First Production Citation Sovereign Takes Flight

 - April 30, 2013, 4:20 PM
The first production copy of the new Cessna Citation Sovereign make its first flight on Wednesday, April 24, from Wichita Mid-Continent Airport. After being outfitted with an interior and getting a coat of paint, this very aircraft will be delivered to a customer in the third quarter. (Photo: Cessna Aircraft)

The first production copy of Cessna’s new Citation Sovereign completed its maiden flight last Wednesday, logging more than 2.5 hours in the Kansas sky. The flight included tests of its Garmin G5000 avionics with autothrottles, as well as the autopilot, engines and aircraft systems. The aircraft took off and landed at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport, where Cessna’s main manufacturing facilities are located.

“The aircraft handling characteristics and performance were exceptional, just as we had anticipated after flying more than 1,300 hours in three flight-test articles,” said Cessna production flight-test pilot Matt Freund.

Launched last fall at the NBAA Convention, the new $17.8 million twinjet features winglets, more powerful Pratt & Whitney Canada PW306D engines, cabin improvements and the aforementioned new avionics. Specifications include a 3,000-nm range and top speed of 458 knots.

Deliveries of the “block point change” Sovereign are expected to start in the third quarter, Cessna parent company Textron said during an April 17 investor call.