By Gary Flick
July 29, 2013 - Cessna's Monday morning press conference showcased new aircraft, congratulated a hard-working intern, and ended with a monetary gift to EAA in support of Young Eagles.
Jodi Noah, senior vice president of Cessna Single-Engine/Propeller Aircraft, began the conference by explaining, "Last year we showed you what we were going to do. This year we're showing you what we did."
First she introduced the company's three new aircraft, the Grand Caravan EX, the Turbo Skylane JT-A, and the Cessna TTx.
Cessna currently has the Grand Caravans on tour all across the world and claims the aircraft "has generated worldwide interest in the Caravan line," specifically citing that 13 were purchased in Africa before a demonstration model ever saw the continent.
"We're selling EXs like crazy," Noah said simply.
The second craft, the Turbo Skylane JT-A, has not yet been certified, but Cessna is confident it will be done by the third quarter of this year, with deliveries to follow.
The Jet A-fueled Skylane JT-A made a successful transatlantic flight while burning approximately 30 to 40 percent less fuel than its avgas engine counterparts, according to Jeff Umscheid, business leader for the JT-A.
The all-composite TTx aircraft was built for "speed, performance, and utility" and is currently the fastest commercially produced and certified fixed-gear single-engine aircraft in the world, according to Cessna.
"The TTx has been exceptionally well received," said Brian Steele, TTx business leader. "Combine the leading performance with the intuitive touch-screen avionics and luxury interior, and you have a true market changer on your hands."
After some brief notes on other aircraft, Noah changed gears and introduced Ryan Todd, one of seven aviation students involved in Cessna's Discover Flying Challenge.
The program sends young aviators to different regions of the U.S. to promote not only the aircraft, but also its five charitable partners: American Red Cross, EAA Young Eagles, Special Olympics, United Way, and Veterans Airlift Command.
Todd won an award from Cessna for being the most involved with the program and best representing its goals.
Last, but as far from least as possible, Cessna awarded the EAA Young Eagles program with a check for $100,000, saying, "We are incredibly proud to be able to support the EAA and the amazing work they do helping shape the future of general aviation."