Sierra Industries announced a new performance upgrade program today for the legacy Cessna 525/CitationJet, which includes the CitationJet, CJ1 and CJ1+. Dubbed Sapphire, the upgrade is billed as a “comprehensive package of modifications that will enhance performance, reliability and comfort.” Some 660 CitationJets, CJ1s and CJ1+s are potential candidates for the Sapphire program.
Major aspects include replacement of the original engines with more efficient powerplants, new NextGen-capable avionics suite, airframe/aerodynamic refinements and interior upgrades. The engine retrofit will include dual-channel Fadec and redesigned engine pylons and nacelles for improved aerodynamics.
A number of other enhancements are also planned, such as a higher max takeoff weight and service ceiling, aerodynamic modifications to reduce wing loading and drag, integrated in-flight Internet connectivity and custom-designed interior upgrades. Performance improvements are expected to include gains in speed and range, reductions in takeoff distance and time-to-climb and better reliability and fuel efficiency, as well as reductions in emissions and noise.
A Sierra spokesman told AIN that details about the replacement engine and avionics will be released within the next week, as will pricing and preliminary performance numbers. The company expects to have the upgrade package STC’d by late next year or early 2016 .