Cessna Aircraft today announced it has received the green light from parent company Textron for development of a large-cabin, intercontinental aircraft that would expand the upper end of the Citation business jet line.
Jack J. Pelton
Cessna Aircraft has added two new models to its single-engine aircraft line, following last month’s purchase of bankrupt Columbia Aircraft, a Bend, Ore.-based producer of high-performance, all-composite piston singles. The aircraft formerly known as the Columbia 350 and 400 models will now be called the Cessna 350 and 400.
Over the past week Cessna Aircraft has made headlines for buying bankrupt Columbia Aircraft and for a decision to manufacture its SkyCatcher light sport aircraft in China. As if that weren’t enough, the first Citation Mustang entered charter service this week, and Cessna is expected to soon announce the launch of its Large Cabin Concept business jet.
Charles Johnson, 60, who was named president of Cessna in March, remains on an “indefinite leave” of absence since late August due to undisclosed ongoing medical problems, according to a spokesman for the Wichita aircraft maker. Without elaborating on his illness, the spokesman said that doctors have ruled out cancer and heart-related problems. Cessna senior v-p of engineering Jack Pelton has assumed Johnson’s duties until he returns.
Cessna president Jack Pelton said it is inevitable that his company will design and manufacture a supersonic business jet (SSBJ), although when it will happen is anyone’s guess. Pelton made the remark during his keynote speech at the Society of Flight Test Engineers’ annual symposium in Wichita last month.
Cessna Aircraft chairman, president and CEO Jack Pelton said his company is internally moving on the Large Cabin Concept airplane as if it’s a “go program,” meaning Cessna is spending real money on the design and has begun vendor selection for the company’s largest business jet to date. “Had the show been later in the year, we definitely would have launched the Large Cabin Concept [LCC] airplane here at the NBAA Convention,” he told AIN.
“Had the show been later in the year, we definitely would have launched the Large Cabin Concept [LCC] airplane here at the NBAA Convention,” Cessna chairman, president and CEO Jack Pelton told NBAA Convention News. “We’re ready to go.” The Wichita aircraft manufacturer unveiled the LCC cabin mockup and revealed basic details about the twinjet at last year’s NBAA show but has yet to officially green light the project.
Cessna Aircraft is riding high on the crest of the business jet sales wave, and it just got a little higher this week at the NBAA Convention. Besides the volume orders from XOJet and Japan Air Systems announced at the show, the Wichita-based aircraft manufacturer has so far logged 53 walk-up orders from customers during NBAA 2007.
Cessna Aircraft signed a letter of intent (LOI) yesterday with Columbia Aircraft of Bend, Ore., to acquire selected assets and certain liabilities of the manufacturer of low-wing, high-performance piston airplanes. In conjunction with the LOI, Columbia filed a voluntary petition for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. bankruptcy code.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has certified the Citation Mustang, not only for registration in Europe but for flying steep approaches as well. According to Cessna, the VLJ is the first new-generation entry-level business jet to achieve certification in Europe.