Cessna SkyCatcher on Track to Begin Deliveries in Second Half of 2009

November 06, 2008
San Jose, CA - November 6, 2008 - Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, reported today it is on course to begin deliveries of the Model 162 SkyCatcher during the second half of 2009. A mock-up of the SkyCatcher is on display Nov. 6-8 during AOPA Expo at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center.

This schedule matches the timeline announced when the light sport aircraft launched in July 2007. Major program development milestones achieved since then include prototype first flight March 8 and first flight of the first production model May 1.

All engineering work and testing of the 162 is being completed in Wichita, Kan., at Cessna Aircraft Field Airport adjacent to McConnell Air Force Base. The program has accumulated more than 220 hours for ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) flight testing. Since losing the prototype in a flight test, Cessna has moved the first production model to the primary flight test aircraft while another airframe is conducting ASTM static testing.

Flight testing is focused on gathering data and making minor refinements to ensure the aircraft complies with ASTM requirements and fulfills its intended role in the training and sport flying market. The primarily aluminum aircraft will meet ASTM standard F2245 for the light sport category. An extensive Ground Vibration Test, though not an ASTM requirement, was conducted to meet Cessna’s exacting standards for airframe integrity. Additional testing beyond the ASTM requirements will include a full airframe fatigue test on a production aircraft starting in mid-2009.

Production assembly jigs and tooling and detail tooling to support fabrication are complete and in place at Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC). Cessna will ship the SkyCatcher’s engine and avionics, along with raw materials, from the United States to Shenyang, China, for assembly by SAC. Cessna has on-site personnel in place to provide ongoing oversight for quality assurance.

The next major program milestone is scheduled for second quarter 2009, when SAC completes the first aircraft assembly followed by its first flight.

Cessna has taken more than 1,000 SkyCatcher orders from individuals and flight schools. Of that order total, 35 percent are from international customers - half based in Europe.

Priced at $111,500 in 2007 dollars, the 162 is expected to cruise at speeds up to 117 knots (217 kilometers per hour) with a maximum range of 470 nautical miles (870 kilometers). The aircraft will feature a Continental O-200D 100-horsepower engine and the Garmin G300 avionics system. Information is presented in a single, split-screen primary flight display and multi-function display, or as two full-screen displays with an optional second screen. The aircraft will be capable of day and night, visual flight rules operations.

Preliminary design parameters for the SkyCatcher include a maximum gross weight of 1,320 pounds (599 kilograms), a service ceiling of 13,600 feet (4,145 meters), a useful load of 490 pounds (222 kilograms) and a usable fuel capacity of 24 gallons (91 liters). It has a cabin width at shoulder height of more than 44 inches (1.12 meters), equaling that of the much-larger, six-place Cessna 206 Stationair. It features two top-hinged cabin entry doors and forward pivoting seats giving access to a baggage compartment.

About Cessna Aircraft Company
Based on unit sales, Cessna Aircraft Company is the world's largest manufacturer of general aviation airplanes. In 2007, Cessna delivered 1,272 aircraft, including 387 Citation business jets, and reported revenues of about $5 billion. Cessna has a backlog of $15.6 billion as of September 30, 2008. Since the company was originally established in 1927, some 191,000 Cessna airplanes have been delivered around the world, including more than 5,400 Citations, making it the largest fleet of business jets in the world. More information about Cessna Aircraft Company is available at http://www.cessna.com.

About Textron Inc.
Textron Inc. is a $13.2 billion multi-industry company operating in 34 countries with approximately 44,000 employees. The company leverages its global network of aircraft, defense and intelligence, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft Company, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, Fluid & Power, Textron Systems and Textron Financial Corporation. More information is available at www.textron.com.

Forward-looking Information: Certain statements in this release are forward-looking statements and speak only as of the date on which they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the statements, including but not limited to the following: [a] changes in worldwide economic and political conditions that impact demand for our products, interest rates and foreign exchange rates; [b] the interruption of production at our facilities or at our suppliers’ facilities; [c] the timing of new product launches and certifications of new aircraft products; [d] the occurrence of slowdowns or downturns in customer markets in which our products are sold or supplied; [e] changes in aircraft delivery schedules or cancellation of orders; [f] the launching of significant new products or programs which could result in unanticipated expenses; [g] changes in national or international government policies on the export and import of commercial products; and [h] bankruptcy or other financial problems at major suppliers that could cause disruptions in our supply chain.

Connect with Textron IR

Eric Salander, Vice President, Investor Relations
(401) 457-2288
Cameron Vollmuth, Manager,
Investor Relations (401) 457-2288

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