Cessna’s Eighty Years of History: 1927-2007


Silverwing was Clyde Cessna’s first aircraft. It was built and flown by Cessna in 1911. Although the actual aircraft no longer exists, several replicas have been built. Currently, a replica is hanging at Exploration Place in Wichita, Kansas. The replica was built by Cessna employees in the 1960s.


T-50The Cessna AW, Cessna’s most popular “A” series aircraft, began production in 1928. It was the world’s first production cantilever wing aircraft. The combination of cantilever wing, clean lines, and dependable engine made it a high performance airplane for its power class.


The T-50 was put into full production in early 1940. The five-place, low wing cabin monoplane had a wing span of 41 feet 11 inches and a length of 32 feet 9 inches. During WWII, the U.S. military purchased T-50s for multi-engine advanced training. In 1941, the T-50 was nicknamed the “Bobcat.” In 1942, the U.S. military started using the Bobcat as a light personal transport and changed the designation to UC-78. Pilots gave the Bobcat the nickname "Bamboo Bomber.”

140140 and 120

In 1945, Cessna introduced the Model 140 and 120. The Model 140 was a deluxe airplane, equipped with wing flaps, deluxe upholstery, additional side windows, and an electrical system. The Model 120 was a stripped-down version of the 140. It was designed as a two-place trainer and was intended for private ownership.

L-19 Bird Dog

Cessna began production of the L-19 “Bird Dog” after being awarded a contract from the U.S. Army. The L-19 quickly became a battle veteran, and provided G.I.’s with daily artillery spotting and reconnaissance. Over 2,000 L-19 Bird Dogs were delivered.


The model 150 was Cessna’s first new trainer since the model 120 and 140. The 150 was similar to 140, however it had a tricycle landing gear and an upgraded engine. Over 23,800 were built.


In 1977, Cessna introduced the 152. Cessna produced 6,860 model 152s domestically between 1978-1985, and 640 model F152s at its Reims Aviation facility in Reims, France. Between 1981-1984, Cessna produced the aerobat series model 152.


The Model 172 was developed in 1955 and placed into production for the 1956 model year. The new model was an immediate success. In 1956, 1,178 model 172s were sold. A deluxe version of the 172 was named the Skyhawk.


The Model 182 came into being for the 1956 model year. Like the Model 172, the 182 was also an immediate success with 844 being sold the first year. In 1957, the Model 182A featured a shortened landing gear. A year later, a deluxe version of this airplane, the Skylane, was offered to customers.

177 Cardinal

441 ConquestIn 1970, Cessna announced the model 177 Cardinal. Originally thought to be the 172s replacement, the 177 Cardinal was Cessna’s first post-WWII aircraft to use a Lycoming engine. In 1971, the Cardinal RG, with retractable landing gear was introduced. The aircraft primarily competed against the Piper Cherokee Arrow 200 and the Beechcraft Sierra. In 1976, the basic RG was priced at $35,550. Also available was the RGII for $42,250 and the RGII with Nav Pac for $45,050.


The model 441 was Cessna’s first propjet. Designed to outperform any other aircraft in its class, the 441 had superior speed, climb and fuel efficiency. Powered by Garrett TPE-331 engines, the 441 had an eight to 10 seat pressurized cabin. First flight was on August 26, 1975, and certification occurred in 1977. In the summer of 1979, the Conquest underwent extensive modifications. In 1983, model 441 was renamed the Conquest II and model 425, Corsair, became the Conquest I.


208 CaravanIn 1985, Cessna began deliveries of the new Caravan, a single-engine turboprop utility aircraft that carries cargo loads of up to 4,682 pounds or up to 14 passengers or a combination. A specially designed version of the Caravan is in service with Federal Express and over 300 Caravans have been delivered to the overnight delivery pioneer.
172, 182, 206 and T206

In 1996, Cessna officially restarted production of single engine piston aircraft. Production line flow of the first Cessna single engine piston aircraft since 1986 commenced on July 10, 1996, and the first customer delivery (a 172R Skyhawk) took place in January 1997. The first 182 Skylane delivery followed in April 1997. Deliveries of the 206 Stationair and T206 Turbo Stationair began in December 1998.

Citation VII

The Citation VII was introduced in 1990. At the time of introduction, the Citation VII had more speed, comfort and more advanced technology than any other Citation on the market. The new Garrett TFE731-4 engines provided 4,000 pounds of thrust each. Cruising speed was increased to 550 mph, and the takeoff and climb performance improved dramatically. The first Citation VII was delivered in 1993 and 118 units were delivered between 1993-2000. In 1993, Cessna delivered the 2000th Citation, a Citation VII.

Citation X

The Citation X, the fastest business jet in the world, was introduced in 1990 at NBAA. The Citation X accomplished its first flight in December 1993 and was certified in May 31, 1996. The first Citation X was delivered to golf legend and Citation pilot, Arnold Palmer, in August 1996. Over 200 Citation Xs have been delivered.

Today Cessna offers a fleet of 19 aircraft – the most comprehensive line of general aviation aircraft in the industry: 172R Skyhawk, 172S Skyhawk SP, 182T Skylane, T182T Turbo Skylane, 206H Stationair, T206H Turbo Stationair, Caravan 675, Caravan Amphibian, Grand Caravan, Super Cargomaster, Citation Mustang, Citation CJ1+, Citation CJ2+, Citation CJ3, Citation Bravo, Citation Encore, Citation XLS, Citation Sovereign and Citation X.

