Cessna parent company Textron posted a first-quarter loss of about $8 million, and Cessna's 44-percent sales decline was a significant factor (although the company's finance arm was also off 40 percent). Cessna is usually Textron's biggest moneymaker but the continued sales drought is keeping things quiet at the Wichita planemaker. Almost half the workforce remains laid off and, as CEO Jack Pelton told AVweb in an interview earlier this month at Sun 'n Fun, the recovery is expected to be long and slow. Meanwhile, Pelton told CNN the company is trying to make the best of the current circumstances by examining every aspect of its operations for efficiencies and cost savings.
CNN's segment on Cessna includes an interview in which Pelton says the company cleared out one whole section of its Wichita plant to reorganize the building process. Among the efficiencies they discovered was that if wings were placed upright on the production line rather than flat, workers could more quickly and easily work on them. Pelton also said the company was continuing research and development as it waits for the effects of the recession to subside.