NBAA Convention News

Cessna testing the waters with a follow-on to Sovereign, Citation X

 - November 8, 2006, 5:04 AM

Cessna is offering NBAA attendees a sneak peek of what its next Citation might look like. Visitors to the Wichita aircraft manufacturer’s booth (No. 5133) can tour what Cessna is calling a “large/midsize cabin concept” (LCC) mockup, gaining rare insight into what a follow-on aircraft to the Citation Sovereign and Citation X could look and feel like on the inside.

Cessna officials stress that this is not a product launch, but rather an attempt to gather market research from those touring the concept airplane. “This is a more public approach to a new aircraft program,” said Cessna director of marketing support Mark Fuhrman. “We’re seeking earlier input from customers versus our previous Citation programs.”

While no specific performance specifications have been announced yet, visitors can sign up at the Cessna booth to attend private briefings where two potential performance concepts will be discussed, after which Cessna will poll attendees about which one they prefer.

“This is the next natural place to take our XLS, Sovereign and Citation X customers,” said Jack Pelton, Cessna chairman, CEO and president. “It’s not intended to compete with the large-cabin Gulfstreams.” Pelton said that the LCC aircraft  would need an engine in the 10,000-pound-thrust class.

According to Cessna, the nine-passenger, two-pilot unnamed concept Citation would have provisions for a flight attendant, life rafts and meal ovens. The LCC would offer a wider floor with standing room equivalent to a large-cabin Gulfstream with more seated headroom, thanks to external cabin frames that allow the floor to be cut further into the fuselage structure. Further, the jet is expected to have “intercontinental range,” Cessna told NBAA Convention News. No price or program timeline was mentioned for the larger Citation.