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WICHITA, Kansas — Fresh off the production line and ready for take off.
Cessna Aircraft Company rolled out its latest aircraft the Citation X.
The Citation X is hailed the fastest civilian aircraft in the world and this may be the boost the aviation industry has been looking for.
“I want to recognize all the efforts and all the hard work,” said Ron Draper, Cessna Senior Vice President of Integrated Supply Chain.
More than a year and a half of hard work reaches a new level for more than 100 Cessna engineers and assembly workers Monday morning.
Waiting on the other end is the production model of the Citation X.
The announcement to upgrade the Citation came nearly two years ago. Cessna engineers wanted to upgrade the jet to maximize its potential which is speed.
“Of course we would all like the market to be better,” said Draper. “But one way you get the market to be better is come out with new products.”
The jet is better in performance, larger in size, has more cabin space, and advanced technology.
This is the fourth planned product rolled out by Cessna so far this year, and two more are expected.
“Aircraft cost a lot of money and they represent a major investment so when a company commits to something like this that’s good news,” said Aerospace and Engineer Professor Scott Miller, Wichita State University. “It says they feel excited about the future and the possibilities. “
Things are looking towards the sky for the aviation industry in Wichita.
With major aircraft manufacturers adding jobs in recent weeks.
Beechcraft Corporation is looking to add around 80 administrative and engineering positions, while Airbus is expanding its downtown office in Old Town.
Airbus is hoping to make more space for potential new employees.
“A lot of them are going to be retired in the near future and so they need the baby boomers with a lot of younger new students especially while the older ones are still there,” said Miller.
Experts believe with the direction of the industry the need for engineers is stronger than ever.
“We think that’s going to help us in the market place our customers and really stimulate further demand and create more jobs here in Wichita,” said Draper.
Sources tell KSN News a number of orders have been placed for the Citation X.
The first jet could be shipped out by the end of the year pending certification.