Cessna’s Largest CJ Series Business Jet Progressing
FARNBOROUGH, England.– Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, continues to fly the Citation CJ4 business jet prototype while working toward first flight of its first two production CJ4s and the start of production later this year.
Company officials provided the update at the Farnborough International Airshow. The Citation CJ4 is an upward extension of the single-pilot-certified CJ family – delivering the strongest performance and payload balance in the series, along with advanced amenities and system architecture.
Since completing first flight of the CJ4 prototype on May 5, Cessna has logged 25 flights spanning more than 35 hours. The aircraft is performing system verification flight tests – such as speed brakes and flap systems – as well as envelope expansion flights.
“The flights are mostly devoted to honing aerodynamic and system architecture, with certification flights on schedule to begin later this year,” said CJ4 Program Manager Norm Baker. “Certification testing is well under way for our static and fatigue articles. In developing the CJ4 we have invested considerably in taking the operation of the aircraft to a new level of environmental friendliness. For example, with our dispatch power scenario a pilot can get everything ready for flight before starting the engines.”
The first production aircraft, Serial 0001, will primarily be used for avionics and systems certification, while the second production aircraft, Serial 0002, will fly function and reliability along with company service tests. First flight for both will take place later this year.
While the first two production aircraft are coming together at Cessna’s Pawnee Advanced Engineering facility in Wichita, Kan., the company is establishing the CJ4 line at its main manufacturing facilities across town at Mid-Continent Airport. Reorganization is in progress to allow the largest of the CJ Series aircraft to be manufactured in existing factory space.
“Right now, we’re also focused on ensuring a smooth production line flow start later this year. The aircraft has been designed for lean manufacturing efficiencies from the ground up,” Baker said. “Production teams have already identified additional work method improvements learned from early article builds.”
Configurable for seven to eight passengers in the main cabin, the Citation CJ4 is expected to have a maximum speed of 806 kilometers per hour (435 knots), a full fuel payload of 453 kilograms (1,000 pounds) and maximum payload of 952 kilograms (2,100 pounds), more than 136 additional kilograms (300 pounds) compared to the typical CJ3. It will be certified for operations up to 13,700 meters (45,000 feet).
The aircraft will debut the new Williams International FJ44-4A electronically controlled (FADEC) engines and will feature the Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics suite and Venue, the next generation cabin management system. All current production Citations employ new generation turbofan engines, which meet or exceed the most stringent noise requirements and allow Cessna’s line of business jets to be among the most fuel efficient and achieve some of the lowest emissions in the industry.
Cessna plans to achieve Federal Aviation Administration type certification in the second half of 2009, followed by customer deliveries beginning in the first half of 2010. Concurrently, Cessna is working toward European Aviation Safety Agency certification.
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