Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Clyde Cessna 1879-1954

At age 31, after witnessing an aerial exhibition in Kansas that sparked his interest in aircraft, Clyde Vernon Cessna began his lifelong dedication to aviation. He designed and built his own aircraft and taught himself to fly. Those qualities of courage and self-reliance not only made him successful in aviation, but also served to inspire his associates throughout the industry.

Following World War I, the widespread interest in private flying induced him, in 1925 to found, with Walter Beech, the Travel Air Manufacturing Company in Wichita KS. With Cessna as its president, the company became one of the leading U S aircraft manufacturers, and his advanced design concepts produced a line of internationally famous aircraft that established many speed and distance records.

In 1927, he formed the Cessna Aircraft Company, and in the decade of the 1930s produced racing and sports aircraft that set traditions of safety, performance, and economy which are still the standards of safety for aviation. His aircraft introduced the pleasures of private flying to many thousands of pilots throughout the world. Cessna returned to his farm to spend his later years in Rago KS.