Textron Aviation’s Cessna Citation Longitude has received its long-awaited FAA type certification, the Wichita-based OEM announced today, allowing customer deliveries of the super-midsize twin to begin. “With the broadest lineup of business aviation platforms available worldwide, today Textron Aviation welcomes the Longitude into the Citation family of products and begins a new era of solutions for our customers,” Textron Aviation president and CEO Ron Draper said. “The Longitude revolution starts now.”
In what Textron Aviation called “the most robust flight, structural and component qualification testing completed on a Citation to date,” the experimental and demo Longitude fleet completed nearly 6,000 hours of flight time, as well as 11,000 test points. During the certification process, the 3,500-nm-range Longitude also flew a 31,000-nm world tour.
“The real success of the program comes from the talent and customer focus our employees bring to work every day,” Draper added. “Their hard work and dedication have been spectacular through every step of the program, from initial concept, through design and testing, production and now into product support.”
Certification of the Longitude was originally expected about two years ago when Textron Aviation revealed plans for the 12-seat business jet—and brought a full-size mockup to the static display—at the 2015 NBAA Convention in Las Vegas. But at least one issue—fuel tank flammability—hampered Textron Aviation’s certification timeline for more than a year and a half while the manufacturer sought an exemption, which the FAA granted on June 26.
Last year at the NBAA Convention in Orlando, NetJets agreed to purchase up to 175 Longitudes, including an option to take first deliveries in the second half of this year.