Citation Longitude makes first flight
The Cessna Citation Longitude has flown for the first time. The two hour two minute flight took off from Cessna’s East campus, Wichita’s Beechfield Airport.
During the flight test pilots Ed Wenninger and Stuart Rogerson tested the Longitude’s flaps, landing gear, pressurization systems, stability and controls.
“I was extremely pleased with the performance of the Longitude during the first flight,” said Rogerson, senior flight test pilot. “The level of maturity in flight characteristics is already very high. I was particularly impressed with how intuitive the flight systems are, validating the extensive integration work done by our development teams. We accomplished everything we wanted to do during this maiden flight, setting the pace for the flight test program.”
The largest Citation to date, the Longitude was originally announced by Cessna during 2012, but taken back to the drawing board in 2014.
The original range was due to be 4,000nm, however this has been pegged back 3,400nm, roughly the same as the company’s Citation X+ and in a similar space as the G280, Challenger 350 and Falcon 2000S that the Longitude competes with.
Crucially the engines were also swapped from the original Snecma Silvercrest’s, to Honeywell HTF7700L’s.
“Today’s successful first flight of the Citation Longitude was performed exactly as we anticipated,” said Scott Ernest, president and CEO, Textron Aviation. “Our product development process is second to none and allowed us to move smoothly from unveiling the Longitude last November, to the first flight of the prototype in just 11 months. This milestone not only showcases our continued commitment to investing in new products to meet market demand, but also our focus on investing in our development and production processes to bring the aircraft to market quickly without compromise.”
Cessna say that the prototype aircraft will be used to test flight controlls and aerodynamics. A second aircraft, which will primarily used for systems testing, will join the flight test programme in the coming weeks.
The Longitude is expected to gain certification late in 2017, with deliveries following shortly afterwards.