History of Cessna Aircraft Company

Right now there are many companies that produce aircraft which is mainly focused on general aviation in the world. One of these companies is Cessna, which has gone defunct in early 2014 and now the brand is a part of Textron Aviation. Although currently Cessna is a subsidiary of Textron Aviation, for many years the company had operated independently and produced lots of aircraft. And before it was purchased by Textron Aviation, the company was employing over 8000 people, as of 2013. As it was a prominent producer of aircraft for general aviation, this company is worth learning about. So, let’s check out the history of this company and learn more about it.

cessna company c172 skyhawk
Cessna 172 Skyhawk

The Beginning of Cessna Aircraft Company

While Cessna-Roos Aircraft Company was founded in 1927, the roots of the company go way back to 1910s, when one of the co-founders of the company, Clyde Cessna, constructed a plane in 1911. He was a farmer and after seeing an aviation show, he started becoming interested in flight. However, even though he built a plane, he couldn’t keep building more due to some financial issues.

16 years after building his aircraft, Clyde Cessna founded Cessna-Roos Aircraft Company in 1927, together with Victor Roos. However, just a short time after the company was founded, Victor Roos left the company. While the company built some aircraft in its first years, external circumstances like the 1929 stock market crash and the Great Depression affected it quite a bit. Then in 1934, Clyde Cessna’s nephews, Dwane and Dwight Wallace, purchased the company.

Growth of the Aircraft Manufacturer

After the purchase of the company by Dwane and Dwight Wallace, Cessna managed to get some deals. Following the World War II the company built Cessna 140, which was selected to be the “Outstanding Plane of the Year” in 1948 by the US Flight Instructors Association. In the following years, Cessna built many more aircraft, its first helicopter, aircraft radios as well as its first business jet.

General Dynamics Corporation bought the company in 1985 and Cessna became its subsidiary, before being purchased by Textron in 1992. Then another significant thing happened when the company decided to get one of its aircraft constructed in China in 2007. Many people criticized this decision and the manufacturing of the aircraft that they built there was eventually stopped.

Tough Times and the End of Cessna

As we have previously discussed, external financial problems that were happening in the world affected the company in its early days. In the late 2000s, the world was going through the Great Recession, which became another external issue which impacted Cessna. As a result of the recession, the company fired many employees.

Although at some point Cessna was operating as a fairly successful aircraft manufacturer, the recession affected the company a lot. Moreover, the Federal Aviation Administration wanted the company to be fined for $2.4 million in 2011 due to some issues. Then Cessna became defunct in 2014. Now its brand name is a part of Textron Aviation, along with Beechcraft and Hawker.

cessna citation m2
source: aviator insider


Anon. (n.d.), Cessna, Wikipedia, Retrieved 27 May 2022

< https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cessna >

Textron Aviation Editor (n.d.), Company, Retrieved 27 May 2022

< https://txtav.com/en/company >