Cessna Citation CJ4 and XLS+ Continue On Schedule
Paris,– Engineers at Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, continue to move the company’s two newest business jet programs toward certification. The Citation XLS+, complete with full avionics system, is close to first flight, while the CJ4 design effort is well under way at the company’s engineering center in Wichita, Kan.
“Both aircraft programs remain on target for both schedule and cost, and both have amassed a sizable order book, so we remain very pleased with the progress,” said Cessna Chairman, President and CEO Jack J. Pelton. “We’re finding particularly strong interest for both new aircraft in Europe thanks to enhanced functionality and positive economic conditions across the continent.”
The Citation XLS+, the latest version of the world’s best-selling business jet model, is expected to enter service in 2008. New features include the fully integrated Collins Pro Line 21 avionics suite and electronically controlled (FADEC) engines from Pratt & Whitney.
Exterior and interior restyling is also integrated into the new model, most prominently the extended contour of the nose and expanded seat widths, both introduced to more closely resemble Cessna’s Citation X and Citation Sovereign models.
The original Citation Excel was delivered in May 1998, and 370 units were delivered through June 2004. The Citation XLS was first delivered in July 2004, and 329 are expected to be delivered through the end of September 2008. The 500th Excel/XLS was delivered in June 2006, making the Excel/XLS the best-selling aircraft of all business jet models since its introduction.
Certification for the Citation XLS+ is expected in the first quarter of 2008 with the first customer delivery in the last quarter of 2008. Priced at €8.53 million (USD$11.595 million), the XLS+ will continue the tradition of the Excel and XLS as the most affordable stand-up cabin business jet.
The Citation XLS+ will travel as fast as 815 km per hour (500 mph/440 ktas), have a range of more than 1,800 nm (3,440 km/2,138 statute miles), climb direct to 13,700 m (45,000 ft.) in 29 minutes, and land on runways as short 969 m (3,169 ft.) at its maximum landing weight, and 823 m (2,700 ft.) at its typical landing weight.
First flight of the CJ4 is scheduled for the first half of 2008 and entry into service is set for the first half of 2010. Since launching the program prior to last year’s NBAA annual meeting in October, Cessna already has taken more than 120 orders for the new €5.9 million (USD$8 million) jet.
Configurable for seven to eight passengers in the main cabin, the CJ4 is expected to have a full fuel payload of 453 kg (1,000 lbs) and maximum payload of 952 kg (2,100 lbs), more than 136 additional kilograms (300 lbs) compared to the typical CJ3. The CJ4 is expected to have a cruise speed of 806 km per hour (500 mph/435 ktas).
The newly engineered wing of the CJ4 is moderately swept. Some features of the wing are similar to the Sovereign, including the three upper speed brake panels on each wing, which allow the airplane to have the short field performance the CJ series is known for. The CJ4 can takeoff from runways as short as 1,006 m (3,300 ft.) and land on runways as short as 812 m (2,665 ft.).
The new Williams International FJ44-4A electronically controlled (FADEC) engine, which made its first flight aboard a test bed in early April, will debut on the CJ4.
The twin engines each provide 3,400 pounds of thrust, compared to 2,820 pounds of the CJ3’s FJ44-3A. The aircraft will be certified for operations up to 13,700 m (45,000 ft.). The electric rudder and aileron trim are new features, as is single-point refueling for the aircraft.
The development programs for the Citation XLS+ and Citation CJ4 are both based at Cessna’s primary design and manufacturing facilities in suburban Wichita.
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