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The History of the Cessna Airplane

When people learn about aviation history, they often start with the Wright Brothers taking their first plane with a simple motor and light wings departing from the beaches located in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in the early 1900's. Between then and now, people often overlook one of the most important planes throughout modern history called the Cessna airplane.

The Beginnings of the Cessna Story

The Cessna airplane started as a wooden plane with fabric wings in the early 1900's. The plane is named after the person who put this plane together, named Clyde Cessna of Kansas. Clyde flew this plane all over the American heartland, spanning territory from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains and everything in between. When he realized how successful this plane could become, he started to modify and test his designs along the salt flats of the country. He eventually decided to reach out to some bankers who were willing to back his flying design and moved to Wichita to pursue his dreams.

The Evolution

Clyde Cessna partnered with a couple of other people to found a company called Travel Air Manufacturing. He eventually left this partnership in 1927 to form a company called Cessna Aircraft Companies. Cessna was able to survive the crash of the stock market and introduced the 170, a backbone of the aviation industry throughout the mid-20 thcentury.

The Modern Era

The Cessna company was sold to General Dynamics in the mid-1980's. By this point, over 35,000 Cessna 172's had been built. In 1994, the Cessna branch resumed production of the piston-engine 206, 182, and the trusty 172. Cessna has been one of the most popular aircraft designs into the 21 stcentury and recently purchased Columbia Aircraft. Therefore, the company has a significant amount of designs between both the Columbia and Cessna designs. While some people thought that the Cessna NGP project might fall by the wayside with the purchase of Columbia, the Vice President has announced the continuation of the project, promising solid future results for one of the most trusted names in aviation.

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