Textron Bullish on Aviation in 2011

"Relative stability in global economies and improving general business confidence" were two of the reasons Textron CEO Scott Donnelly expects 2011 to be a good one for Cessna and Bell. Textron is the parent company for the two iconic aviation brands, and Donnelly's remarks came in the wake of strong numbers for the fourth quarter of 2010. The final three months of the year made up for a lackluster first three quarters, placing Textron's aviation companies on track for their expected progress last year, according to the Textron CEO. Donnelly also cited the bonus depreciation legislation passed last year as a powerful incentive for investment in general aviation aircraft. Q4 profits for Cessna rose by $105 million compared with the same period in 2009, said Donnelly, with deliveries of 79 jets compared with 68 in 2009. Cessna ended the year with a backlog of $2.9 billion, down $495 million from where it stood at the end of Q3 2010.

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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