Cessna’s newest light business jet, the Citation CJ3, completed its first two flights from Wichita Mid-Continent Airport on April 17. This is the first time the company has done both a first flight and a second flight on the same day.
Cessna last month announced that all Citation CJ3s will now be equipped from the factory with a standard FMS performance database, providing takeoff and landing performance data. The CJ3 comes with a Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics system and FMS-3000 flight management system. As part of the FMS performance database, Cessna said V-speeds will be calculated and displayed on the PFD.
The latest member of the CitationJet family, the CJ4, is beginning to take shape on jigs and fixtures at Cessna’s headquarters in Wichita. “The first test airplane is in build status,” said Norm Baker, Citation CJ4 program manager. “We have a lot of parts and pieces coming together and are looking forward to those loading into our major assembly jigs.”
Cessna’s first Citation CJ3 light jet rolled off the production line on Friday, February 13 at the company’s Wichita facility. The six-passenger airplane, announced at the 2002 NBAA Convention, is expected to receive type certification this summer. Cessna said its CJ3 order book stands at more than 100 aircraft.
A day after news of the NetJets order for 50 Hawker 400XPs, Cessna Aircraft parent company Textron announced that it expects no financial impact from the fractional provider’s earlier cancellation of an order for 50 Citation CJ3s. The company expects the canceled order, applied to jets slated for delivery in the late 2005 to 2008 timeframe, to be reallocated to existing customer orders.
Prompted by inquiries last week from AIN, Cessna today will confirm in a short press release that it is introducing the Citation CJ4 at the NBAA Convention in October.
Cessna’s Citation CJ4 isn’t just another derivative of the CitationJet family–it is a clean-sheet design that incorporates some of the best features found in other Citations. “It has the best of the Encore-plus’s cockpit and cabin, the Mustang’s wide cabin door, Sovereign-style wing performance and the CJ3’s external baggage capacity,” said Citation 500-series product marketing manager Brett Palmiero.
Cessna formally launched two new business twinjets at last month’s NBAA Convention, making the Citation CJ4 and XLS+ the latest in a steady sequence of airplane introductions by the Wichita manufacturer.
In its first-quarter earnings report, Textron said that of the 55 Citations its Cessna division delivered (compared with 33 in the first quarter last year), 50 percent were the CJ3, XLS and Sovereign–all new within the last year. Textron said that during the quarter, Cessna booked orders for 73 Citations, better than it expected.
Expect Cessna at the NBAA Convention next month to announce the Citation CJ4, a stretched version of the CJ3 with a slightly swept wing based on the Sovereign airfoil. The new aircraft, with a cabin 21 inches longer than the CJ3, will be powered by 3,400-pound-thrust Williams International FJ44-4 turbofans and will likely replace the Encore.
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