Cessna’s Columbus Sails through Wind-tunnel Tests

 - August 14, 2008, 11:51 AM

Cessna yesterday said it completed a series of wind-tunnel tests for its large-cabin Citation Columbus. Results from the tests in low- and high-speed wind tunnels will be analyzed in the coming months, though Cessna said that preliminary data analysis revealed no surprises. “Low-speed wind-tunnel testing has allowed us to optimize flaps and slats for making our landing and low-speed goals achievable,” said Cessna senior manager of aerodynamics and new product analysis Greg Rincker. “In the high-speed tests, we have been fine-tuning the wing airfoils and planform for more efficient manufacturability, lighter weight and the needs of systems such as landing gear and anti-ice protection,” he said. Cessna technicians used a complete model of the Citation Columbus to generate data to fine-tune the airplane’s low-speed attributes at a facility in San Diego. At another low-speed wind tunnel near Toulouse, France, Cessna’s aerodynamics group used a semi-span model of the Columbus weighing nearly 3,000 pounds, the largest model ever tested by Cessna, to generate low-speed data at typical flight operating conditions. The $27 million Citation Columbus is slated for FAA certification in late 2013, with deliveries beginning in 2014.