With the Citation Longitude approaching ever closer to its FAA and EASA certifications, manufacturer Cessna is keen to demonstrate how quiet the aircraft cabin is.
When the Citation Longitude is certificated, and the first deliveries begin, it will be the largest Citation to date, capable of carrying 12 passengers. With four passengers on board, the aircraft has a maximum range of 3,500nm.
The company took Corporate Jet Investor on a one-hour flight, departing Farnborough, heading south towards Southampton before climbing back up the country and over south Wales and returning to land back at Farnborough.
The aircraft we flew on is the seventh Longitude built (MSN 700-0007 / N707CL), with a spacious eight-person, double-club configuration.
Cessna has used five aircraft for its test program. Aircraft numbers 1 – 4 have focused on systems-reliability and function testing, whilst aircraft 5 has been fitted with a full production interior. Aircraft number seven is being used as a demonstration aircraft. Prior to arriving at Farnborough, it had been on a world tour, with Farnborough the final stop before its return home to Wichita.
The weather in the south-east of the UK was not the best for flying, with heavy snow showers to pass through. Despite this, the aircraft handled well despite a few bumps along the way.
Our initial climb to 43,000ft took 23 minutes. This was done in small steps, but as Cessna’s Tom Perry said in a flight the previous week the Longitude had climbed directly to 43,000ft in just 16 minutes.
The ride itself was very comfortable. The aircraft cabin is a longer version of the Citation Latitude cabin, which already had the widest cabin in its class. The cabin height is 1.83m, which is roomy enough for 6ft people to be able to stand comfortably.
One of the features of the aircraft is how integrated the cabin controls are via Cessna’s own Clarity Android and IOS apps. We were able to control the music, as well as the temperature on board the aircraft from the app loaded onto an iPad, as well as being able to control the window shades.
Up front, the Longitude sports the Garmin™ G5000™ flight deck, featuring three large 14-inch glass displays, along with four touch-screen controllers. The pilots told us later that the aircraft is one of the “most fun” Citation’s to fly.
But it was the cabin that Cessna really wanted to show off, especially how quiet it is. Tom Perry, vice president of sales for Europe, Middle East, and Africa, explains that Cessna had addressed each individual source of noise entering the aircraft cabin, and tried to soundproof them.
The result is that even during take-off when the engines are at full power, the cabin noise level was so low that conversations were possible without raised voices. “The noise which you do hear is literally the slight aerodynamic sound from antennas along the fuselage,” explained Perry.
N707CL was on the last leg of an anti-clockwise world tour. It’s now been completed, and on the day after our flight the Longitude set off on its journey back home — flying a long leg directly from Farnborough to White Plains New Jersey.