Cessna bets on Silvercrest fix for Hemisphere future
Cessna says that the future of its new Citation Hemisphere business jet depends on a fix that Safran is working on for the Silvercrest engines that power it.
Safran discovered a new issue with the Silvercrest during high-altitude testing in October 2017.
Cessna says that the Hemisphere is built around the fuel efficiency of the Silvercrest, admitting that, to make the Hemisphere reach its performance targets, it needs to be using the Silvercrest engines.
Speaking during the firm’s fourth-quarter results investor relations call, Cessna’s CEO Scott Donnelly said “To make that aircraft be what we want it to be, that’s the engine that makes it work. So, if you go to a larger engine then you have to go to a larger aircraft and that’s a path that we’re not going to go down.”
Originally due to fly for the first time in 2019, the Hemisphere is due to be the largest aircraft in the Citation line up. It will have the longest range, reaching up to 4,500nm.
The Silvercrest engines were, at one point, due to power the Dassault Falcon 5X as well as the Citation Hemisphere. But multiple delays with the engines caused Dassault to withdraw its support in December 2017, cancelling the entire Falcon 5X project.
Cessna had previously chosen the Silvercrest to power its upcoming Citation Longitude but swapped to Honeywell engines when the aircraft was redesigned.