A prototype of Cessna’s newest midsize jet offering, the Citation Latitude, flew for the first time on Tuesday, lifting off from Wichita Mid-Continent Airport at 10 a.m. local time with senior flight-test pilots Aaron Tobias and Marcus Mannella in the left and right seats, respectively.
Over the nearly 2.5-hour flight, the crew tested the flaps, landing gear, pressurization systems, anti-ice capabilities, stability and control. “The Citation Latitude was great today, which is to say it behaved just as anticipated,” Tobias said shortly after touching down at 12:21 p.m.
The twinjet–which fuses a new, larger fuselage with the wings, tail and systems of the Citation Sovereign+–reached 28,000 feet and 200 knots on the maiden flight. With the new fuselage, the Latitude has the widest cabin of any Citation, and it is the only Cessna jet with a flat floor. It also features Garmin G5000 avionics and an electrically operated door.
Cessna expects FAA certification of the Latitude, which will fill a niche between the Citation XLS+ and Sovereign+, in the second quarter of next year. The company launched the $14.9 million jet at the 2011 NBAA Convention.