June 15, 2009
By Alton K. Marsh
A new round of layoffs announced June 12 by Cessna Aircraft Company will bring total workforce reductions since November 2008 to 8,265, or 53 percent of the total number of workers, the Wichita Eagle has reported.
Counting Cessna, Hawker Beechcraft, and Bombardier Learjet, total layoffs in Wichita since November have reached 11,875, the newspaper reported.
The layoffs take effect over the next two to three months. Spokesman Bob Stangarone told the newspaper the company is now in the worst part of the downward economic cycle. Financing remains difficult to find, daily use of business jets is down, and customers are waiting to see whether a recovery often reported in news outlets actually occurs.
Research on future products continues. Order cancellations have not stopped. Instead of a forecast for the delivery of 535 jets, Cessna now expects to deliver slightly fewer than 300. It is expected 2010 deliveries will be below this year’s total.
Another update on how the economy is affecting Cessna will come at the end of July when parent company Textron reports second-quarter results.
Connecticut lawmakers have voted to recognize Gustave Whitehead as the first pilot to achieve powered flight. The bill awaits the governor’s signature, and marks the latest round in a newly revived debate.
Waco Classic Aircraft Corp. officially unveiled the first conforming new production Great Lakes 2T-1A-2, an aerobatic biplane.
Brazil’s brand-new Wega arrived in the United States in April. The Wega is an all-composite, Experimental-category airplane built in the Santa Catarina district in Brazil.