Back to Special Missions

Cessna: A History

Cessna Citation in flight
Cessna logo

Headquartered in the aviation hub of Wichita, Kan., and with maintenance and support locations worldwide, the Cessna® brand of aircraft traces its roots to the pioneers of aviation. Throughout its history, this brand of products has been known for quality, reliability and value that established benchmarks for the industry.



Clyde and Silverwing

More than eight decades ago, a small aircraft company started in Wichita, Kan. to do what others said could not be done – to build a monoplane that used a wing without supporting struts or braces. When the Cessna® All Purpose aircraft took off August 13, 1927, the aviation world was forever changed. In fact, Clyde Cessna’s cantilever design has been the standard ever since.

From the moment in 1911 when he saw a flying exhibition in Oklahoma City, Clyde Cessna’s greatest wish was to fly. When he learned that aviators were paid as much as $1,000 per show, the wish became a life-changing opportunity for the 30-year-old Kansas farmer and car salesman. Not only was Clyde the founder of the Cessna branded company and the inventor of the earliest models, he was also the first customer. His relationship with aviation was like that of hundreds of thousands of customers for years to come – built on opportunities and desires and fueled by a passion for flight that refused to be denied.

Early Cessna Aircraft physical test.

On September 7, 1927, Cessna and Victor H. Roos formed a partnership which led to the formation of the Cessna-Roos Aircraft Company. But soon after, Roos resigned and on December 22, 1927 the secretary of state approved a name change to Cessna Aircraft Corporation.

Cessna AW

Several aircraft arrived soon after including the AW, CW-6 and DC-6 before Cessna collaborated with his son, Eldon, on the CR-series racing aircraft. The CR-series would be the main reason the company was able to hold on through the Great Depression, despite a catastrophic decline in aircraft sales. For several years after, Cessna was forced out of the business but was reinstated thanks to the hard work of his nephews, who would later take over the company as Clyde Cessna returned to a life of farming

For much of the mid-to-late 20th century, the Cessna brand was one of the highest-volume and most diverse of general aviation aircraft in the world. Clyde Cessna died on November 20, 1954, at the age of 74 and was posthumously inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 1978 and the International Air & Space Hall of Fame in 1983, but his legacy lived on.



Cessna Citation Latitude and Cessna Citation Longitude

Designed for your success, the Cessna® brand remains one of the most known general aviation brands in the world. Whether it’s a jet, turboprop or piston, Cessna® aircraft are versatile, reliable business tools enabling you to fulfill your missions and map your future ambitions.

With the world's most delivered aircraft trainer, it's common for pilots to have earned their private pilot’s license in a Cessna® piston. Known to be tough, dependable and easy to maintain, Cessna® pistons have made the wonder of flight an attainable reality. The Cessna® family of aircraft is designed to grow with you. From rugged and flexible recreational turboprops to the elegant fleet of Citation® jets, Cessna® products boast uncompromising style, comfort, and reliability. Specialized mission solutions range from air ambulance to surveillance to flight inspection. Today, enhanced customization options allow for a broad range of designs and configurations to suit your every need.




Nothing is more liberating than learning to fly. The Skyhawk® piston is the most popular single-engine aircraft ever built and has achieved a reputation for being the ultimate training aircraft.

With simplistic flight characteristics, great visibility and a sophisticated glass cockpit outfitted with Garmin® G1000® avionics, the Cessna® Skyhawk® piston boasts a slow landing speed and a lenient stall. These characteristics make it a flight training favorite ideally suited for student pilots and designed to help you soar.


Cessna Skylane

Get into the pilot’s seat of the 230-horsepower Cessna® Skylane® aircraft and get ready to experience even greater destinations. With its high-wing design and durable airframe, this celebrated piston aircraft delivers a level of performance perfect for the next level of pilot. Get in. Go fly. And enjoy every minute of your adventure.


