Wheels Up displayed its first Cessna-refurbished Citation XLS during a preview event yesterday at Westchester County Airport in White Plains, N.Y. The company announced in December that it would add refurbished Citation Sovereigns and Excel/XLSs to its closed membership fleet of King Air 350is. The recently delivered XLS is one of 10 it will take this year. By year-end, Wheels Up expects to have 27 King Air 350is, 10 Citation Excel/XLSs and five VistaJet Global 5000s.
Cessna Citation Excel
Cessna Aircraft received an FAA Type Inspection Authorization (TIA) certificate for the Citation Latitude, the Wichita-based aircraft manufacturer announced this week at EBACE. The TIA allows Cessna to begin accumulating flight hours that will apply toward certification.
Cessna Aircraft’s Citation Latitude prototype has logged more than 65 hours over some 30 flights since making its maiden jaunt on February 18, Chris Hearne, Textron Aviation senior v-p of business jets, told AIN yesterday here at ABACE 2014.
Through its recent acquisitions of aircraft charter/management specialist Sterling Aviation in Wisconsin and Seattle-based Galvin Flying Services, which managed several aircraft in addition to providing FBO services, Landmark Aviation has boosted its charter fleet by 18 aircraft. Among the dozen based at General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee are a Challenger 604, a Hawker 850XP and a Citation Sovereign, while a Challenger 300 and Citation Excel are among the six at King County Airport/Boeing Field.
Cessna Aircraft’s Citation Latitude prototype has already achieved its full performance envelope, just one week after the aircraft’s maiden flight. In only its third flight, the prototype reached its maximum speed of 440 ktas/Mach 0.80 and altitude of 45,000 feet. In fact, the midsize twinjet made a direct climb to 45,000 feet with a gross takeoff weight of 29,000 pounds.
A prototype of Cessna’s newest midsize jet offering, the Citation Latitude, flew for the first time on Tuesday, lifting off from Wichita Mid-Continent Airport at 10 a.m. local time with senior flight-test pilots Aaron Tobias and Marcus Mannella in the left and right seats, respectively.
Between deliveries, aftermarket upgrades, maintenance expansions and prototypes, Cessna Aircraft Company (Booth No. C8843) has a lot to talk about concerning its current and upcoming Citation products during NBAA 13.
Cessna Aircraft painted a picture of its mixed fortunes at its NBAA press conference yesterday, with CEO Scott Ernest saying the company was making good progress on its marquis development programs–the new Citation Latitude and Longitude–while acknowledging problems with single-engine piston products, and continuing quarterly financial losses.
With the exception of the heavy jet category, charter flight demand seems to be tailing off at the end of the Northern Hemisphere summer vacation season. The latest forward-looking demand index from online charter portal Avinode shows demand dipping for light and midsize jets over the next 30 days.
FlightSafety International announced a “significant” expansion of the training the company offers for Cessna Citations and Caravans at its learning centers in Orlando, Fla.; San Antonio and Wichita. This includes training for the full Citation Excel/XLS series in Orlando, including a new level-D XLS+ sim outfitted with Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics; addition of the only existing CJ2+ simulator in San Antonio; and a Cessna Caravan simulator equipped with a Garmin G600 avionics suite that just came online in Wichita.
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