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 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.
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.
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 172 Skyhawk
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.
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.
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.