Category Archives: Cessna

Analyst: Cessna used jet data improves; business jet demand on upswing

A favorable trend in Cessna‘s used business jet inventory supports the view that demand for low and mid-size business jets is on the upswing, an aviation analyst said Wednesday.

That bolsters the potential for recovery at Cessna Aircraft, wrote the analyst, Cai von Rumohr with Cowen and Co., in a note to investers.

The number of used business jets on the market is a key indicator for the sale of new business jets.

The total number of used Cessna business jets available for sale was about flat in June when compared to May numbers, von Rumohr wrote.

But the number of used Cessna jets still in production that are up for sale — a far more relevant indicator of new jet demand – dropped from 6 percent of the total fleet in May to 5.3 percent in June, von Rumohr wrote.

That’s the lowest level since February 2008. It’s also well below the peak hit in April 2009 when 11.9 percent of the fleet was up for sale.

The decline was led by falloffs of used CJ4, Sovereigns and the Citation X up for sale, von Rumohr wrote.

Citation Special Olympics Airlift transports athletes to games

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

More than 250 Textron Aviation volunteers, elected officials and dignataries in Wichita turned out Saturday to send off 17 Kansas Special Olympic athletes and their coaches to the week-long USA Games in New Jersey.

The athletes took part in the Citation Special Olympics Airlift, in which Citation owners and operators donate their airplanes, pilots and fuel to transport the athletes and coaches to the games.

For the first time in its 27-year history, the Airlift included Beechcraft owners along with Cessna Citation owners.

In all, more than 100 owners and operators from around the country transported roughly 700 athletes and their coaches to the competition.

The planes will return to Trenton-Mercer Airport in New Jersey on  June 21 to take the athletes home after the event.

The Airlift, the seventh of its kind, is sponsored and managed by Cessna Aircraft, now a division of Textron Aviation.

The Citation Special Olympics Airlift is the culmination of two years of planning by Cessna and the Federal Aviation Administration, Trenton-Mercer Airport, partnering aviation companies around the country and volunteers from Trenton businesses and the Special Olympics organization, according to Textron Aviation.

Since it began in 1987, the event has transported nearly 10,000 athletes and coaches to the Games from around the U.S.

 

Cessna’s Citation Sovereign+ receives European certification

Cessna Aircraft has announced that its Citation Sovereign+ business jet has received European Aviation Safety Agency certification, Europe’s equivalent of the Federal Aviation Administration.

“We have a number of European customers ready to take delivery of their aircraft, and with EASA certification we can now get the Sovereign+ into the marketplace, ” Chris Henne, Cessna’s vice president of jets, said in a statement.

The Sovereign+ is an upgraded Sovereign, with a new cockpit, winglets, enhanced climb performance and range and Garmin G5000 avionics.

It has a range of 3,188 nautical miles and a top speed of 529 mph.

The plane recently completed a demonstration tour in Europe, where it debuted at the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition in Geneva, Switzerland.

 

EBACE 2014 showing strong, say organizers

Europe’s largest business jet show, which wrapped up Thursday, ranks among its strongest to date, organizers say.

The European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition is held each year in Geneva, Switzerland.

Attendance was up more than 7 percent over last year’s show, show organizers say.

The number of exhibitors this year increased 8 percent over last year and booth spaces grew by 4 percent.

That gave this year’s show its largest footprint of its 14 years.

EBACE also was an effective news-making venue, they said, with several manufacturers announcing new aircraft models.

Wichita planemakers Textron Aviation, which includes Cessna Aircraft and Beechcraft, along with Bombardier Learjet exhibited at EBACE.

The show ran Tuesday through Thursday this week.

Cessna Aircraft partners with Liberty University

Cessna Aircraft has partnered with Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., to help students with flight training.

Under the agreement, students will learn to fly at Cessna Pilot Centers and enroll in online classes at Liberty that will qualify toward a degree in aeronautics at the same time.

Liberty also plans to offer classes to high school students who live near Cessna Pilot Centers so that they can take part of their training before they graduate, the company said.

 

Kirby Ortega inducted into National Flight Instructors Hall of Fame

Kirby Ortega, who retired from Cessna Aircraft last year as chief pilot for its piston engine operations, has been inducted into the Flight Instructor Hall of Fame by the National Association of Flight Instructors.

Ortega was surprised at a banquet Thursday evening in Lakeland, Fla., the site of this week’s Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-In and Expo.

He began flying at age 16 through the Cessna Employees Flying Club. His father was an employee. Ortega received his private pilot’s license at age 17.

During  summer break from Wichita State University, Ortega’s father challenged him to earn his instrument, commercial and flight instructor ratings. Ortega took his advice and earned the ratings at the former Ross School of Aviation in Oklahoma, where student housing was a double-wide trailer and 10 guys shared two bathrooms.

Ortega worked as a flight instructor at the Augusta airport during the late 1970s, then joined Cessna in January 1980 as chief flight instructor. He was 23.

At Cessna, he eventually was promoted to flight training supervisor and then chief pilot for piston engine operations.

He has logged roughly 24,000 flight hours.

Cessna: Citation Latitude makes third flight, achieves maximum performance envelope

Cessna Aircraft’s Citation Latitude prototype has made its third test flight.

