Columbia Aircraft

The Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation core competencies

Aircraft Design

Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing excels at aircraft engineering and design. Evidence of this can be seen in the fact that Columbia holds two interesting distinctions. First, recognized for it's sleek lines and captivating beauty, Lancair is the only aircraft ever to have been displayed in the New York Museum of Art. Second, the Columbia aircraft chartering experts design is so efficient that it can achieve a cruise speed of 235 knots on the same powerplant that other manufacturers use on airframe designs that are up to 70 knots slower. The Columbia 400 holds the title of World's Fastest Certified Piston Aircraft – single engine or twin, fixed gear or retractable – nothing is faster. Period. End of Story.

Composite Manufacturing

Composite is a generic term for the process combining various cargo materials with resin, then applying heat as a catalyst to form a material whose strength properties are greater than the sum of the individual elements. Composite materials like fiberglass, carbon fiber and Kevlar (used in bullet-proof vests) have been used in various types of manufacturing for decades – in fact fiberglass was invented in 1713. The strength to weight ratio and their ability to be molded into compound curves and complex shapes make composites ideal for manufacturing sleek shapes commonly found on sports cars, boats, commercial and military aircraft and of course, the world's fastest production piston aircraft, the Columbia 400. Columbia aircraft use a liberal dose of carbon fiber – one of the strongest composite materials – to achieve the Utility Category certification strength of the fuselage. A Normal Category composite aircraft will not have the same structural rigidity of the Utility Category Columbia aircraft.

Aviation Technology Innovation

Columbia Aircraft has forged a reputation on bringing innovative products and product enhancements to market in the personal transportation segment of general aviation. In fact, what separates Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing from all competitors is a willingness to resist offering an option until the best solution can be developed – not simply the first solution available on the market. For instance, air-conditioning was available for many competitors before Columbia, but the systems had severe limitations that didn't meet Columbia Aircraft standards. Today, Columbia aircraft owners can purchase an aircraft with Climate Control™, the only advanced environmental system certified for all phases of flight (including take-off) Climate Control also offers a cabin pre-cool feature and allows occupants to digitally set the desired temperature so the computer can cool or heat the cabin as needed to maintain comfortable cabin surroundings.

E-Vade™ anti-icing is another example of how Columbia Aircraft developed a more elegant solution to a common problem. Rather than using the glycol-based systems on the market that require maintenance, are messy to use and have severe limitations, Columbia Aircraft developed a maintenance free electric thermal wing anti-icing feature with no moving parts, no mess and no fluid to monitor or deplete in flight. Look for more innovations as the world's premier aircraft manufacturer takes flight.

Aircraft Certification

Certifying a modern aircraft design is no easy task. Since 1978, the FAA has continually altered the stringent FAR, Part 23 regulations that govern aircraft certification. Some aircraft designs that date back 50 years, were "grandfathered" into certification without the need to meet today's standards. Columbia Aircraft however, are the only modern aircraft design certified to Utility Category standards – the highest FAA non-aerobatic classification. Additionally, Columbia aircraft were required to demonstrate spin resistance/spin recovery, offer seats that withstand 26Gs horizontally and 19Gs vertically, have roll-over protection for occupants, offer emergency egress systems and more. Many companies attempt certification and do not have the drive or expertise to see it to fruition – Columbia Aircraft is a testament to what a group of talented individuals can accomplish when driven to build the best aircraft in the world.

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The Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation (now part of Cessna)

Type: privately-held company | Industry: general aviation / light aircraft | Founded in 1980s | Headquarters in Bend, Oregon

Most notable Aircraft Columbia 300 | Columbia 350 | Columbia 400

Key Executives were

  • Mr. Wan Abd Majid Chief Executive Officer
  • Mr. Lance Neibauer - President
  • Mr. Rich Reighard - Chief Financial Officer
  • Mr. Michael Culver - Chief Operating Officer
  • Mr. Carl Young - Chief Restructuring Officer