Cessna Aircraft’s Citation Latitude prototype has logged more than 65 hours over some 30 flights since making its maiden jaunt on February 18, Textron Aviation senior vice president of business jets Chris Hearne told AIN today at ABACE 2014.
The twinjet has already achieved its full performance envelope, reaching its maximum speed of 440 ktas/Mach 0.80 and altitude of 45,000 feet, and recently completed ground vibration and flutter testing, he added. Upcoming tests for the Latitude will focus on low-speed performance.
Meanwhile, a second Latitude is being prepped to fly “in the coming weeks,” according to Hearne. The first prototype was painted recently to ensure uninterrupted airflow for RVSM approval, he noted.
Cessna expects FAA certification of the Latitude, which will fill a niche between the Citation XLS+ and Sovereign+, in the second quarter of next year. The company launched the $14.9 million jet at the 2011 NBAA Convention.