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.
Less than two weeks after Charlie Johnson replaced Russ Meyer to take over the leadership of Cessna Aircraft, the Wichita airframe manufacturer announced major reductions in production rates and workforce.
Cessna recently delivered its 1,000th 208B Grand Caravan, bringing the total Caravan series deliveries to 1,300 since the turboprop single entered service in 1985. The 1,000th airplane went to retailer Supap Puranitee and will be based in Thailand, where it will be used primarily for personal transportation.
Piper Aircraft laid off another 150 workers last month, not because of the slow economy, as in previous layoffs, but due solely to last year’s ADs and recall of Textron Lycoming engines, according to a company spokesman. Piper Saratogas and Mirages are among the airplanes powered by Lycoming engines. Piper also claimed the problem stopped the “step up” process wherein owners of Saratogas and Mirages move up to the Meridian turboprop.
Following several years of steadily climbing Citation deliveries, Cessna shipped 305 civil business jets last year, one fewer than in 2001. The company also delivered 80 Caravans compared with 75 in 2001. Cessna expects to deliver 87 fewer Citations this year. Shipments of Cessna recips, however, plunged from 821 in 2001 to 559. Nevertheless, Cessna said that it finished the year with the highest revenues in its history.
He might have shared the name of a great singer-songwriter, but in business aviation circles there was ever only one James Taylor–James B. Taylor III, business jet marketer for 40 years, who died on January 17 at Bridgeport Hospital in Connecticut at the age of 81.
Following up on the strategy it announced at last year’s HAI to expand in the helicopter parts and service market, Bell Helicopter Textron has announced that it acquired the helicopter skid shoe business of Calimesa, Calif.-based Carbide Technology. The $1-million-a-year-revenue business line will become part of Edwards & Associates, a unit of Textron that provides parts, service and modifications for the helicopter market.
It has been a turbulent year for the aviation industry: a stalled economy, company failures and bankruptcies, layoffs and furloughs, management changes, product-line overhauls, security regulations and new aircraft launches. What follows below are the people who shaped 2002, as chosen by AIN’s editors.
Weakening sales leading to a reduction in Citation production levels this year are forcing Cessna to cut some 1,500 jobs in Wichita early this year, said company officials. Although Cessna was expected to deliver about 300 Citations last year, just six short of its 2001 total, it recently revised its delivery estimate for this year to about 250 business jets. Cessna, which employs 12,000 people worldwide, cut 800 jobs last year.
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.