Cessna Aircraft Company, a subsidiary of Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company, announced today a successful first flight of the company’s second production Citation Latitude aircraft (Serial 002). This flight marks the latest in a series of on-time milestones for the program, all of which have occurred on or ahead of schedule.
Serial 002 is the third Citation Latitude to join the certification flight test program and is the first aircraft that will be equipped with an operational configuration, including full cabin layout and systems. It will also be the first Citation Latitude exhibited to the public, making its debut in October at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) annual event in Orlando.
“The focus of the Latitude team has been on designing and producing the highest quality aircraft, on time that meets our customers’ requirements, and today’s flight was right in line with expectations,” said Chris Hearne, vice president, Jet Aircraft. “We’re looking forward to its public debut at NBAA.
”This flight for Serial 002 lasted 2.7 hours and was flown by engineering test pilots Andrew Peters and David Stanko. Serial 002 reached a maximum altitude of 45,000 feet and a maximum speed of 305 KIAS and 0.80 Mach. During the flight, the crew evaluated the autopilot and autothrottle, landing gear, pressurization, engine operating characteristics, environmental systems, and flight control systems. This flight also marked the first time all three Citation Latitude prototypes were in the air simultaneously.
The Latitude certification flight test program has amassed more than 330 hours in more than 150 flights. Other 2014 milestones met on time include the Citation Latitude prototype’s first flight in February, Serial 001 first flight and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Type Inspection Authorization (TIA) in May, and start of production line flow in June. Final FAA type certification is expected next year.
The Citation Latitude features an all-new fuselage, creating the most open, spacious, light and refined cabin environment in the midsize category. The Latitude has the widest fuselage of any Citation jet, a flat cabin floor and 6 feet (1.83 meters) of cabin height. Cessna’s Clairity™ cabin-technology system ties into the Latitude’s advanced avionics center to provide connectivity and entertainment to each passenger through their personal electronic devices.The Citation Latitude accommodates up to nine passengers, can reach a flight level of 43,000 feet (13,106 meters) in just 23 minutes and has a range of up to 2,500 nautical miles (4,630 kilometers). It is designed with a powerful new cabin cooling system, a pressurization system providing a 6,000-foot (1,829-meter) cabin altitude at the aircraft’s maximum operating altitude of 45,000 feet (13,716 meters), an electronically-operated cabin door and Garmin G5000 avionics, two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW306D engines, and auto-throttle capabilities.
Today’s news reflects the company’s focus on continued investment in general aviation’s most extensive product lineup. In addition to the Citation Latitude, the company recently achieved FAA certification for the Citation X+ and has the new Citation CJ3+ coming to market within the coming year.
More than 6,600 Citations have been delivered to customers around the world since the first Cessna Citation business jet was put into service in 1972. Citations are the largest fleet of business jets in the world and have surpassed 30 million flight hours.