Textron Aviation Inc. added its fourth super-midsize Cessna Citation Longitude to the flight-test fleet, propelling the program toward anticipated Federal Aviation Administration type certification later this year. The aircraft, which is outfitted with a fully configured interior, will be used to evaluate the fit and finish of the interior, as well as the environmental control system, pressurization and cabin technologies.
The fourth Longitude took to the skies for the first time on Saturday, May 6, from the company’s Beech Field in east Wichita. Textron Aviation test pilots Andrew Peters and Brian Gigax took the aircraft to full envelope during the 3-hours and 20-minute flight and the aircraft reached all of its performance targets.
“With four aircraft now flying in the Longitude test program in less than eight months, we are demonstrating that our product development processes and teams are second to none in the industry,” said Brad Thress, senior vice president of Engineering. “In addition to further systems testing, this fourth aircraft allows us to evaluate the overall passenger experience in the cabin, which is just as vital as the performance and technology in the cockpit.”
The first Citation Longitude flew in October 2016 and to date the flight test program has completed more than 200 flights, accumulating nearly 400 hours.
The Citation Longitude is set to elevate passenger expectations in this class of aircraft by delivering the lowest cabin altitude (5,950 feet), quietest cabin, more standard features and a comfortable, bespoke interior with a superior fit and finish. With seating for up to 12 passengers, including an optional crew jump seat, the Citation Longitude features a stand-up, 6-foot tall flat-floor cabin. A standard double-club configuration allows the most legroom in the super-midsize class. Fully berthable seats are designed and manufactured in-house and a class-leading walk-in baggage compartment is accessible in flight.
Natural light is plentiful with 15 large windows positioned throughout the cabin for optimal viewing. A large, forward wet galley offers versatility to meet a wide variety of passenger needs. State-of-the-art cabin technology allows passengers to manage their environment and entertainment from any mobile device, while standard internet maximizes productivity in flight.
Textron Aviation announced in October 2016 that the Longitude had achieved an improved range of 3,500 nautical miles, an increase of 100 nautical miles, and full fuel payload of 1,600 pounds, an increase of 100 pounds, further establishing the aircraft’s anticipated leadership in its segment.
The clean-sheet design of the Longitude integrates the latest technology throughout the aircraft, expected to bring customers the lowest ownership costs in this class. It features the next evolution of the Garmin G5000 flight deck and is powered by FADEC-equipped Honeywell HTF7700L turbofan engines with fully integrated autothrottles. With optional head-up display and enhanced vision capability, the Longitude facilitates eyes-up flying. The spacious cockpit incorporates an ergonomic design that fully focuses on crew comfort and efficiency.
No super-midsize business jet offers more range, greater payload or higher cruise speed at a lower expected total ownership cost. The Longitude is designed to feature the longest maintenance intervals in its class – 800 hours or 18 months – expected to make it the most cost effective to operate in its category.