Mooney, Hawker Beechcraft and Cessna Scaling Back

Listed in order of their impact on the respective companies, Mooney, Hawker Beechcraft and Cessna all announced this week that they will either scale back production, cut staff or both. A spokesman for Mooney said yesterday that employees had been notified the company was "scaling production to market demand." He said the Mooney factory in Kerrville, Texas, has an inventory of finished aircraft to sell and will continue to do so; and all "customer-facing" departments (service center, parts, delivery functions, etc.) remain in operation. But the factory will suspend production of more aircraft until market demand resumes. To face the current fiscal climate, Hawker Beechcraft will cut 490 jobs, approximately 5 percent of its work force. Company CEO Jim Schuster told the Wichita Eagle the company faces "serious challenges" resulting from "unprecedented worldwide economic decline." Finally, Cessna announced it would reduce its Citation target production rate for next year from 535 to just a bit higher than this year's target figure of 475 aircraft. The move was taken to "avoid significant variations and inefficiencies in annual production," over the next two to three years, according to Lewis Campbell, CEO of Textron, Cessna's parent company.

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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