Textron Already Melding Cessna and Beech

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The acquisition of Beech Aircraft by Textron has brought Cessna and Beech back together for the first time since Clyde Cessna and Walter Beech were principals of Travel Air Company in the 1920s. In a position that didnít even exist six weeks ago, Textronís Senior Vice President of Piston Products, Joe Hepburn, briefed AVwebís Rick Durden about the plans for the future of the piston aircraft line. He emphasized that there are no plans to stop production of any of the piston models from either the Beech or Cessna line and that there will be an emphasis on assuring owner support for all of the aircraft.

With two manufacturing facilities, one at the Beech plant just east of Wichita and one at the Cessna factory in Independence, Kan., as well as Cessna and Beech fabrication facilities adjacent to each other in Mexico, there will have to be decisions made as to whether any of the production processes will be moved or modified. Hepburn said that Textron is evaluating the supply chains for all of the airplanes to see where economies can be found. Hepburn also said that Textron is committed to continuing to improve the piston aircraft line and is looking ahead at new products to be added, although it is too early to make any projections as to what those might be.