October 30, 2012
Credit: Credit: Cessna
Cessna Aircraft hopes to bring a new Citation Sovereign to market next year that incorporates many of the same upgrades found on the Citation Ten, now called the X, along with improved range and performance. The Sovereign will be equipped with new Pratt & Whitney Canada 306D engines that, when combined with new winglets, will increase range by 150 nm. This will push the Sovereign’s range beyond 3000 nm.
The aircraft also will be fitted with a Garmin G5000 avionics suite, integrated automatic throttles and the Cessna Clarity cabin, also selected for the new X.
The enhanced Sovereign is well into development, having accumulated 800 flight-test hours so far using three aircraft, says Brad Thress, senior vice president-business jets. That would put the aircraft on pace for certification and delivery by the third quarter.
Also expected to reach the market next year is Cessna’s newest X. Unveiled originally as the Ten, Cessna rebranded the aircraft to the designation of the original aircraft. The name change comes at the behest of customers, who preferred retaining the original name.
“You can see customer input present throughout the entire process,” says Roxanne Bernstein, senior vice president of marketing, adding the name is just one area where Cessna has implement changes based on feedback.
Once certified next year, the aircraft is set to reclaim the fastest business jet title at Mach 0.935.
In addition to the new Garmin G5000 avionics and the Cessna Clarity cabin system, the X will have a 15-inch longer fuselage and new Rolls-Royce AE3007C2 engines with redesigned fan blades.
The X and Sovereign are just a few of numerous product development projects under way at the Wichita manufacturer. The Grand Caravan single-turboprop is getting a power boost with a new Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-140 that will produce 867 shp. The new more powerful model will be available in December, and the company continues to make progress on its new midsize Latitude and super-mid Longitude business jets.
Additionally, Cessna is soliciting feedback on a new light jet during this week’s National Business Aviation Association annual meeting and convention. The aircraft, which appears to have a larger fuselage than the Mustang, but shorter than the XLS, is being market tested before Cessna makes a decision on its future. The Wichita manufacturer conducted similar market research on a single-turboprop during the Experimental Aircraft Association’s annual AirVenture last summer. The company is still evaluating that research. Cessna President and CEO Scott Ernest says that the company plans to actively seek public feedback on all of its new concepts in the future. “That’s the way we will go.”