The first production Cessna Citation CJ3+ made its maiden flight yesterday from the company’s manufacturing facility at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport. Production flight-test pilot Mark Tuttle said all systems performed as expected during the 73-minute flight. The new twinjet, the latest in the CitationJet family, which was announced on March 20, is expected to receive FAA certification later this year. Features include a Garmin G3000 flight deck and upgraded interior and systems. The nine-seat CJ3+ is expected to receive single-pilot certification and has a range of 2,070 nm.
Cessna Aircraft’s second production Citation Latitude (S/N 002) made its first flight on Friday. During the 2.7-hour flight, the crew evaluated the autopilot, autothrottle, landing gear, pressurization, engine operating characteristics, environmental systems and flight control systems. This flight also marked the first time all three Citation Latitude prototypes were in the air simultaneously. S/N 002 is the third Citation Latitude to join the certification flight-test program and is the first that will be equipped with a full cabin.
Textron Aviation’s Cessna subsidiary announced yesterday that it is adding to its investments in diesel engine technology, with the new diesel-powered Turbo Skyhawk JT-A joining the single-engine product line. The Skyhawk JT-A is on display at the Textron pavilion this week at EAA AirVenture 2014.
Al Gorthy’s recent NBAA webinar Runway Excursions, the Biz Av Perspective began with a recap of a few recent overrun accidents for perspective, namely those involving a Cessna Citation at Santa Monica, a Bombardier Challenger at Aspen and the Gulfstream GIV at Bedford, Massachusetts. According to Gorthy, who is the FAA’s assistant regional runway safety program manager, “75 percent of all business jet excursions happen on a dry runway more than 5,000 feet long.” Between 1995 and 2010, there were 660 runway excursions in the U.S., or about 44 each year.
As aircraft membership club Wheels Up celebrates its first anniversary next Friday, founder and CEO Kenny Dichter said the company has expanded in line with initial projections and he predicted even more growth in the coming year. “We currently have 28 airplanes, nearly 600 members and are on target for meeting and exceeding our business objectives. In a short time, we are a major player in the private aviation industry,” he said.
Second-quarter revenues at Textron Aviation, which includes Cessna and Beechcraft, climbed $623 million year-over-year, to $1.18 billion, reflecting the Beechcraft acquisition in late March and higher jet deliveries. Textron Aviation delivered 70 turbine business aircraft during the quarter–36 Cessna Citations and 34 Beechcraft Kings Airs, up from 20 jets and 14 King Air turboprops in the same period last year.
Textron has assembled a new flight simulator manufacturing and training company–TRU Simulation + Training–that its leaders believe will offer strong competition to entrenched players FlightSafety International and CAE.
Aircraft Structures International (ASIC) plans to install the P&WC PT6A-140 turboprop in the Cessna Grand Caravan and the original Caravan with STCs in place by year-end. Branded the Ultimate Caravan, it will provide owners of older Caravans performance similar to that of the Cessna Grand Caravan EX, according to ASIC.
In a deal announced this June, Cessna Aircraft is providing factory custom refurbishment for 10 Citation Excels and XLSes for Wheels Up, the New York City-based aircraft access membership program established by Marquis Jet Card founder Kenny Dichter. Wheels Up debuted one of the Citations at New York Westchester County Airport in June.
The new Textron Aviation is here at Farnborough (Outdoor Exhibit L2) to show a portfolio of current production aircraft that are available in special mission configurations. The company is displaying a special mission Beechcraft King Air 350ER among other aircraft.
In March, Providence, Rhode Island-based Textron acquired the parent company of Beechcraft for $1.4 billion. It then combined Beechcraft and the former Hawker with its own Cessna Aircraft subsidiary to create Textron Aviation, offering a range of single-engine piston, turboprop and jet aircraft.