The third Cessna Citation Longitude joined the flight-test fleet on Friday, making a one hour, 40 minute maiden flight from Wichita Beech Field, where the super-midsize business jet model will be manufactured. According to FlightAware, the twinjet—registered as N702GL—reached an altitude of 13,600 feet and speeds up to 256 knots during the flight.
Test pilots Corey Eckhart and UJ Pesonen, along with flight-test engineer Mike Bradfield, successfully tested various systems, according to Textron Aviation. The aircraft will be used for avionics and systems development, as well as collecting flight simulator data, it added.
The third aircraft joins the test program less than six months after the first Longitude flew. To date, the first two flight-test aircraft have completed 125 flights, logging more than 250 hours. Certification of the Citation Longitude is expected by year-end, Textron Aviation said.
Meanwhile, the company has started assembly line flow in the company’s east campus Plant IV manufacturing facility at Beech Field, with the first four production Longitudes currently on the line.