Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, rolled out its first production unit of the new Citation X at the company’s Wichita, Kan., manufacturing facility. The new aircraft was first announced at NBAA in 2010. The new Citation X is best known for its top speed of Mach 0.935, making it the fastest civilian aircraft in the world.
“Speed is the reason for flight. It was true for Clyde Cessna in 1927, and it’s true today,” said Scott Ernest, Cessna CEO. “The Citation X is the perfect aircraft for customers wanting to move faster, be more efficient and get where they need to be more quickly than ever before.”
Employees at Cessna’s Wichita manufacturing facility celebrated the rollout. “It is exciting to see this new Citation X roll out the door. The improved capability and features of this aircraft have been received very favorably, especially with the new maximum speed of Mach 0.935. Being part of the fastest business jet in aviation is exciting for Cessnans,” said Kelly Reich, business leader for the Citation X. “Cessnans take great pride in this aircraft. It is especially satisfying to see the improvements in performance and features that have been incorporated in the new Citation X.”
The increased speed is not the only improvement for the flagship of the Citation fleet. The Citation X provides a lengthier cabin and a longer range of 3,242 nm. The increased range translates into an aircraft which can easily handle the flight from New York to London. The cockpit is equipped with the groundbreaking Garmin G5000 integrated avionics package, featuring three 14” displays and four touch screen controllers for data entry and systems control.
More than 675 flight hours have been logged on two test aircraft in the Citation X program. Cessna expects certification later this year with customer deliveries starting shortly thereafter.
The Citation X is expected to have a maximum altitude of 51,000 feet, allowing the aircraft to fly above commercial traffic or adverse weather. Perhaps the most distinct outward difference with the evolved Citation X are the winglets at the tips of the main wing which allow the aircraft to cruise efficiently at higher altitudes, allow for lower fuel consumption, and improve takeoff and landing performance at higher elevations or on hot days.