Cessna Remains Cautiously Optimistic About Piston Rebound

John Doman: "The good news is that we would expect the piston segment of the general aviation market to be the first to recover and lead the way.”


FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany, April 8, 2010 - Officials at Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, remain optimistic, but cautious about the predicted rebound in general aviation’s piston segment.

“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 John Doman, vice president, Worldwide Propeller Aircraft Sales. “The good news is that we would expect the piston segment of the general aviation market – the aircraft represented at AERO Friedrichshafen – to be the first to recover and lead the way.”

Despite delivering fewer piston aircraft in 2009 than in years past, Cessna still led the industry in overall piston aircraft deliveries (354) as well as in deliveries of four-seat pistons (305), where the company offers six models ranging from the 172 Skyhawk, the best selling civil aircraft in history, to the speedy 400 Corvalis TT, one of the world’s fastest fixed-gear piston singles.

Cessna has seen increased activity from flight schools, flight academies, military training programs, airlines and universities for training aircraft, particularly the 172 Skyhawk. Citation business jets are also gaining popularity among airlines both for training and for VIP transportation.

Like many industry analysts, Cessna expects the general economy to gradually strengthen, leading to a rebound in general aviation sales, though substantial growth is not expected before mid-2011.

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