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U.S. Pioneer Aircraft Designer
Founder Cessna Aircraft Co.
Born Hawthorne, Iowa
Dec. 5,1879 - Nov. 20,1954
At the age of 31, after witnessing an aerial exhibition in Kansas which 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. These 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 which established many speed and distance records.
In 1927, he formed the Cessna Aircraft Company, and during the decade of the 1930's produced racing and sports aircraft establishing traditions of safety, performance, and economy which are yet today the standards of safety for aviation. His aircraft introduced the pleasures of private flying to many thousands of pilots throughout the world. Clyde Cessna returned to his farm to spend his later years in Rago, Kansas.
Invested 1983 in the International Aerospace Hall of Fame
From "These We Honor," The International Hall of Fame; The San Diego Aerospace Museum, San Diego, CA. 1984
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Updated: March 12, 2004