On Monday February 26, the Cessna Citation Longitude test aircraft (N707CL) that was at the Singapore Airshow last month routed through Farnborough, UK. The type is now awaiting certification from the FAA “early in 2018” and from EASA some six months later, according to v-p sales Europe for Textron Aviation Tom Perry who was also on a flight that took journalists out over Wales from TAG Farnborough Airport. The first European order came from Travel Service of the Czech Republic, and was announced in May 2017. Certification of the “up to 12”-passenger plus two-crew Longitude, with a list price of $27 million, was originally slated for the end of 2017.
One of the reasons for the flight was to demonstrate to the media that the Longitude, according to Textron Aviation, has “the quietest cabin in the industry,” thanks to features such as damped flooring, isolated interior panels, and acoustic windows, as well as excellent performance credentials.
The flight stepped up gradually to 43,000 feet over Wales but cabin altitude was just 5,500 feet, thanks to the 9.6 psi pressure differential. An uninterrupted time to climb would have been 16 minutes to FL430 (rather than the 23 minutes taken). Takeoff weight was 33,000 pounds, 8,000 of which was fuel.
During the demo flight, the cabin was quiet enough to allow normal conversation.
Perry told journalists, “Textron has painstakingly addressed each individual noise source around the airframe and taken soundproofing measures to counter the exact frequency of them all. This is in addition to overall soundproofing for the entire fuselage and noise-reducing doors at the front and rear of the cabin interior. The noise which you do hear is literally the slight aerodynamic sound from antennas along the fuselage.”
Fuel burn for the first hour of flight (takeoff and climb to cruise) was approximately 2,400 pph (pounds per hour); and for the first couple of cruise hours it was 1,800 pph; and later (now at a lower weight), 1,600 to 1,700 pph. With four passengers, the maximum range for the aircraft would be 3,500 nm, according to Textron Aviation.
The flight departed Farnborough and received radar vectors to Portland Bill, Dorset and then toward Dawlish, Devon. There followed a turn to the north towards the “EXMOR” waypoint (Exmoor) via Brecon, and further toward Liverpool before a right turn passing by Birmingham and Oxford and back to in ILS approach to Runway 06 at Farnborough. Landing weight was 30,300 pounds, showing a fuel burn of 2,700 pounds for the 1-hr 10-min flight.
Inside the cabin, there is a remote control phone or tablet app for opreating IFE and controlling the window shades on the large cabin windows. And there is even a window in the lavatory. The baggage hold is accessible during flight. An optional galley feature is a high-power electrical outlet allowing an ordinary expresso coffee machine or microwave oven to be added.