Despite the financial shockwaves emanating from Wall Street, engine and avionics manufacturer Honeywell Aerospace sees a strong appetite for business airplanes in the next 10 years based on results of its newly released 17th annual market forecast.
Cessna Citation Sovereign
Calling it one of the most complex design efforts ever undertaken in the field of avionics, Honeywell engineering executives were popping champagne corks last month in celebration of the freshly issued FAA papers certifying the Primus Epic integrated avionics system.
In those first 100 years, the human race soared from Kill Devil Hills, N.C., to the moon and back, and the corporate aircraft eventually became the boardroom and the office. But as NBAA gathers in central Florida for the second year in a row–and just two years removed from 9/11– security and access to airports and airspace have taken on new urgency and meaning.
Ongoing software integration problems are forcing at least two airframe manufacturers into the unenviable position of having to stretch aircraft certification schedules to give Honeywell engineers time to troubleshoot a variety of technical issues that are manifesting themselves in the Primus Epic avionics system.
Cessna received FAA certification of the Citation XLS+ on June 2. New features of this upgraded version of the Excel/XLS series include Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics, fadec-controlled Pratt & Whitney Canada PW545C engines, seven-knot faster maximum cruise speed, extended nose contour and expanded seat widths. Deliveries of the $11.595 million XLS+ should begin by year-end.
Precision Pattern of Wichita, a subsidiary of DeCrane Aircraft’s Cabin Management Group, has been selected by Cessna Aircraft to provide cabinetry for the Citation Sovereign and the recently announced Citation CJ3. PPI (Booth No. 1133) provided the cabinetry for both the Sovereign and CJ3 mockups at NBAA (Booth No. 5277), including galleys, closets, entertainment cabinets, storage cabinets, tables, arm ledges, bulkheads and vanity assemblies.
“To date, all major milestones have been completed on or ahead of schedule,” noted Cessna Citation Sovereign senior product director Brad Thress. “This week’s NBAA Convention is the Sovereign’s first public appearance, and we are proud to show it with a completed interior and exterior.”
Wichita-based Cessna Aircraft is continuing to make progress on the development and certification activities of its super-midsize Citation Sovereign. Announced at the 1998 NBAA Convention, the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW306C-powered Sovereign will have an NBAA IFR range exceeding 2,500 nm (two crew and eight passengers), an mtow of 29,250 lb, a 454-kt max cruise speed and a 47,000-ft ceiling.
On April 28 Cessna rolled out the first production version of the XLS+, the latest version of the Citation that entered production in 1998 as the Excel. The first production XLS+ was scheduled to receive exterior paint and interior installation after the rollout, while the two flight-test XLS+s continue flying toward mid-year FAA certification and deliveries by the end of the year.
FlightSafety International plans a $2.5 million, 28,600-sq-ft expansion to its Cessna Learning Center in Wichita to enable the addition of simulators for the Citation Excel, Citation X and the new Citation Sovereign now under development. The expanded facility also will have space for two more simulators. Construction was expected to start soon. Currently, the Cessna Learning Center has 10 simulators.