During the flight, the business jet successfully achieved its full envelope of performance, the company said.

It reached a maximum speed of 506 mph and an altitude of 45,000 feet with a gross takeoff weight of 29,000 pounds.

The plane made its maiden flight last week.

Michael Thacker, Cessna senior vice president of engineering, said in a statement that from an engineering perspective, Cessna’s team has designed a plane that is proceeding in a predictable, reliable manner.

The test plane is displaying characteristics of a mature system in its first few flights.

Cessna CEO Scott Ernest called the Latitude a breakthrough aircraft in many ways.

The plane is an affirmation of Cessna’s commitment to new product development, Ernest said

“The Latitude is an aircraft that delivers a lot of firsts from Cessna — the wide fuselage, the stand-up cabin with a flat floor, auto-throttles, the electric door and the improved cabin environment,” Ernest said. “All these achievements stem from listening to the voice of the customer and getting down to the business of delivering what customers need and desire.”

Wichita Aero Club gala brought some quotable moments

Saturday’s Wichita Aero Club gala drew a packed house as it honored Cessna Aircraft chairman emeritus Russ Meyer for Meyer’s contributions to aviation.

It also had a number of quotable moments. Here’s a few:

 

“He’s got great charisma, assuming it’s OK for a guy to say that about another guy.”

— Sen. Jerry Moran in a speech honoring Russ Meyer.

“If I can (say) Russ Meyer is my friend, my standing goes up a lot. That’s very important for someone in the business I’m in right now.”

— Sen. Jerry Moran

“He had a huge smile on his face. He looked right by me and said, ‘Russ.’”

— National Business Aviation Association president Ed Bolen, who had been impressed with himself that he had secured a difficult-to-get appointment with then U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow, on Snow’s greeting.

“It is very appropriate for Russ to receive this honor, because it’s hard to imagine someone who’s done more for his ‘adopted hometown’ of Wichita than he has. He is one of the most significant figures in general aviation history, and has probably had the largest impact on aviation policy than any other single person in the United States.”

— National Business Aviation Association president Ed Bolen

“Russ’s huge record of accomplishments extends well beyond aviation. “n fact, the last two times that a sitting U.S. president has visited Wichita, it has been at the invitation of Russ Meyer, and to see the philanthropic projects he’s been deeply involved in.”

— National Business Aviation Association president Ed Bolen

“One of these days, we’re going to learn that an award like this should go to the wife.”

—Russ Meyer, in accepting the Wichita Aero Club Gala award, on his wife, Helen.

“If you were anyplace in the world, if you looked up and saw two airplanes flying, chances were 50 percent that one of them was a Cessna.”

— Russ Meyer on the go-go years for general aviation during the late 1970s.

“It was not a campaign, it was really a crusade to save the single-engine market.”

—Russ Meyer on efforts to pass the General Aviation Revitalization bill. After its passage, Cessna restarted piston airplane production.

“I promise you this: If I were 25 years old today, I’d pursue a career in this industry in a heartbeat.”

– Russ Meyer during his speech at the gala.

Auction, including Cessna “Bird Dog”, classic truck, brings $1 million for Armed Forces Foundation

Cessna Bird Dog and Dodge M37 truck A restored 1959 Cessna L-19E “Bird Dog” and a restored Dodge M37 truck were sold together in an auction Saturday to raise money for the Armed Forces Foundation.

The two were sold for $750,000 to a Cessna customer who wishes to stay anonymous, a Cessna spokeswoman said.

Combined with donations from the audience, the auction, held by Barrett-Jackson Auction Co. in Scottsdale, Ariz., raised $1 million for the Foundation.

Cessna donated the classic 55-year-old airplane, one of 130 airworthy L-19 aircraft left in the world.

Kansas City-based Kansas Aircraft Corp., partnered with Cessna to locate the plane and arrange for Cessna to buy it, Cessna said.

It had been used in France as a trainer and brought to the U.S. from France in 1984.

Okoboji Classic Cars of Spencer, Iowa, donated the three-quarter ton pickup truck after working 2,500 hours to restore it. The company had discovered it sitting in a field.

The plane and truck were auctioned in a prime time broadcast on Saturday.

The money will be used to support the Armed Forces Foundation’s efforts to educate the public about the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury.

 

Report: Scorpion light attack jet set to fly first week in December

Textron AirLand plans to fly the first prototype of the Scorpion, its military light attack jet, in the first week of December, according to a report by Aviation International News.

The prototype was designed from scratch and built at Cessna in Wichita, in secrecy, beginning in early 2012, company officials said in September.

Low volume production is slated for 2015.

Testing and early production will take place in Wichita, Cessna’s parent company, Textron has said. Beyond that, it remains to be seen.

Textron spokesman Dave Sylvestre on Monday did not confirm the date of the first flight. It is scheduled to take place before the end of the year, he said.

It will take place in Wichita.

The plane is in the testing and final checks stage preparing for first flight, Sylvestre said.

The Scorpion program is slightly ahead of schedule, he said.

The nearly all-composite plane borrows technology, but not the design, used in Cessna’s Citation business jets. It was built without government funds, and the company didn’t go through the usual procurement process in which the military issues specifications and companies compete for the project.