Work on a new Sovereign had already begun when the X was revealed, even though that effort wasn’t unveiled until the most recent NBAA in October.
As a result, Thress says, the Sovereign is on target to reach the market a few months sooner than the X next year. By this month, the Sovereign program had topped 900 flight hours with three flight test articles, and major milestones such as icing and wet runway testing had been accomplished.
Since so many systems and improvements are similar in the Sovereign and X, Thress says there’s a “tremendous amount of crossover” in the development of the two programs. The same avionics team is working on the G5000 suites for both aircraft, for instance.
That work has also translated into other programs, including the G5000-equipped Latitude and Longitude aircraft. This also has benefited the M2, which is equipped with the G3000 because of the commonality between the two suites, he says.
Detailed in September 2011, the M2 was the first of three “clean sheet” planes that Cessna announced over the past 15 months. The Latitude followed in October 2011 and the Longitude this past spring.
M2 development was the furthest along; the aircraft first flew in March, and the program encompasses two aircraft. Cessna is hoping the aircraft will win certification and reach the market by the second half of 2013, about the same time as the Sovereign.
The Latitude, which last summer received a 500-nm boost in range to 2,500 nm, is on track to reach the market in 2015, followed by the Longitude in 2017.
As for the X, Cessna plans to ship it in the latter part of 2013. Cessna is set to reclaim the fastest in-production business jet title once it hits the market with a Mach 0.935 speed.
While Cessna has been busy developing a new and improved product line, it has been making refinements along the way. The X was originally introduced as the Citation Ten to differentiate the original and follow-on model. But customers wanted the original name, and Cessna made the switch this fall.