Production moving forward on Cessna Corvalis TTX

Production of Cessna Aircraft’s high-performance, piston-driven Corvalis TTX is moving forward, the company said this week.

“The TTX program has been moving steadily along through various certifications and testing phases,” Terry Shriner, Cessna TTX business leader, said in a statement.

The company gave an update on the program this week during the annual Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-In & Expo in Lakeland, Fla.

Production lines at the company’s plant in Chihuahua, Mexico, have begun the bonding processes on the all-composite fuselage, and work has begun on the wing skins and external components, the company said.

Cessna’s plant in Independence will then do the final portions of assembly before delivery to customers.

The four-seat TTX replaces and upgrades the company’s Corvalis TT.

Cessna has fixed the issues that led to production problems of the Corvalis TT in late 2010, the company and the Federal Aviation Administration have said.

“Those issues have all been resolved, and we’re moving forward,” said Cessna spokesman Andy Woodward.

Excessive humidity in the Chihuahua plant had prevented the bonded materials used to make the wing from curing properly, an FAA investigation found. That led a 7-foot section of the wing on a Corvalis TT to detach during a test flight in December 2010, according to the FAA.

The pilot made an emergency landing, and 13 planes were grounded.

The twin turbo-charged Corvalis TTX will be equipped with an upgraded avionics suite, new paint designs, more cabin interior choices and additional features, such as an optional Flight Into Known Icing system.

The company plans to deliver the first Corvalis TTX by the end of the year.

Cessna added the Corvalis line after it took over the assets of bankrupt Bend, Ore.-based Columbia Aircraft in late 2007, after its bid of $26.4 million was successful.

The company changed the name of the aircraft to the Corvalis and eventually moved the work to Independence and Mexico.