Cessna Aircraft Company

Cessna Aircraft Company, now known as Textron Aviation, has a rich history in the world of aviation. Here is a brief overview of the company’s history and its contributions to aviation.



The Founding Years 1911-1927

The Cessna Aircraft Company was founded by Clyde Cessna in 1911 in Wichita, Kansas. Clyde Cessna was one of the early pioneers of aviation, and he built and flew his own aircraft. In 1916, he designed and built the first aircraft that would bear the Cessna name.


The First Cessna Aircraft 1927-1930s

In 1927, the Cessna Aircraft Company introduced its first commercially successful aircraft, the Cessna Model AA. It was a monoplane known for its ruggedness and reliability. This marked the beginning of Cessna’s prominence in the aviation industry.


Growth and Innovation 1930-1940s

During the 1930s and 1940s, Cessna continued to innovate and produce a series of successful aircraft, including the Cessna Airmaster and the Cessna T-50 Bobcat, which was used for military training during World War II.



Cessna Airmaster (above) and Cessna T-50 Bobcat

Post-War Expansion 1950s-1960s

After World War II, Cessna focused on producing civilian aircraft. The Cessna 140 and Cessna 170 became popular choices among private pilots. However, it was the introduction of the Cessna 172 Skyhawk in 1956 that would become one of the most iconic and widely used general aviation aircraft in history.


Cessna 140


Cessna 170


Cessna 172 Skyhawk

Jet Age and Corporate Changes 1960s-1980s

Cessna expanded into the jet aircraft market in the 1960s with the Cessna Citation series. The company also underwent several ownership changes during this period, including being acquired by General Dynamics in 1985.

Temporary Production Halt 1986-1996


In 1986, due to liability concerns and a decline in the general aviation market, Cessna suspended production of single-engine aircraft. This decision had a significant impact on the aviation industry.

Rebirth and Modern Era 1996-Present


Cessna resumed production of single-engine aircraft in 1996, and the company was later acquired by Textron Incorporated in 1998. Under Textron’s ownership, Cessna underwent a rebranding as Textron Aviation, and it continued to produce a wide range of aircraft, including the popular Cessna Citation series of business jets and the Cessna Skyhawk series.


Today, Textron Aviation is a leading general aviation manufacturer, and the Cessna name remains synonymous with private and general aviation aircraft. The company’s legacy continues through its ongoing commitment to innovation and providing a wide range of aircraft solutions for both civilian and military customers.

Interested in looking at more Cessna models up close, you can view our inventory here, look at specs, and even get in touch with a sales executive to answer your queries.


View our Cessna Aircraft here!

1 comment

  1. Although Clyde Cessna rightly deserves credit, this article leaves out “the rest of the story”. After the stock market collapsed in 29′, Clyde’s investors closed the factory which could have been the end. Good fortune would follow though as Clyde’s nephew Dwane Wallace, whose passion for aviation was inspired by his uncle, reopened the company in 1934 with assistance of Dwane’s brother Dwight, Clyde and Clyde’s son Eldon. Clyde soon went back to farming though and handed over the reigns to his nephews. It was under Dwane’s leadership that grew Cessna Aircraft Company into the aerospace leading company. Dwane lead Cessna for 4 decades beginning with the C34 Airmaster and ending with the Citation series and Cessna 208 Caravan. Dwane was a quiet, humble man and great corporate leader who was never too busy for his employees.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *