Citation XLS+ and CJ4 Progressing Toward Certification
Atlanta.– The two newest Citation business jet models launched by Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, are moving efficiently through the development process toward certification.
The CJ4 – a larger, longer-range version of the popular CJ line – has finished more than 75 percent of the detail design stage and the XLS+ – an upgrade to the mid-size Excel/XLS – completed its maiden flight on Aug. 2, 2007. Both jets were announced at the 2006 National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Meeting and Convention, and both have full-scale mockups on display at Cessna’s booth (#8550) from Sept. 25-27 at NBAA.
With detail design nearing completion, more than half of the major assembly tools for the newest member of the CJ series are in place at the company’s major manufacturing facility in Wichita, Kan.
The first full wing was recently completed for the fuel test article; by the end of 2008 three test articles will be flying. The new Williams International FJ44-4A electronically controlled (FADEC) engine, which will debut on the CJ4, continues flying on Cessna’s test bed airplane. A second engine has accumulated 3,000 equivalent flight cycles in accelerated testing, and a third engine recently passed induction system icing certification tests. The FJ44-4A has achieved thrust-to-weight and fuel economy goals at low temperatures, allowing TBO to be extended to 5,000 hours.
The CJ4 is on schedule for first flight during the first half of 2008, with entry into service planned for the first half of 2010. Cessna already has taken 130 orders for the new $8 million jet.
Rather than a stretched CJ3, the Citation CJ4 is a true upward extension to the single-pilot-certified family of Citation CJ family – delivering the strongest performance and payload balance in the series along with advanced amenities and system architecture.
Configurable for seven to eight passengers in the main cabin, the CJ4 is expected to have a cruise speed of 435 knots, a full fuel payload of 1,000 pounds and maximum payload of 2,100 pounds, more than 300 additional pounds compared to the typical CJ3.
The CJ4 will use the Collins Pro Line 21 avionics suite with four 8-by-10 inch flat screen displays, as well as the purpose-built Rockwell Collins’ next generation cabin management system, Venue. Venue features a digital, high-definition media center that integrates a wide variety of entertainment and mapping capabilities into a light weight, cost-effective system. The software architecture is database driven, enabling quick changes through the use of a new configuration tool and redundant processing to keep the system performing.
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 3,300 feet and land on runways as short as 2,665 feet.
The XLS+ takes the world’s most popular business jet model and integrates the latest technologies and amenities customers have requested. Cessna will start line flow for the first production aircraft within the next few weeks.
Two test articles have accumulated more than 245 flight hours and continue to work toward achieving FAA certification in the first quarter of 2008. First delivery will occur by the end of 2008. The order book has reached 123, including the order announced at the June 2007 Paris Air Show of 37 for NetJets’ fractional aircraft fleet.
The XLS+ will feature 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.
Priced at $11.595 million, the XLS+ will continue the tradition of the Excel and XLS as the most affordable stand-up cabin business jet. The family of Excel/XLS aircraft comprises nearly 580 planes with an accumulated total of approximately 1.2 million flight hours.
The original Citation Excel was delivered in May 1998, followed by the Citation XLS in July 2004. 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.
The Citation XLS+ will travel as fast as 440 knots, have a range of more than 1,800 nautical miles, climb direct to 45,000 feet in 29 minutes, and land on runways as short as 3,180 feet at its maximum landing weight, and 2,700 feet at its typical landing weight.
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