Cessna will construct a new plant in Wichita to manufacture the Citation Columbus. The Kansas Senate voted to provide $33 million for the project early last month. In other news, Cessna delivered a Mustang in March to the University of Dakota, the first Cessna VLJ to be used by a flight school.
Textron, the parent company of Bell Helicopter and Cessna, isn’t feeling the effects of the economic downturn just yet. The company reported an 18.7-percent jump in revenue in the first quarter, largely due to an increase in revenue of $278 million by the Wichita-based OEM.
Despite the fatal loss of one of its prototypes, Agusta and program partner Bell Helicopter are confident of the success of the AB139 and recently celebrated the flight of the first production-configured unit. A second production model is in the final stages of assembly and work has begun on a third.
CESSNA 560 CITATION V, LAKE IN THE HILLS, ILL., APRIL 25, 2002–At 1536 CDT a Citation V, N560RP, sustained substantial damage during a hard landing. The aircraft, registered to RDD Leasing of Elgin, Ill., departed Chicago’s Lake in the Hills Airport (3CK) shortly before 10 a.m. and made two stops before returning home. The airport has a single 3,058-ft by 50-ft runway and the aircraft was landing to the east on Runway 08.
Cessna Aircraft and Bell Helicopter parent company Textron today reported revenues of $3.5 billion in the first quarter, up from $3 billion in the same period last year. According to Textron chairman, president and CEO Lewis Campbell, global demand is driving growth at the company, offsetting the effects of a softer U.S. economy.
Cessna’s Roger Whyte talks to Charles Alcock about forging new territory with the Citation Columbus large-cabin business jet. Click here to view.
Gary Hay, who started working on Cessna’s manufacturing floor in 1966 and worked his way up to CEO just over two years ago, retired unexpectedly from the Wichita-based airframer on June 30. Russ Meyer, president of Textron’s new aircraft sector and who was Cessna CEO and chairman from 1975 to 2000, announced he would serve as interim chairman and CEO until a permanent replacement is appointed.
Servizi Elicotteristici Italini (SEI) has been a primary source of helicopter cabin completion and refurbishment for European manufacturer AgustaWestland, so when AgustaWestland decided to expand its helicopter assembly line in Philadelphia, SEI executives decided to move west. SEI of America, as the new company is called, opened a 12,000-sq-ft hangar at Philadelphia Northeast Airport late last year.
Mike Redenbaugh took over the CEO’s office at Bell Helicopter’s Fort Worth, Texas headquarters in May and now faces some formidable challenges–including getting the military V-22 tiltrotor program on track and completing certification of the BA609 civil tiltrotor in cooperation with partner Agusta Aerospace of Italy.
Bell Helicopter Textron announced the recent deliveries of three helicopters–a Bell 412, 206B-3 and 430–to customers in vastly different industries and took orders for two 407s in September. The Fort Worth, Texas-based manufacturer also inked a deal at the NBAA Convention in Orlando, Fla., last month on the sale of an AB139, jointly developed with AgustaWestland.