Cessna Aircraft Company



Subsidiary of Textron




Wichita, Kansas

Key People

Jack J. Pelton, Chairman, President, and CEO


General Aviation


Cessna Citation X, Cessna Citation Mustang, Cessna 208 Caravan, Cessna 172, Cessna 182, Cessna 206





Cessna 150s produced before 1964, such as this 1962 Cessna 150B, lacked the later Omni-Vision rear window

A 1965 Cessna 150E. The 1964 model 150D and the 150E introduced Omni-Vision rear windows on the Model 150

Cessna 560XL Citation Excel of the Swiss Air Force

1951 Cessna 195

1977 Cessna 404 Titan II

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cessna Aircraft Company, headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, is a manufacturer of general aviation aircraft, from small two-seat, single-engine aircraft to business jets.

The company traces its history to June 1911, when Clyde Cessna, a farmer in Rago, Kansas, built a wood-and-fabric plane and became the first person to build and fly an aircraft between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains.

Clyde Cessna started his airplane ventures in Enid, Oklahoma testing many of his early planes on the salt flats. When bankers in Enid would not loan him the money to build his planes, he moved to Wichita.

In 1924, Cessna partnered with Lloyd C. Stearman and Walter H. Beech to form the Travel Air Manufacturing Co., Inc., a biplane manufacturing firm, in Wichita. In 1927 he left Travel Air to form his own company, the "Cessna Aircraft Company", to build monoplanes.

Cessna Aircraft Company closed its doors from 1932–1934 due to the state of the economy. In 1934, Dwane Wallace, with the help of his brother Dwight, took control of the company and began the process of building it into a global success.

After World War II, Cessna created the 170, which, along with later models (notably the 172), became the most widely produced light aircraft in history. Cessna’s advertising boasts that its aircraft have trained more pilots than those of any other company.

Cessna was bought by General Dynamics Corporation in 1985, and it stopped producing piston-engine aircraft the next year due to concerns over product liability. In 1992, Textron Inc. bought Cessna and soon resumed producing light aircraft.

Marketing Initiatives

Cessna has always had an active marketing department. This was especially notable during the 1950s and 1960s. During this period, the marketing department followed the lead of Detroit automobile manufacturers and came up with many marketing slogans or buzzwords to describe Cessna’s product line in an attempt to place their products ahead of the competition.

Other manufacturers and the aviation press widely ridiculed and spoofed many of these marketing terms but between Cessna’s designers producing a product that the flying public wanted and the work of the marketing department, Cessna built and sold more aircraft than any other manufacturer during the aviation boom years of the 1960s and 1970s.

Marketing buzzwords

Cessna marketing buzzwords included:

  • Para-Lift Flaps – these were the large fowler flaps that Cessna introduced on the Cessna 170B in 1952, replacing the narrow chord plain flaps then in use. The marketing department were trying to convey that they made for “parachute-like” landings.
  • Land-O-Matic – In 1956 Cessna introduced sprung-steel tricycle landing gear on the Cessna 172. The marketing department chose the buzzwords “Land-O-Matic” to try to convey that the these aircraft were much easier to land and take-off than the conventional landing gear equipped Cessna 170 that preceded the 172. They even went as far as to say that the pilots could do “drive-up take-offs and drive-in landings” in an attempt to make it seem like flying these aircraft was as easy as driving a car. In later years some Cessna models had their steel sprung landing gear replaced with steel tube gear legs. The Cessna 206 retains the original spring steel landing gear today.
  • Omni-Vision – This referred to the introduction of rear windows on some Cessna singles, starting with the Cessna 182 and 210 in 1962, the Cessna 172 in 1963 and the Cessna 150 in 1964. The term was designed to make the pilot feel that visibility was improved on the notably poor-visibility Cessna line. The introduction of the rear window caused most models a loss of cruise speed due to the drag of the window shape, while not adding any useful visibility.
  • Cushioned power – This was to announce the introduction of rubber mounts on the cowling of the 1967 model Cessna 150, in addition to the rubber mounts that isolated the engine from the cabin.
  • Omni-Flash – This referred to the flashing beacon on the tip of the fin that could be seen 360 degrees all-around.
  • Open-View – This referred to the removal of the top section of the control wheel in 1967 models. These had been rectangular, they now became “ram’s horn” shaped, thus not blocking the instrument panel as much.
  • Quick-Scan – Cessna introduced a new instrument panel lay-out in the 1960s and this buzzword was to indicate that Cessna’s panels were ahead of the competition.

Aircraft models

  • Cessna “Next Generation Piston Aircraft” (NGP)
  • Cessna LSA Concept
  • Cessna CH-1 Helicopter
  • Cessna AA
  • Cessna BA
  • Cessna AW
  • Cessna 120
  • Cessna 140
  • Cessna 150 Commuter, Patroller & Aerobat
  • Cessna 152
  • Cessna 165 Airmaster
  • Cessna 170
  • Cessna 172 Skyhawk, T-41 Mescalero
  • Cessna 175 Skylark
  • Cessna 177 Cardinal
  • Cessna 180 Skywagon
  • Cessna 182 Skylane
  • Cessna 185 Skywagon
  • Cessna 188 AGwagon, AGpickup, AGtruck, and AGhusky
  • Cessna 190
  • Cessna 195
  • Cessna 205 Super Skywagon
  • Cessna 206 Stationair & Super Skylane
  • Cessna 207 Skywagon, Stationair 7 & 8
  • Cessna 208 Caravan
  • Cessna 210 Centurion
  • Cessna 303
  • Cessna 305 Birddog
  • Cessna 310
  • Cessna 335
  • Cessna 335 Skymaster
  • Cessna 336 Skymaster, O-2 Skymaster
  • Cessna 340
  • Cessna 401 Utiliner and Businessliner
  • Cessna 402 Utiliner and Businessliner
  • Cesnna 404 Titan II
  • Cessna 406 Caravan II
  • Cessna 411
  • Cessna 414 Chancellor
  • Cessna 421 Golden Eagle
  • Cessna 425 Conquest I
  • Cessna 441 Conquest II
  • Cessna 500 Citation I
  • Cessna 501 Citation ISP
  • Cessna 510 Citation Mustang
  • Cessna 525 Citation Jet, CJ1, CJ1+
  • Cessna 525A CJ2, CJ2+
  • Cessna 525B CJ3
  • Cessna 550 Citation II, Cessna Citation Bravo
  • Cessna 551 Citation IISP
  • Cessna S550 Citation SII
  • Cessna 560 Citation V, Citation Ultra, Citation Encore, Citation Encore+
  • Cessna Citation 560XL Excel, XLS, XLS+
  • Cessna 650 Citation III, Citation VI, Citation VII
  • Cessna 680 Citation Sovereign
  • Cessna 750 Citation X
  • Cessna AT-17 Bobcat
  • Cessna C-34 Airmaster
  • Cessna T-37


  1. Article in “Enid News”

External links