Cessna Aircraft, in a relatively quiet ceremony on Monday, rolled out the first production unit of the new Citation X upgrade at its Wichita, Kansas manufacturing facility. A crowd of some 200 Cessna employees hailed the rollout and CEO Scott Ernest claimed that the 8- to 12-passenger twinjet, with a top speed of Mach 0.935, is the fastest (though not yet certified) civilian aircraft in the world. (The certified Gulfstream G650 has a maximum speed of Mach 0.925.)
Though business aviation is still young in China, the country has been quick to make clear its intention not just to be a consumer of imported business aircraft, but to be active as a manufacturer of them too. So far, partnerships with foreign airframers have been the main path to this goal, but now China’s Avic group has started work on its own design for what it calls the China New Generation Business Jet.
Cessna Aircraft rolled out the first production copy of the new Citation X yesterday at its Wichita manufacturing facility, to the applause of some 200 Cessna employees. The upgraded twinjet was first announced at the 2010 NBAA Convention.
For all the excitement that business aviation is stirring up among Chinese high-net-worth individuals, there are two groups of products that they do not seem ready to embrace: light jets and pre-owned aircraft. For now, the market remains resolutely focused on larger, long-range jets and brand-new models ordered straight from the factory.
Cessna is making rapid progress with its efforts to operate in China through joint ventures formed with China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co. (CAIGA), the Wichita-based company said today at ABACE in Shanghai. The joint venture with CAIGA involves building Cessna 208 Grand Caravan EXs in Shijiazhuang and Cessna Citation XLS+s in Zhuhai for the Chinese market.
Cessna Aircraft (Chalet 190) announced here at ABACE 2013 yesterday that sales are up 50 percent in China from 2011 through 2012, and up in Asia Pacific overall. Meanwhile, the company is making rapid progress with its efforts to operate in China through joint ventures formed with China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co. (CAIGA) in Shijiazhuang and Zhuhai. The joint venture with CAIGA involves building Cessna 208 Grand Caravan EXs (Shijiazhuang) and Cessna Citation XLS+ business jets (Zhuhai) for the Chinese market.
Production of Cessna Aircraft’s new Citation Latitude is on schedule, and the company expects that full airframes will be on the manufacturing lines by year-end. The midsize business jet is scheduled to fly in the first quarter of next year. The Wichita-based aircraft manufacturer has already started building test articles, and has moved from engineering, analysis and modeling to cutting metal. Meanwhile, Cessna started a 19-city tour in the U.S. last week that showcases a Citation Latitude cabin mockup.
Maybe for general aviation to survive, we need more disruption. An article published in Wired magazine (Clayton Christensen Wants to Transform Capitalism, by Jeff Howe) discussed how successful companies often fail to recognize that new companies with “disruptive innovations” are about to take over their marketplace.
Cessna Aircraft rolled out the 400th production Citation CJ3 from its production facility in Wichita yesterday. The light business jet is in its ninth year of service, Cessna noted. “This milestone is testimony to the CJ line,” said Don Beverlin, business leader for the CJ line, which currently includes the CJ2+, CJ3 and CJ4. “The Cessna operators who build and the technicians who service the CJ products take great pride in providing the customer with a safe, reliable product that meets all their transportation needs.
The FAA is adopting an airworthiness directive (AD) for the Cessna 750 Citation X prompted by reports of loss of displayed airspeed.