[dropcap]C[/dropcap]essna Aircraft Company (Textron Aviation Inc.) has announced the Citation Latitude will enter the market with final range and runway performance specifications that exceed previous projections. The improved specifications will be part of the aircraft’s imminent U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification. The aircraft is making its European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) debut this week at Geneva’s Palexpo static display.
With the full flight test program now complete, the aircraft performance has yielded further improvements in aircraft range and runway performance: 5,278 kilometers (2,850 nautical miles) at long-range cruise, an increase of 277 kilometers (150 nautical miles), and improved takeoff distance of 1,091 meters (3,580 feet) compared to the previously projected 1,116 meters (3,660 feet). Performance specifications at certification will also reflect the high-speed cruise range of 5,000 km (2,700 nautical miles).
“The new Citation Latitude has been a performance winner from day one – meeting or exceeding every milestone in the certification effort and winning the attention of customers with its expansive, large cabin environment and amenities,” said Scott Ernest, president and CEO. “Customers also appreciate the Latitude’s midsize acquisition price and up to 20 percent lower operating costs than competing aircraft.”
The flight test program for the Latitude began with its first flight in February 2014. Since then, the program has grown to include four test articles that have flown 690 flights and amassed 1,700 flight hours, validating the maturity of the Garmin G5000 avionics system and features such as the standard auto-throttles, cabin cooling system and new pressurization system providing a 1,813-meter (5,950-foot) cabin altitude at the aircraft’s maximum operating altitude of 13,716 meters (45,000 feet).
The Citation Latitude features an all-new fuselage accommodating up to nine passengers. Designers created the most open, spacious, bright and refined cabin environment in the midsize category with a flat cabin floor and 1.83 meters (6 feet) of cabin height. Innovation abounds with unique features designed throughout the aircraft such as the electronically-operated cabin door ushering passengers into the widest fuselage of any Citation. Cessna’s Clairity™ cabin-technology system provides connectivity and entertainment to each passenger through their personal electronic devices.
Today’s news reflects the company’s focus on continued investment in general aviation’s most extensive product lineup. When the Citation Latitude achieves certification it will be the fifth new Citation aircraft certified during the past 18 months including the Citation M2, Citation CJ3+, Citation Sovereign+ and Citation X+. The next Citation business jet expected to achieve certification following the Citation Latitude is the super midsized Citation Longitude in 2017.
More than 6,750 Citations have been delivered to customers around the world since the first Cessna Citation business jet was put into service in 1972. Citations are the largest fleet of business jets in the world and have surpassed 31 million flight hours.