“Had the show been later in the year, we definitely would have launched the Large Cabin Concept [LCC] airplane here at the NBAA Convention,” Cessna chairman, president and CEO Jack Pelton told NBAA Convention News. “We’re ready to go.” The Wichita aircraft manufacturer unveiled the LCC cabin mockup and revealed basic details about the twinjet at last year’s NBAA show but has yet to officially green light the project.
Still, Pelton said the company is internally moving on the LCC as if it’s a “go program,” meaning Cessna is spending real money on the design and has begun vendor selection for its largest business jet to-date. An official launch decision is “definitely” scheduled for the first quarter, and the Pelton is “99.9 percent sure” that the LCC will indeed be launched. “The launch really is an issue of timing for us,” he noted. Provided that the go-ahead is given early next year, Pelton said the LCC will enter service in late 2013.
“We’re very excited about the LCC–it’s the perfect step airplane for our customers,” he added. And customers who have toured the mockup–which has now been at two NBAA Conventions, EBACE and the Paris Air Show–and reviewed the performance and specification data have told Cessna that it is offering the right airplane, Pelton said. “The LCC has the right field performance, comfort, speed and range.” Preliminary specifications of the LCC include a Mach 0.80 cruise speed and 4,000-nm NBAA IFR range.
According to Cessna senior vice president of marketing and sales Roger Whyte, customer feedback about the LCC mockup has been overwhelmingly positive. He said potential customers like the airplane’s performance numbers, but they have been “raving” about the cabin itself, including the dimensions, modern design and, especially, the bathroom with the glass sink. “People are just encouraging us all the time to build the LCC,” he added.
So far, Cessna has conducted low- and high-speed wind-tunnels tests on the LCC and has been negotiating with suppliers, Whyte told NBAA Convention News. “We’ve done a fair amount of design work on the LCC,” he said. “We know what the aerodynamic layout will be, and there’s still a lot of work ahead of us but we’re well on our way.”
The next step is to get board approval from parent company Textron, and Pelton said yesterday that he gave a board presentation about the LCC on Tuesday.