Deliveries by Cessna and Dassault were down sharply in the first quarter compared with the same period last year. Cessna shipped 50 business jets in the first quarter versus 60 for the same period a year ago. Consequently, Cessna’s revenue decreased $89 million, profit fell by $20 million and the backlog shrank to $4.4 billion at the end of the quarter.
Cessna’s newest light business jet, the Citation CJ3, completed its first two flights from Wichita Mid-Continent Airport on April 17. This is the first time the company has done both a first flight and a second flight on the same day.
As an elderly, 4,300-hour pilot with a fair amount of instrument time, I was initially skeptical about Oz. But not for long. Flying the Oz simulator, tailored to match Cessna 172 performance characteristics, was completely instinctive and effortless and I had little difficulty in interpreting the display despite the lack of numerical data.
During the convention, Cessna took signed orders for two Citation Xs, one Citation CJ1, one Caravan and one 206 Turbo Stationair–all for delivery this year. “We are extremely pleased with the outcome of EBACE,” said Cessna senior v-p of sales marketing Roger Whyte.
Cessna recently delivered three Citation Bravos to The Company Jet, a fractional aircraft ownership startup based in Grand Rapids, Mich. Company Jet president Charles Cox said his operation is designed expressly for the business traveler. “Co-owners are organized within specific geographical areas to maximize airplane availability and minmize flying time.” The Company Jet is scheduled to take delivery of two more Bravos later this year.
Shipments of new business jets in the first quarter plummeted nearly 43 percent compared with last year’s first quarter, according to figures compiled by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.
As we embark on the final and historically most active quarter of the year, buyer activity by most accounts seems to be building steam. While the worldwide inventory of jets is holding relatively steady right now, in May it dipped to 1,810 aircraft, a level not experienced since July 2001.
Honeywell projects it will receive certification of an RVSM-compliance package for early Cessna Citation 500s by the end of October, a delay of about four months. Honeywell attributes the postponement to deciding to expand the package to include Citations with both OEM and non-OEM mods, such as the Long Wing and Eagle modified Citations.
Construction started last month on Cessna’s new Citation Service Center at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport. The 447,259-sq-ft facility, being built on 124 acres, is scheduled to be finished in the fourth quarter of next year. In anticipation of increased traffic, a new taxiway was completed in March. The support facility will operate 24/7 and Cessna expects to service 75 to 80 Citations a day.
In the aftermath of July’s well publicized engine-out ditching of a Pilatus PC-12 in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Russia, industry observers are asking how this and other recent accidents have affected the statistical reliability of single-engine turboprops and if sales of these aircraft are suffering.