm order for three with options on seven more) from Fort Myers, Fla.-based business aircraft broker Premier Jet Aviation. The kits, to be delivered next year, will be used as part of Premier Jet’s “CJ Plus” CitationJet refurbishment program.
Cessna Aircraft has started production of the Citation M2 at its Independence, Kan. facility, the company announced today. The front and aft cabin assemblies for the light business jet, which is a derivative of the out-of-production CJ1, are built at Cessna’s Wichita facility and then transported to Independence for final assembly and delivery. S/N 800, a demonstrator aircraft, is slated to roll off the assembly line in April.
Tamarack Aerospace has unveiled the first of what it promises will be a series of active winglet systems designed to relieve wing bending loads caused by winglets. The company’s active technology load alleviation system (Atlas) should be certified and available for installation on Cirrus SR22 G1 and G2 piston singles early next year, but Tamarack is also testing Atlas, which includes new winglets, on a Cessna CitationJet 525. Tamarack brought the Atlas-equipped CitationJet to the NBAA Convention in Orlando and gave demonstration rides during the show.
Sierra Industries and Clifford Development have formed a joint venture called NewJETz to develop a Williams International FJ44-4 engine retrofit program. The 3,600-pound-thrust engine retrofit will power legacy Cessna Citation 550 and 560 series jets, including the Citation V, Bravo, Ultra and Encore. The new modification is called eVolution, and NewJETz will also offer owners of these aircraft avionics and other upgrades.
Cessna Aircraft brought a fuselage mockup of what it describes as the basis for a new series of light jets to the NBAA Convention this week in Orlando, Fla. The airframer is seeking customer input on the design as it begins to narrow down specifications for an eventual product launch. New this year at its NBAA booth, Cessna is also offering a virtual-reality simulation of several of its aircraft, which allows guests to immerse themselves in the cabins and instantly change various features.
Tamarack Aerospace has unveiled the first of what it promises will be a series of active winglet systems designed to relieve wing bending loads caused by winglets. The company’s active technology load alleviation system (Atlas) is slated to be certified and available for installation on Cirrus SR22 G1 and G2 piston singles early next year, but Tamarack is also testing Atlas, which includes new winglets, on a Cessna CJ1. In fact, it brought an Atlas-equipped CJ1 to the NBAA Convention this week in Orlando, Fla., and is giving demonstration rides during the show.
Tamarack Aerospace Group (Booth No. 4171) revealed during its press conference yesterday that it is taking deposits at NBAA’12 for its active technology load alleviation system (Atlas) active winglet system for the Cessna Citation CJ1. “We’re accepting $10,000 refundable deposits here at the show,” said Brian Willet, vice president of sales and flight operations for the company. “The cost of the Atlas kit is estimated to be $196,000, and we are projecting it will take 80 manhours to install the active winglets,” he continued.
For a market that company president and CEO Scott Ernest describes as remaining soft, Cessna is continuing its product development schedule. During the company’s press conference here yesterday he announced that the Wichita airframer has launched a new version of its midsize Citation Sovereign, and invited show attendees to visit the new aircraft, which has been under development for the past year-and-a-half, at the static display. Three of the upgraded Sovereigns are currently flying and have thus far accumulated approximately 800 flight-test hours.