According to Cessna Citation Encore+ program manager Lynn Young, the program is on track to reach FAA certification in the third quarter. An Encore+ prototype that has been fitted with one of the FADEC-equipped Pratt & Whitney Canada PW535B turbofans has been flying since February, logging 40 hours over 20 flights at press time.
A production-conforming Encore+, complete with two PW535Bs and a Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics suite, is undergoing ground tests and was expected to join the flight-test program before the end of last month. Dubbed P1 (for production unit number one), the aircraft will be used for avionics testing. After engaging in flight tests for several months, P1 will then be taken out of service temporarily in late summer to install, and later test, the Encore+’s new interior, which will include LED cabin lights and other refinements.
When the aircraft was unveiled at the NBAA Convention in November, Cessna said deliveries would start in the second quarter of next year. However, Young told AIN last month that Encore+ deliveries are now planned to begin in the first quarter of next year.