Cessna Spools Up Citation Latitude Production Line

 - June 19, 2014, 3:30 PM
As Cessna Aircraft starts up the Citation Latitude production line, two flying examples have logged 100 flights and 230 hours since the prototype made its maiden flight in February. The midsize jet is slated to obtain FAA certification in the second quarter of next year. (Photo: Cessna Aircraft)

Cessna started full assembly-line flow on the Citation Latitude at its manufacturing facilities in Wichita, the company announced yesterday. Assembly of the midsize business jet includes several technological advancements, according to Cessna, such as the use of new automated robotics and ergonomically friendly tooling stations.

“We are not only bringing technological advances to the design of our new products, but also to the way we manufacture [them],” said Scott Ernest, CEO of parent Textron Aviation. “The Latitude is a perfect example of combining a new design with many of the latest advances in manufacturing technology.”

The first aircraft off the production line will be the fourth flight-test Latitude to participate in the certification program. To date, two Latitudes–a prototype and a production example–have logged 100 flights and 230 hours. A third Latitude–the second production aircraft–was mated to its wing last month and is slated to join the flight-test fleet this summer.

The Latitude prototype flew for the first time in February, and the first production copy joined the flight-test fleet last month. FAA certification is on track for the second quarter of next year.