Cessna’s New Products Unhampered by Downturn
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. Our new product development programs are proceeding on schedule,” said Cessna chairman, president and CEO Jack Pelton. At present, more than 850 employees are working Columbus design tasks, and other supplier employees are performing engine and avionics tasks for the large-cabin business jet. Entry into service is pegged for 2014. Construction of the new Citation Columbus assembly facility in Wichita is slated to begin in March. According to Cessna, the CJ4 is well into certification testing and is expected to enter service early next year. The CJ4 production line is already functional and the first production aircraft is moving down the line, with the second production aircraft set to follow soon. Meanwhile, the SkyCatcher is nearing final ASTM compliance certification and deliveries are planned to begin later this year.