Say Hello To The Cessna 350 And 400
Columbia Aircraft is officially no
more. Tuesday evening, Cessna confirmed news that surfaced early that
afternoon... that the planemaker was the high bidder
for select assets of Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing Company.
Calling the purchase "a move to further broaden its single
engine product portfolio," Cessna confirmed its bid of $26.4
million was the high bid in the Tuesday auction before the United
States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Oregon.
"This is a significant day as it brings together two top
aircraft design and production companies to offer the global
general aviation community the widest range of propeller aircraft,
along with world-class product support, all under the Cessna brand
– one of the most trusted names in aviation," said Cessna
Chairman, President and CEO Jack. J. Pelton. "I would like to thank
the 400-plus Columbia employees for their continued hard work and
dedication during the bankruptcy process. We look forward to
welcoming them to the Cessna family."
Cessna is the world’s largest general aviation
manufacturer in terms of annual unit sales, producing single-engine
piston aircraft, turboprops and the world’s best-selling line
of business jets, the Cessna Citation. Columbia has produced more
than 600 aircraft in its 10-year history.
"The Columbia models are a good fit with our existing product
line," Pelton said. "We look forward to providing existing Columbia
owners with improved levels of service and support and introducing
new customers to these outstanding aircraft."
"We plan to make significant investments in Bend, in people and
operations, to bolster customer satisfaction and business
profitability. We will continue to improve quality, reliability and
performance as we strive to deliver customer value and fulfill our
commitments," Pelton said.
Once the transaction is completed -- which Cessna expects to
occur by December 4, 2007 -- the Bend operation will take on the
Cessna name and be one of six Cessna manufacturing
facilities. Cessna intends to rename the current Columbia
product line to become the Cessna 350 and the Cessna 400.
Cessna and its network of authorized dealers and service centers
plan to integrate sales and support of the former Columbia
aircraft, and Cessna Parts Distribution is expected to become the
source for parts. Cessna also intends to develop direct
communications with current owners.
"We feel it’s very important for Cessna customers to enjoy
a seamless, high-quality experience throughout our entire product
line -- from the SkyCatcher all the way up to the Citation X. It
only makes sense that we fully embrace these two new aircraft and
their owners as members of the Cessna family," Pelton said.
"Current Columbia aircraft owners should feel very secure knowing
their investment will now be supported through our vast global
customer sales and service network."
Cessna currently offers eight single-engine piston models,
beginning with the recently launched Cessna 162 SkyCatcher light
sport aircraft. The SkyCatcher joins seven other high-wing piston
models – the 172R, the more powerful 172SP, the new
diesel-powered 172TD, standard models 182 and 206, and
turbo-charged 182 and 206 models. The new Cessna 350 and Cessna 400
models add low-wing, high-performance and turbocharged piston
aircraft options to the top end of the Cessna piston product
The Cessna 350 sports an all-composite airframe, Garmin G1000
avionics and GFC700 flight control system, and Teledyne Continental
TSIO-550-C engine, while the Cessna 400 will offer the same
features with dual turbochargers for the engine. The 400 is one of
the fastest piston aircraft in the world with a top speed of 270
miles per hour -- more than 235 knots.