The Nordam Group of Tulsa, Oklahoma, has been selected by Cessna Aircraft to provide executive cabinetry for the CJ4, the newest business jet in the Wichita OEM’s Citation stable.
“Not everyone can or wants to own a private jet, and even the most affordable co-ownership or ad hoc chartering package is not always suitable,” Flying Group president and general manager Bernard Van Milders told EBACE Convention News.
The first Cessna Citation Encore+ was delivered last week, nearly five months after receiving FAA type certification. The company expects to deliver another 24 by year-end, although it won’t divulge the number of airplanes ordered thus far. The $8.1 million business jet seats between seven and 11 passengers and is equipped with FADEC Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) PW535B engines, the newest member of P&WC’s PW500 line.
This year will be an eventful one in Wichita as local corporate icons Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft mark big anniversaries. For Cessna, it's been 80 years since Clyde Cessna's “all-purpose” airplane made its first flight. The manufacturer, which has since produced more than 189,000 aircraft, was incorporated in 1927.
Between Raytheon Aircraft becoming Hawker Beechcraft (HB) and delivering the Hawker 4000 and Cessna delivering the Mustang, 2007 is a big year in Wichita. But the two companies are also celebrating multiple birthdays this year.
Sporty’s Pilot Shop, holder of Cessna Mustang position number 13, has decided it will raffle its new VLJ and donate the funds to the Sporty’s Foundation. The foundation was started in March of this year to help fund aviation education and safety programs, with an emphasis on attracting young people to the industry.
Cessna continues to push forward with the certification of the CJ4, the latest model in the CJ line. The company completed the first test flight of the aircraft’s powerplant, the Williams FJ44-4A, last month aboard a company CJ2 flying testbed. The Wichita-based airframer deemed it a success. Williams’s FJ44-4A will feature fadec and produce 3,400 pounds of thrust, almost 800 pounds more than the FJ44-3A.
Late last month Cessna delivered its third Mustang, its first to a retail customer. The previous two deliveries were leased back to the manufacturer as demonstrators, as is customary for new aircraft. The airplane went to snow ski manufacturer Dave Goode, who was also the first customer typed in the aircraft. Perhaps a sign of things to come, Goode is also a private pilot with an instrument rating.
Don’t expect to see deliveries before 2012 of a new design for a large-cabin Citation based on the mockup shown at the NBAA Convention last year. Cessna is “still studying the business case to determine if it makes sense to go forward,” according to parent company Textron. “Probably be the first quarter of next year before we finally make that decision,” said Campbell.
Thanks to the continuing sales performance of the Citation line, operational results for Cessna in the first quarter of this year were described as “nothing short of superb” by Lewis Campbell, chairman, president and CEO of parent company Textron. Campbell said Cessna in the first quarter received orders for 122 Citations, bringing total orders on hand to more than 400.