Cessna Aircraft Company, part of the Textron Aviation segment of Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT), announced today at the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) recent milestones in the certification program of the new Cessna Citation Latitude midsize business jet. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted a Type Inspection Authorization (TIA) certificate and the first production unit has joined the flight test program.
The TIA for the Citation Latitude is a significant step toward certification as it allows Cessna to begin accumulating flight hours that will apply toward official certification. More than 60 flights and 130 hours have been flown in the Citation Latitude test program to date. In February, the Citation Latitude prototype flew for the first time and achieved full envelope performance for maximum speed (440 KTAS, 506 mph), Mach speed (0.80) and altitude (45,000 feet) in its third flight. Earlier this month, the first Citation Latitude production unit joined the test program and quickly verified full envelope performance.
“All systems are performing as expected on the Citation Latitude prototype and first production aircraft, and we’re eager to continue the progress in this next stage of flight testing,” said Chris Hearne, vice president, Business Jets. “We have an aggressive certification program that is possible because the Citation Latitude uses proven Cessna technologies and mature systems, and our team has experience bringing new aircraft to the marketplace.
”The wing of the second Citation Latitude production unit has been mated to the fuselage as the aircraft progresses down the assembly line in Wichita, Kan. The second production Latitude is expected to join the flight test program this summer, at the same time full assembly line flow begins. FAA type certification for the Citation Latitude is expected in the second quarter of 2015.
Cessna engineers developed an all-new fuselage for the Citation Latitude, 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 seat-mounted touch-screen displays or personal electronic devices.
The two-pilot 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 and auto-throttle capabilities.