Cessna Citation Ascend: Buyers and Investors Guide
Textron Aviation has launched the Cessna Citation Ascend – the newest jet in its 560XL series. It aims to deliver the first Ascend to customers in 2025.
“We asked customers what they wanted in the next evolution of this iconic aircraft, and we believe the Citation Ascend will deliver,” said Ron Draper, president and CEO, Textron Aviation. “With an 560XL aircraft taking off or landing every two minutes somewhere in the world, this aircraft will be part of the most successful business jet family.”
The $16.725m list price Citation Ascend follows the Cessna Citation Excel, Cessna Citation XLS and Cessna Citation XLS+ in the 560XL Series.
Textron says that the new Citation Ascend will have a similar performance to the Cessna Citation XLS Gen with a maximum range of 2,100nm (3,890km).
It says that it will be able to fly four passengers 1,900 nm at high-speed cruise. Powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW545D engines (the Cessna Citation XLS Gen has PW545Cs) it will be able to fly with heavier loads from shorter runways.
This means that you can take off from London City Airport for saganaki in Athens; fly from Helsinki to Porto for codfish casserole; or La Mole, France, to Prague for a Budvar.
A lot of the new upgrades will excite pilots (and owner pilots) rather than people who sit in the back. These include Garmin G5000 avionics (which is a real benefit for pilots flying other Citation Jets), auto throttle, synthetic vision and satellite cockpit voice and data transceivers.
The thing passengers will notice the most is the flat floor. This may sound like a small improvement, but it is significant. “The flat floor is a game changer when it comes to comfort,” said Christi Tannahill, senior vice president, Customer Experience. “The design gives passengers more room to swivel their seats, stretch their legs and comfortably move around the cabin.”
The aircraft also has larger windows, wireless cabin controls, Gogo US Avance connectivity as standard, all LED lighting and much more. Textron also says it will be quiet inside the cabin when flying.
It has nine seats in standard configuration, but can take up to 12 passengers.
Textron is offering a five year or 3,000-hour engine warranty and two years warranty for paint and interiors. It says that it expects to be able to offer customers enrolled in its PowerAdvantage programme 18-month or 800-hour airframe maintenance; 6,000 hours between engine overhauls; and 3,000 hours hot section inspection.
It plans to amend the 560XL type certification of the aircraft so that pilots can move to the Ascend through a simple approved differences course.
Cynics (and competitors) will say that the Ascend is not a new aircraft, just an upgrade to the XLS Gen. It is hard to argue with this. But the XLS Gen was an upgrade to the Excel. Textron is a master of upgrading aircraft and there are a lot of improvements to tempt buyers to the Ascend. It it is a shame that they have not been able to announce an increase in range. Most buyers and operators will be happy with 2,100nm, but some would have loved them to add another 300nm.
The 560XL family does not get the same coverage as larger aircraft (including Textron’s Cessna Citation Longitude and Latitude). But it should. It is a key workhorse in the charter market; extremely popular with fractional operators and corporate flight departments; has loyal customers; and also brings many first-time owners into business aviation.
It has been an amazingly successful programme. Textron has delivered more than 1,000 Citation 560XLs over the past 20 years. You can see them selling a lot of flat-floored Ascends as well.
The Cessna Citation Ascend will offer Garmin G5000 avionics featuring software and hardware, including:
- Autothrottle technology to reduce pilot workload and provide flight-envelope protection
- Three large, 14-inch ultra high-resolution displays with split-screen capabilities Standard dual flight management systems
- Synthetic vision to render obstacles like mountains or terrain
- Cockpit voice and data satellite transceiver to make satellite calls from the cockpit New Garmin advanced weather detection and avoidance technology
- Second Iridium data radio and CPDLC to support customers with more direct routing between North America and Europe (optional)
Preliminary performance targets indicate:
- Pratt & Whitney Canada PW545D engines equipped with a Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC)
- A four-passenger range of 1,900 nm at high-speed cruise power (with an estimated maximum range of 2,100 nm)
- Cruise at 441 kts
- And the ability to climb direct to 45,000 ft
Textron Aviation expects the aircraft to offer the following for buyers enrolled in the company’s PowerAdvantage programme:
- 18-month or 800-hour airframe maintenance intervals
- 6,000 hours between engine overhauls
- 3,000 hours hot section inspection
The aircraft also will include more standard equipment to support troubleshooting, such as:
- An electronic engine chip detector
- Pratt & Whitney’s FAST box for full flight data acquisition, storage and transmission LinxUs and LinxUs Air for in-flight diagnostics transmission
- Textron Aviation’s Aircraft Recording System, tracking more than 9,000 parameters during operations to support troubleshooting and trend monitoring
Buyers will also have warranties on the engine, paint and interior, including:
- Five-year or 3,000-hour engine warranty
- Two-year paint and interior warranties