The pace of airplane introductions in the first half of the year has bordered
Cessna Citation Sovereign
Considering the circumstances, NBAA, its membership and participants in the association’s 2001 convention in New Orleans were generally satisfied, despite the reduced numbers of attendees and exhibitors. This year, despite a struggling U.S. economy, show organizers for the Orlando event expect a show equal in scale to what had originally been anticipated in New Orleans.
The first Citation Sovereign production aircraft, S/N 001, completed its first flight June 27, “several weeks ahead of schedule,” according to Cessna Aircraft. During the 1.8-hr flight, tests included stability and control, configuration changes and engine operation, including in-flight restarts.
Pratt & Whitney Canada has received certification of its new PW306C turbofan engine from both Transport Canada and the FAA. The PW306C is the latest addition to the eight-model PW300 family and has a flat-rated thrust of 5,686 lb. Cessna’s Citation Sovereign is the launch aircraft for the PW306C. The Sovereign flew for the first time with twin PW306Cs in February.
Spriggs completed the first test run of the Citation Sovereign’s Pratt & Whitney Canada PW306C engines on January 11. Said Rice, “The test run went well and the program is on schedule. The engines were calibrated at all power settings up to takeoff thrust and the thrust reversers have also been tested.” On January 26 the pilots completed the first taxi test of the prototype.
Cessna said flight testing of its wing design on the Citation Sovereign verified engineering data that increases the super-midsize jet’s Mmo from the originally announced Mach 0.78 to Mach 0.80. Currently, the three conforming Sovereign test aircraft have logged more than 670 hours in 370 flights. Airframe structural fatigue testing and the majority of static strength certification conditions have been completed.
When the Citation Sovereign receives certification, expected before year-end, it will include modifications that reduce lateral control forces. According to Cessna, initial flight tests showed lateral forces at high speeds of 40 to 50 pounds for roll rates of less than 10 degrees per second.
Cessna Aircraft last month unveiled the Citation XLS, a faster and longer-legged derivative of the Citation Excel with a price tag of $9.895 million and described as “a logical step up for customers moving up from smaller light jets.”
Bombardier’s Learjet 40 and 45XR were set to receive UK Civil Aviation Authority approval to operate into London City Airport (LCY) before the end of last month. Europe sales director Trevor Lambath told the EBAA Forum that a Learjet 45 completed validation flights at the downtown gateway during the second week of last month.
As the business aviation industry awakens from its three-year slumber, start-up and established manufacturers hope that their aircraft now in the works, as well as those that recently received certification, will take sales revenue to new heights. While this list of new aircraft includes many derivatives, more than half of the proposed aircraft are actually clean-sheet designs.