Cessna's Corvalis And Cirrus' TURBO

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Cessna and Cirrus have both repackaged their products -- Cessna has renamed its low-wing piston singles (under previous ownership, the Columbia 350 and 400) as the Cessna 350 Corvalis and 400 Corvalis TT, while Cirrus has announced new options for its product line. Cirrus announced integrated TKS weeping wing technology, automotive style windshield de-ice fluid distribution and other advances that should allow the company to offer flight into known icing certification by Q2 2009. Other Cirrus upgrades bring new "X-Edition" option packages via an "S" designation on model types that can bring 12-inch screens and S-TEC 55X autopilot units to Cirrus cockpits, along with new paint schemes to the outside. Aside from the "S" option package designation, the top-end Cirrus product will henceforth be known simply as the TURBO. Cessna's 190- and 235-knot Corvalis models have taken their new name in tribute to an Oregon town not far from the company's Bend, Ore., manufacturing facility.

Both Cirrus and Cessna have made cutbacks in their workforces to adjust to slowdowns in demand. Cirrus' Vice President of Marketing Todd Simmons framed the company's latest product announcement by saying that, "in contrast to many others that are actually removing features and value in response to economic and other external pressures, our approach is just the opposite." Cessna's latest change applies "a graceful word befitting the flowing lines of the aircraft and its unique Northwest heritage," according to Cessna vice president of marketing Tom Aniello.