LAKELAND, Fla., April 1, 2014 – Cessna Aircraft Company, part of the Textron Aviation segment of Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT), announced today that it signed a long-term purchase agreement with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU), which includes the purchase of 57 Cessna Skyhawk – model 172s, with initial deliveries beginning in 2014.
The order is part of a multi-year agreement with ERAU, with 29 aircraft to be delivered in 2014 and the remaining 28 aircraft slated for delivery in 2015. The new fleet will replace the Cessna Skyhawks currently used in the university’s flight training program at its Daytona Beach, Fla. campus and Prescott, Ariz. campus.
“We are pleased that our longstanding relationship with ERAU will continue with this upgrade to the school’s fleet,” said Joe Hepburn, senior vice president of piston aircraft. “The Cessna Skyhawk is the most-flown aircraft ever built and enjoys a distinguished reputation as the undisputed trainer of choice. Its durable strength, agility and stability provide an excellent educational foundation for students passionate about careers in aviation.”
Cessna and ERAU have a more than 15-year history in providing high-quality, safe and reliable aircraft to students of ERAU’s flight training department. The new fleet features minor modifications such as reconfigured seating for easier student observation and “ride alongs,” and a newly branded paint scheme to reflect a joint effort between ERAU’s flight departments in Daytona Beach and Prescott.
“The Cessna Skyhawk is the workhorse of our flight program,” said Jerry Kidrick, chair of the Flight Department at Embry-Riddle’s Prescott, Ariz., campus. “The aircraft is reliable, tough, forgiving in the learning environment and is a proven design. A typical student gets the majority of their cumulative flight time in the aircraft at completion of their time with us.”
With an all-glass Garmin G1000 integrated flight deck, the Cessna Skyhawk has earned a reputation for offering the best combination of modern features and proven dependability among general aviation aircraft. There are more Skyhawks in the world than any other type of aircraft, as more than 48,000 of the model have been designed, manufactured and delivered since 1955.