Arrivals and Standbys
Cessna recently announced plans to produce a pair of new Citation business jets, adding to a portfolio that soon will include a new piston aircraft (see “Getting Personal” sidebar, page 55), light jet, and speedy midsize jet.
Unveiled last fall, the Citation M2 will be a step up from the Citation Mustang, which has more than 400 units in operation. The company hopes that Mustang owners looking to upgrade will choose the M2. But with a nearly $4.2 million price, competitive performance, and single-pilot operation, the M2 might also appeal to first-time buyers who plan to operate the jet themselves. The Wichita, Kan.–based manufacturer expects to deliver the M2, which flew for the first time in March, by the end of next year. The jet’s cabin offers seats for as many as six passengers and a private lavatory, which many Mustang owners requested for the new jet. Cessna’s performance expectations for the M2 include a maximum cruise speed of 460 mph, which is roughly 70 mph quicker than the Mustang, and a range approaching 1,500 miles, which bests the Mustang’s by a little under 200 miles. Cessna’s proprietary cabin-management system, an option for the M2, provides an easy user interface. The cockpit features Garmin’s intuitive touchscreen G3000 avionics suite.
Announced in 2010, the Citation Ten is on track to enter service by 2014. It will eventually replace Cessna’s popular Citation X, which entered service in 1996. The new midsize jet, priced at about $21.5 million, will offer improved performance, upgraded avionics, and increased capacities compared to its predecessor. Two new Rolls-Royce engines boost the Ten’s power output by about 300 pounds of thrust over the X, helping it achieve a cruise speed faster than 600 mph and become the speediest jet in Cessna’s fleet. Its range is beyond 3,700 miles, which is about 200 miles greater than the X’s range. The new engines and the addition of winglets will also improve the Ten’s fuel efficiency. The Ten will be the first business jet to feature Garmin’s new G5000 avionics suite. The cabin of the Ten, which holds as many as 12 passengers, is more than a foot longer than that of the X and includes redesigned interior appointments and seats. The upgraded cabin-management system features touchscreen panels and wireless connectivity for personal devices.
If all goes according to plan, the next jet to roll off Cessna’s assembly line after the M2 and Ten will be the midsize Citation Latitude, which the company calls a game changer. First deliveries of the $14.9 million jet are expected to begin in 2015. With an all-new design that includes a 7-foot-wide cabin (the largest in Cessna’s fleet), the nine-passenger Latitude will certainly shake up the midsize segment. Cessna announced the Latitude at the annual National Business Aviation Association convention last October. The jet’s cabin offers 6 feet of headroom, a flat floor, extralarge windows, and all the latest touchscreen and LED technologies. Like the Ten, the Latitude will be equipped with the G5000 avionics suite. Cessna expects the jet to cruise faster than 500 mph and travel as far as about 2,650 miles without refueling.
Following the Latitude into operation will be the largest and longest-range jet in Cessna’s lineup, the super-midsize Citation Longitude, which the company unveiled in May. Deliveries of the $26 million jet are expected to begin in 2017. The Longitude’s eight-passenger, flat-floor cabin is as wide as the Latitude’s, but at 31 feet, it is 4 feet longer. The jet will be equipped with the Garmin G5000 avionics suite and a pair of new engines that will power it to a maximum cruise speed of about 650 mph. With a range of about 4,600 miles, the Latitude will be able to fly from New York to Paris without refueling. The French-built Snecma engines are the industry’s most fuel efficient and are expected to require less-frequent maintenance. —Bailey S. Barnard and Mary Grady