WICHITA, Kan., 19 Feb. 2014. A prototype of the Citation Latitude midsize business jet from Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company, logged its first flight that tested flaps, landing gear, pressurization systems, anti-ice capabilities, stability, and control.
During the test flight, the Citation Latitude prototype reached an altitude of 28,000 feet and attained speeds of 230 mph (Mach 0.6). All systems are performing as expected, according to Cessna flight engineers.
“I feel fortunate to be able to fly for a living, and it is a privilege to be part of the crew piloting the Cessna Citation Latitude on its maiden flight,” says Aaron Tobias, Cessna senior flight test pilot. “The Citation Latitude was great today, which is to say it behaved just as anticipated.
“The Garmin G5000 avionics are an enormous leap forward in flight management,” Tobias adds. “When combined with the widest Citation cabin and the flat cabin floor, the improved cooling system, the electrically operated door and the lower cabin altitude, you have in the Latitude an amazing aircraft that we believe sets very high benchmarks for performance, capability, and comfort. The Latitude will be tough to beat.”
“The Latitude team engineered a game-changing mid-sized jet in a very efficient and accelerated manner, using proven Cessna technologies and mature systems,” says Brad Thress, Cessna senior vice president of Business Jets. “The result is an aircraft with incredible operating efficiencies at an unmatched price point in this category of business jet.”
The maiden flight took place at the company’s headquarters, where Cessna’s telemetry monitoring station received a live feed from the prototype aircraft, enabling engineers to monitor the flight’s progress and receive real-time systems updates.
Cessna’s Citation Latitude will have the widest fuselage of any Citation jet, designed with a flat cabin floor and 6 ft (1.83m) of cabin height and a 2,500 nm (4,630 km) range, officials say. The two-pilot Latitude accommodates up to nine passengers, and can attain a flight level of 43,000 ft (13,106m) in just 23 minutes.
The Citation Latitude is designed with a powerful new cabin cooling system, Garmin G5000 avionics, and auto-throttle capabilities, an electronically-operated cabin door, and lower cabin altitudes for a more comfortable flight. The aircraft was announced at the National Business Aviation Association’s Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (NBAA) in October 2011. Type certification for the Citation Latitude is expected in the second quarter of 2015.
Passengers on the Citation Latitude will be able to fly non-stop between such cities as Los Angeles and New York, Houston and Bogotá, Colombia, Rome to Dubai, and Singapore to Beijing.