Cessna Stays the Development Course; Continues With New Products

Economics be darned, Cessna is on track with new product development at all levels. Its Model 162 SkyCatcher light sport aircraft is finalizing its test program, with certification and first deliveries scheduled for later this year. The company has incorporated extensive ground vibration testing for the composite airframe, even though it is not required, to ensure the highest levels of structural integrity. For those who want a faster ride, the latest sibling in the CJ line, the CJ4, is expected to receive certification by year end with deliveries beginning early next year. And Cessna is continuing apace with its $780 million Columbus, Cessna's largest jet ever. With more than 850 workers on the task, the Columbus is expected to see deliveries commence in 2014. Meanwhile, Cessna has renamed its 350 and 400 series piston singles. Formerly known as Columbia before Cessna bought the company, the pair of low-wing composite speedsters (190 knots for the 350; 235 knots for the 400) will now be known as the Corvalis line, named for a town in Oregon near the Bend factory where they are built.