Cessna Maintains Focus on Global Piston Aircraft Market

Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, announced today at the Sun ’n Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla., that it intends to maintain its leadership role in the global piston engine aircraft market, focusing not only on its current, industry-leading line-up of single-engine pistons, but on re-energizing the training market by bringing in new pilots and setting the standard for training. “In 2009 we continued to lead the industry in piston engine aircraft deliveries, not only for all piston singles, but specifically in the four-seat piston segment, and we are working hard to maintain our leadership position through constant product improvement programs,” said Cessna Chairman, President and CEO Jack J. Pelton. “We’re also working to get more people in the air by enhancing the training process.” Cessna delivered 355 single-engine piston aircraft in 2009, including 305 four-seat pistons, more than any other manufacturer. Cessna also started delivering the 162 Skycatcher light sport aircraft, a two-seat piston designed as a low-cost training aircraft. In 2009, Cessna launched a new Web-based pilot training curriculum designed in collaboration with King Schools. The new system, available through Cessna’s global Cessna Pilot Center network, enhances the versatility and quality of both the sport pilot and private pilot course. Despite a depressed market for individual aircraft sales this past year, Cessna continued to see activity in fleet sales to aeronautical universities, international training academies, and military training programs. “We see a number of indications that the general economy may be stabilizing and that should eventually translate into a return to growth in the piston market,” said Pelton. “Historically, market recoveries in our industry have been led by piston aircraft – the same segment represented at Sun ‘n Fun.” Cessna has on display at the annual Spring trade show a wide range of piston and turbine aircraft including the new 162 Skycatcher LSA; the ubiquitous 172 Skyhawk, the world’s most popular aircraft; the 208 Caravan, celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2010; and the Citation Mustang entry-level business jet that recently passed its 300th delivery mark.

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