Before being under the wing of Textron Aviation, Cessna was a popular American general aviation aircraft manufacturing company. While Cessna was very well known for producing small and light piston-powered airplanes, they also produced larger business jets, as well. For a long time they were one of the most popular and highest-volume producers of all general airplanes in the world.
These days, Cessna is a brand of Textron Aviation, with headquarters in Wichita, Kansas.
Cessna was founded in 1927, but its history began before that when farmer Clyde Cessna built and flew his own aircraft in June 1911. He tested many of his planes before moving to Wichita, Kansas, due to bankers refusing to give him money to build more planes.
He then became a partner with Victor Roos in 1927, forming the Cessna-Roos Aircraft Company. When Roos resigned a month later, however, Cessna was able to petition successfully to have his name dropped from the company name.
While Cessna closed their doors for a short period of time due to the Great Depression, they returned to commercial production shortly after, in 1946. By 1963 they had produced their 50,000th airplane, and in 1975 had made their 100,000th single-engine airplane.
General Dynamics Corporation purchased Cessna in 1985, beginning production of the Cessna Caravan. In 1992, Cessna was sold to Textron.
In 2007, Cessna purchased Columbia Aircraft, continuing to produce some of their more popular aircraft.
Cessna in the Modern Era
Cessna ceased operations as their own company in March 2014 and became one of Textron Aviation’s brands.
In 1956, Cessna introduced the Cessna 172. This quickly became the most produced aircraft ever in history.
To help distinguish their planes from the others that their competitors were making, Cessna took a page from Detroit automakers. They came up with many different and unique marketing terms to help differentiate their aircraft. While other companies ridiculed them, this helped to set Cessna planes apart from others during that time.
One major controversy that Cessna faced was on November 27, 2007. They announced that their Cessna 162 would be built by a subsidiary of the China Aviation Industry Corporation I. They received a lot of negative feedback and pushback due to this decision because of complaints based on Chinese production quality, human rights, and less than friendly relationship with the US.
An earlier crash involving Cessna aircraft occurred in 1972, when Nick Begich, an Alaska US Congressman was killed in the crash. While the flight disappeared and the body was never recovered, he and others on the aircraft were presumed to be deceased.
Singer, model, actress, and dancer Aaliyah was killed in 2001 due to the crash of a Cessna plane. The cause of the crash was due to excess weight on the plane and the pilot flying while under the influence.
One of the most notable crashes involving a Cessna plane occurred on January 5, 2002. A high school student stopped a Cessna 172 and crashed it in Tampa, Florida, landing in the side of the Bank of American Tower. The teenager was killed, but nobody else was injured during the incident, which was inspired by recent September 11 attacks.
Where Is Cessna Based?
Cessna was originally headquartered in Wichita, Kansas.
Where Are Cessna Planes Made?
Cessna planes are now manufactured by Textron Aviation located in Wichita, Kansas.
The company has opened manufacturing plants in China, and intends to move most, or all of its manufacturing to China with time.
There are still multiple service locations throughout the world where people can get help and service if they have problems with their plane. There are a total of 11 domestic locations, ranging from placement in Orlando, Florida to Sacramento, California, and even Newburgh, New York.
There are also 11 international service stations. These are based mostly in Germany and France, with other locations in Singapore, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Czech Republic, and Spain.
What Else Does Cessna Manufacture?
In addition to producing multiple types of aircraft, Cessna also produced helicopters. Their Cessna CH-1 received its FAA type certification in 1955.
How Many Employees Does Cessna Have?
Before Cessna went defunct they had 8,500 employees in 2013.
Who Is the CEO of Cessna?
Scott Ernest was the last CEO of Cessna. He was in control of the company from May 31, 2011, taking over control of the company from Jack Pelton when he retired. Ernest had just finished 29 years at GE where he had been a VP and general manager of the global supply chain of GE Aviation.