Cessna Aircraft Co. recently marked 15 years since opening its manufacturing facility in Independence, Kan., where the company has produced nearly 9,500 single-engine pistons and more than 350 Citation Mustang business jets.
Work at the Cessna Independence facility includes assembly, paint, installation of interiors and delivery of seven single-engine piston aircraft models — 172R Skyhawk, 172S Skyhawk SP, 182T Skylane, T182T Turbo Skylane, 206H Stationair, T206H Turbo Stationair and the Corvalis TTX — as well as the Citation Mustang. Additionally, Independence employees provide Garmin G1000 avionics pilot training and manufacture small parts for propeller aircraft and for some business jets that are built at Cessna’s headquarters in Wichita.
The facility sits on a 213-acre site adjacent to the Independence Airport (IDP), which is about 125 miles southeast of Wichita. Structures on the property include a main assembly plant, sand and fill building, paint facility, flight building and a customer delivery center.
“The roughly 500 Cessnans from throughout southeastern Kansas and northeastern Oklahoma who work at our Independence facility have been instrumental in Cessna maintaining its leadership in the single-engine piston market and in the successful introduction of the Citation Mustang,” said Eric Cardinali, senior vice president of Integrated Supply Chain. “Our factory there is very much a family atmosphere, which is apparent in the customer experience and the productivity levels we see in Independence.”
Cessna discontinued single-engine piston aircraft production in Wichita in the 1980s — due in part to rising product liability costs — and re-entered the market after the 1994 passage of the U.S. General Aviation Revitalization Act. The company broke ground for its original 400,000-square-foot Independence site on May 19, 1995, and dedicated the facility July 3, 1996.
The first Independence-produced single-engine piston came off the line in November 1996 and the facility delivered its 9,000th single-engine piston in March 2010. In total, Cessna has produced more than 154,500 single-engine pistons since the company’s founding in 1927.
In 2004, Cessna selected the Independence site to build its new Citation Mustang, the first Citation to be manufactured outside of Wichita. After significant expansion of the facility, Independence began production of the Mustang Oct. 5, 2005. Through the first quarter of 2011, Cessna had delivered 356 Mustangs.
For more information: Cessna.com