Cessna Aircraft Co. recently delivered the 10,000th single-engine aircraft from its Independence, Kan. facility since its first delivery in June 1996.
Liberty University took delivery of this milestone aircraft, a Cessna Skyhawk, along with two other Cessna Skyhawks, adding to its growing flight training fleet.
“Reaching this milestone is a testament to the quality of the workforce at our Independence facility, which continues to be a cornerstone of our manufacturing footprint,” said Lily English, Independence general manager. “Through the years, our Independence facility has grown from producing only single-engine aircraft to now also producing and delivering the Citation Mustang and the recently certified Citation M2.”
The Independence team and Liberty University representatives marked the occasion with a delivery ceremony of the three Cessna Skyhawks, with one carrying a custom paint scheme displaying its position as the 10,000th Independence-delivered single-engine aircraft.
“Through the years we have developed a great relationship with the team here in Independence and continue to choose Cessna products because we trust the craftsmanship that goes into each one of their aircraft. The Skyhawk is the mainstay to the quality flight training we provide to America’s next generation of professional pilots,” said USAF retired, Brigadier General Dave Young, Assistant Provost for Aeronautics Education at Liberty University.
According to Cessna officials, there are more Skyhawks in the world than any other type of aircraft, with more than 48,000 delivered since 1955, first from Wichita, now from the facility in Independence.
Since its first single engine delivery in June 1996, the Independence facility now produces the majority of Cessna single-engine piston products, including the Skyhawk, Turbo Skylane JT-A, Stationair, TTx , as well as two Citation jets– the Mustang and the M2. Textron Aviation also has its Garmin avionics training center in Independence.
The Liberty University School of Aeronautics has grown from four students and is currently the largest faith-based university aviation program in the country. The school offers a variety of online and residential programs, including a bachelor’s degree with concentrations in military aviation, missionary aviation, commercial/corporate aviation, and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). They are also the owner of Freedom Aviation, the FBO at the Lynchburg, Virginia, airport.