The wing and fuselage of the first production Citation M2 were mated this week at Cessna Aircraft’s facility in Wichita. Certification of the M2, an upgraded Citation CJ1 with Garmin G3000 avionics and more powerful Williams FJ44 engines, is expected later this year. Now that the wing mate is completed, the engine installation phase has started and will be followed by functional testing of the aircraft systems, including avionics, hydraulics and flight controls.
Cessna Citation Excel
Textron, parent company of Cessna Aircraft, held its first-quarter 2013 earnings call yesterday, and the news was not particularly uplifting for its Wichita-based business segment. Customers in the light jet market, who tend to be small business owners, continue to defer purchase decisions, “reflecting continued concerns about their financial outlook,” said Textron chairman and CEO Scott Donnelly. As a result, he continued, Cessna delivered 32 new jets in the first quarter, six fewer than the same quarter last year, “resulting in a segment loss in the quarter of $8 million.”
Though business aviation is still young in China, the country has been quick to make clear its intention not just to be a consumer of imported business aircraft, but to be active as a manufacturer of them too. So far, partnerships with foreign airframers have been the main path to this goal, but now China’s Avic group has started work on its own design for what it calls the China New Generation Business Jet.
Cessna Aircraft rolled out the first production copy of the new Citation X yesterday at its Wichita manufacturing facility, to the applause of some 200 Cessna employees. The upgraded twinjet was first announced at the 2010 NBAA Convention.
Cessna Aircraft rolled out the first New Citation Sovereign yesterday from its Wichita manufacturing facility. Announced in October at the NBAA Convention, the upgraded Sovereign features improved cabin cooling, Garmin G5000 avionics with autothrottles, a new cabin management system and winglets.
Cessna Aircraft brought a fuselage mockup of what it describes as the basis for a new series of light jets to the NBAA Convention this week in Orlando, Fla. The airframer is seeking customer input on the design as it begins to narrow down specifications for an eventual product launch. New this year at its NBAA booth, Cessna is also offering a virtual-reality simulation of several of its aircraft, which allows guests to immerse themselves in the cabins and instantly change various features.
Honeywell will supply Cessna with key systems for the latter’s new Latitude and Longitude jets in a deal announced this week at NBAA2012 that could be worth up to $800 million over the production life of the two aircraft. Cessna has selected Honeywell’s Laseref VI inertial navigation system, Primus HF-1050 high-frequency radios, digital cabin pressure control and monitoring system and environmental control system for both aircraft and the RE100 auxiliary power unit for the Latitude.
Cessna Aircraft launched a new version of its midsize Citation Sovereign today at the NBAA Convention, and invited show attendees to visit the new aircraft, which has been under development for the past year-and-a-half, at the static display. President and CEO Scott Ernest revealed that three of the upgraded Sovereigns are currently flying and have thus far accumulated approximately 800 flight-test hours.
NBAA’s No Plane-No Gain information campaign was created several years ago to combat the image of business aircraft portrayed in mainstream media as the private conveyances for top-level company executives heading to a teetime.
Six months after launching its midsize Citation Latitude, Cessna Aircraft today at EBACE announced a $25.9 million stretched version–the Longitude–that will fly 4,000 nm at Mach 0.82. First flight is scheduled for 2016, with entry into service in 2017. “The aircraft is long on range, high on value and low on price,” Cessna president and CEO Scott Ernest said at the unveiling.