172 Skyhawk and 172 Skyhawk SP

172Since it’s re-introduction in 1996, the Cessna Skyhawk has regained its position as the aircraft-of-choice for flight schools, colleges and universities worldwide. Flight training institutions operating a fleet of new Skyhawks include: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Western Michigan University, Daniel Webster College, the Philippine Airlines, Korean Air Lines, the United States Air Force Flight Training Centers, and the over 250 Cessna Pilot Centers located throughout North America.

In March 1998, Cessna introduced a new Skyhawk model designated the Skyhawk SP. The 172S Skyhawk SP provides increases in performance, useful load and overall capability.

Cessna returned to the manufacture of single engine piston aircraft in 1996, and delivered the first Skyhawk in January of 1997. To date, over 2,000 new Skyhawks have been delivered.

182 Skylane and T182 Turbo Skylane

Reintroduced in 1996, the first customer delivery of a 182 Skylane occurred in January 1997. The Skylane is an all metal, single engine piston, high-wing monoplane with a four-person seating capacity including a crew of one or two.

At the 2000 National Business Aircraft Association Meeting and Convention, Cessna unveiled its 2001 single engine product line, including a new Turbo 182 Skylane. The Turbo Skylane features an increase in power over the normally aspirated Skylane. The T182 engine produces 235 horsepower at 2,400 RPM, which results in a better rate of climb and takeoff performance. Additionally, the T182 boasts significant high altitude performance and capability.

206 Stationair and T206 Turbo Stationair

The Stationair and Turbo Stationair were introduced in 1996 as part of Cessna’s re-entry into the single engine piston aircraft market. The 206 and T206 received FAA type certification in September 1998 and October 1998 respectively, with customer deliveries following in December 1998.

Since certification of the Turbo Stationair in 1998, its success in the marketplace has continued to grow. Powered by a Lycoming fuel-injected engine which increases the horsepower to 310 BHP, the T206H includes a new Bendix King avionics package that provides the latest technology in a new, user-friendly configuration made available exclusively to Cessna.
Over 500 new Stationair and Turbo Stationairs have been delivered.


The Caravan worldwide fleet numbers over 1,300 aircraft and are flying in over 70 countries around the world. The Caravan is the only single engine aircraft approved by the United States Postal Service to carry the United States mail. Available in four models – the Caravan 675, Caravan Amphibian, Grand Caravan, and Super Cargomaster – Caravans have distinguished themselves in special-missions applications, scheduled airline/commuter service, and locations with unimproved, short runways.

Citation Mustang

The Citation Mustang was announced at the 2002 NBAA convention. Designed to fill an enormous void in the turbine aircraft market and meet the demanding needs of tomorrow’s aviation environment, the Mustang will offer customers the same renowned quality, safety, value and support that have been the foundation of the Citation program. With two turbofan engines, the Mustang will provide more speed, range and altitude capability than currently offered by any single or multi-engine piston or turboprop aircraft.

Citation CJ1+

The Citation CJ1+ offers more performance, new integrated avionics, enhanced cabin features and expanded standard equipment compared to its predecessor, the Citation CJ1.

Citation CJ2+

The Citation CJ2+ is the successor to the Citation CJ2.The Citation CJ2+ providesthe most advanced avionics suite ever seen on this class of aircraft, FADEC engines, increased maximum payload, and more standard equipment compared to an equally equipped Citation CJ2.

Citation CJ3

The Citation CJ3, announced in September 2002 at NBAA was Cessna’s first new product announcement of the millennium. The CJ3 incorporates the successful features of the CJ2 while also providing a longer cabin and tailcone; new Williams International FJ44-3A engines; and advanced Collins avionics. Designed for single pilot operation, the maximum cruise speed is 417 knots at 33,000 feet. Cessna received Citation CJ3 certification in October 2004.

Citation Bravo

Recognized for its remarkably low operating costs, the Bravo was certified in January 1997 and the first aircraft was delivered in February 1997. The powerful Pratt & Whitney PW530A engines provide cruise speeds of up to 403 KTAS. Each engine delivers up to 2,287 lbs of thrust, giving the aircraft an increase in power while improving fuel efficiency. The Bravo cruises at altitudes up to 45,000 feet, and features the Honeywell Primus 1000 Avionics System and trailing link landing gear.

Citation Encore

Citation Encore, successor to the world-class Citation Ultra, was designed to build on the enormous success of the Ultra by incorporating aerodynamic and design enhancements that provide operators with increased mission flexibility, comfort and maintainability. The Encore was certified in April 2000, with the first customer delivery occurring on September 29, 2000.

Citation XLS

The Cessna Citation XLS was announced at the 2003 NBAA. The Citation XLS combines Citation Excel comfort with significant improvements to performance and avionics. Cessna received Citation XLS certification in March 2004.

Citation Sovereign

Citation XThe Citation Sovereign is the first aircraft to utilize Cessna’s Maintenance Steering Group (MSG). Serving the traditional mid-size business jet market, the Sovereign took its maiden flight in February 2002. Cessna received Citation Sovereign certification in June 2004, and EASA certification occurred in April 2005.

Citation X

At the 2000 NBAA, Cessna announced that it would upgrade the Citation X to include increased maximum takeoff weight, and a five percent increase in performance of the Roll-Royce AE 3007C-1 engines which significantly reduces takeoff field lengths, as well as a substantially expanded standard equipment list. In February 2002, Cessna delivered the first of the new series of upgraded Citation Xs to Arnold Palmer. Over 200 Citation Xs are now in service.