Cessna Aircraft’s Citation Latitude prototype has already achieved its full performance envelope, just one week after the aircraft’s maiden flight. In only its third flight, the prototype reached its maximum speed of 440 ktas/Mach 0.80 and altitude of 45,000 feet. In fact, the midsize twinjet made a direct climb to 45,000 feet with a gross takeoff weight of 29,000 pounds.
“Following last week’s first flight, we are seeing the Citation Latitude’s high-speed capabilities,” said Cessna president and CEO Scott Ernest. “The Latitude delivers a lot of firsts from Cessna: the wide fuselage, the stand-up cabin with a flat floor, autothrottles, the electric door and the improved cabin environment. Cessna’s Citation Latitude is a breakthrough aircraft in many ways, and these successful flights are a testament to our rigorous testing procedures.”
According to Cessna senior vice president of engineering Michael Thacker, “From an engineering perspective, I am very proud our team has designed an aircraft that is proceeding in a very predictable, reliable manner and displaying characteristics of a very mature system in its first few flights.”
Upcoming tests for the Latitude will focus on low-speed performance. Certification of the Latitude is expected in the second quarter of next year.