Cessna Skylane

Take your adventures higher. Faster. Farther. The Cessna® Turbo Skylane® piston packs enough muscle to climb 1,040 ft per minute to a maximum cruising altitude of 20,000 ft, and then maintain its full 235 hp. Cruise comfortably at 165 ktas above unfriendly weather, challenging terrain and traffic. With its high-wing design and durable airframe, the Turbo Skylane® piston is poised and ready to rise to even the most challenging adventures.

Now with new interiors, these adventurous pistons provide you style and comfort, while emphasizing durability.


Cessna Turbo Stationair HD

Whether commuting with five passengers, loading gear through the dual aft cargo doors, landing on a short dirt airstrip or splashing in at a remote lake on amphibious floats, the turbocharged capability of the Cessna® Turbo Stationair® HD piston is designed to fit your mission needs.

Pushing the limits of what’s possible, the Turbo Stationair® HD piston doesn't make you choose between utility and comfort—it expands your horizons to take your adventure almost anywhere.


Cessna Caravan

The Cessna® Caravan® aircraft is known for its rugged utility and flexibility. With its powerful turboprop engine, the Caravan® aircraft delivers the rare combination of high performance, low operating costs and ability to adapt to a wide variety of missions.

The powerful, efficient, dependable 675-horsepower PT6A-114A turbine engine gives the Caravan® turboprop its exceptional payload capabilities.

Operators in the world’s most demanding environments immediately adopted the rugged, dependable turboprop and have been rewarded with unparalleled dispatch reliability. On top of more than 30 years of proven capability comes even greater value with the Caravan® turboprop’s limited warranties, parts availability and lower direct operating costs.


Cessna Grand Caravan EX

The Cessna® Grand Caravan® EX aircraft is known for its dependable and efficient performance by regional airlines, charter operators and cargo carriers worldwide. The Grand Caravan® EX turboprop was engineered for challenging missions, high payloads and short, rough runways while delivering single-engine economy and simplicity.

The Grand Caravan® EX aircraft has a reputation as a revenue-generator. It may carry up to 14 occupants with an increased speed and climb capability, plus a takeoff ground roll of only 1,399 ft. Its powerful Pratt & Whitney Canada® engine delivers 867 horsepower for dependable payload performance and superior efficiency. Experience true value with low direct operating costs, limited warranties and a global service network at your fingertips.


Reliably lifting off day after day with heavy payloads requires real performance and capability. The all new Cessna SkyCourier® turboprop was designed for fully loaded high frequency operations and maximum efficiency. Load, fly, unload and repeat, then watch your business grow.

The Cessna SkyCourier® aircraft has two configurations to best suit your business needs ranging from a 19-passenger configuration to a freight configuration capable of carrying three LD3 shipping containers. The single-point pressure refueling capability coupled with rugged landing gear means the Cessna SkyCourier® turboprop gets you wherever you need to be faster.


Cessna Citation M2 Gen2

With a perfect balance of cockpit upgrades and a comfortable cabin, both pilots and passengers can now feel at home in the sky. The newest addition of autothrottles in the flight deck gives you control. Range. Speed. Comfort. Capability. The Cessna® Citation M2® Gen2™ aircraft is everything you’ve been wanting in an entry-level jet.

Perfect for corporate, charter or private use, the Citation M2® Gen2™ jet features enhanced cabin lighting, upgraded cabin technology and a Garmin® G3000® flight deck with touchscreen avionics suited for a single pilot. Two powerful Williams FJ44 engines facilitate a cruising speed of up to 404 knots for serious jet performance. Trips are fast and efficient with exceptional range at 1,550 nm.

The Citation M2® Gen2™ jet goes there. And beyond.


Cessna Citation CJ3+

Enjoy performance that’s powerful, precise and efficient. The Cessna® Citation® CJ3® Gen2™ takes a detailed approach to your success. It’s the perfect combination of range, speed and operating economics supplying you with superior performance in high and hot airports.

The flight deck is designed for single pilot operations with the latest Garmin® G3000® avionics and standard autothrottles to power your passion with confident control.

