Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, is celebrating another testing milestone with the Citation Latitude. In only the aircraft’s third flight, the Latitude prototype has successfully achieved full envelope performance for maximum speed (440 KTAS, 506 mph), Mach speed (0.80) and altitude (45,000 ft). The aircraft was cleared for a direct climb to 45,000 ft with a gross takeoff weight of 29,000 pounds.
Scott Ernest, Cessna president and CEO, says: “Following last week’s first flight, we are seeing the Citation Latitude’s high-speed capabilities. The Latitude is an aircraft that delivers a lot of firsts from Cessna – the wide fuselage, the stand-up cabin with a flat floor, auto-throttles, the electric door and the improved cabin environment. All these achievements stem from listening to the voice of the customer and getting down to the business of delivering what customers need and desire. Cessna’s Citation Latitude is a breakthrough aircraft in many ways, and these successful flights are a testament to our rigorous testing procedures. The Citation Latitude is a clear and resounding affirmation of Cessna’s commitment to new product development, and we feel it delivers an incredible amount of performance and style to the mid-size category.”
Michael Thacker, Cessna senior vice president of engineering, says: “From an engineering perspective, I am very proud our team has designed an aircraft that is proceeding in a very predictable, reliable manner and displaying characteristics of a very mature system in its first few flights.”
The next tests for the Latitude will focus on low-speed performance. Certification for the Citation Latitude is expected in the second quarter of 2015.