The cabin fuses luxurious amenities with eco-friendly textiles, thoughtfully chosen for comfort, elegance and to reduce your environmental footprint.

Whether you take a front row seat in the cockpit, or relax in the comfortable cabin, the CJ3® Gen2™ jet is designed for what’s possible.


Cessna Citation CJ4 Gen2

if you’re ready for your next achievement, meet our next-generation jet. Expertly designed, exquisitely crafted, the reimagined Cessna® Citation® CJ4® Gen2 jet elevates your travel experience from the moment you step on board. The amenities you’ll discover range from eye-catching to productivity-enhancing with CoolView® skylights, upgraded seating and a wireless cabin management system giving you instant control of lighting, window shades and cabin temperature.

The CJ4® Gen2 jet also delivers the proven performance of its predecessor. The Collins Aerospace® Pro Line 21™ avionics suite allows one pilot to effectively operate the aircraft. Features such as single point refueling, an externally serviceable lavatory and excellent range deliver what crew and cabin passengers have come to expect from a Citation® jet.

At the top of the single-pilot class, this aircraft meets the needs of corporate flight departments and owner-operators alike. With a trusted pedigree and fully reimagined cabin, the CJ4® Gen2 jet can help you pursue your business goals while you enjoy the journey.


Cessna Citation XLS Gen2

The best-selling model of the best-selling brand, the Cessna® Citation Ascend™ aircraft combines transcontinental range and remarkable efficiency in a beautiful midsize jet.

The Citation Ascend™ jet’s first-class cabin offers comfortable room for up to 12 passengers. A spacious interior allows those inside to stand and move about the cabin with ease. The high-quality leather seats are extra wide with full reclining capabilities for optimal comfort.

A flight deck built for now and well into the future with Garmin® G5000® avionics, featuring the latest software and hardware. Rest assured your whole team can fly in comfort and arrive closer to your destination, allowing you to spend less time traveling and more time at the job site or with your customer.


Cessna Citation Latitude

Start with proven Citation® aircraft systems. Add intelligent innovation, class-leading performance, a spacious cabin and standard equipment that steps above midsize expectations. All of this at a price for performance other jets cannot match. The Cessna® Citation Latitude® jet offers a wide, flat floor with a six-foot stand-up cabin at a midsize price. Coupled with a range to take you 2,700 nm, you can fly nonstop with eight passengers from Los Angeles to New York or with four passengers from Geneva to Dubai. There’s a reason it’s the best-selling midsize business jet.

The Citation Latitude® jet is the first aircraft in its class to push the comfort level while keeping you connected. A low cabin altitude keeps you feeling refreshed while the class-leading baggage compartment is spacious enough to accommodate your luggage wherever you’re going, whether for business or pleasure.

Equipped with NextGen-capable, touch-screen Garmin® G5000 avionics, the Citation Latitude® aircraft offers a large cockpit ensuring everyone in the air is at maximum comfort and productivity.


Cessna Citation Longitude

The Cessna® Citation Longitude® aircraft was designed with your business and return on investment in mind: transatlantic range, advanced engineering and an unforgettable cabin experience all come together with the lowest total ownership costs of any super-midsize jet. Simply put: this aircraft delivers the reliability and efficiency you need to maximize the value of every mission. Take control of your most valuable asset and see how far you can go with the Citation Longitude® super-midsize jet.

Comfort is felt it as soon as you step inside: a spacious, flat-floor, six-foot stand up cabin with best-in-class legroom for ultimate comfort. We then developed exclusive soundproofing techniques to design the world’s quietest super-midsize cabin. Whether you’re resting or conducting business, enjoy the peace and quiet needed to make the most of your time in the air. Plus, between the wireless cabin management system that puts you in control of the cabin, and fully integrated autothrottles in the cockpit, the Citation Longitude® jet brings the latest technology to the super-midsize segment.

Read Next: Beechcraft: A History