The Citation Hemisphere, Textron’s largest-ever corporate jet, is still in development, but the company now has opened its order book and is ready to take deposits. The jet is the first clean-sheet design in its segment in 20 years. Textron says its aim is to optimize space and comfort in the cabin, while providing the newest and most efficient technology for the engines and the cockpit.
The company brought a full-scale mockup of the three-zone cabin to Las Vegas recently, for the annual trade show hosted by the National Business Aviation Association. The cabin is the widest in its class, at 8.5 feet, with 6 feet 2 inches of stand-up clearance, a flat floor, and room for up to 19 passengers. Twenty oversized windows flood the cabin with natural light. Seats and cabinetry are custom-designed and handcrafted in-house. All the seats are fully berthable, and feature thermo-electric technology to provide optimal heating or cooling. A three-place divan converts to a bed. Cabin altitude during flight never exceeds 5,000 feet, helping to protect travelers from jet lag. A full galley supports fresh meals for travelers.
The flight crew will be supplied with a fly-by-wire transoceanic flight management system, powered by Honeywell’s fully integrated Primus Epic avionics system. The SmartView feature provides pilots a detailed 3-D view of the outside world even in fog, rain, or snow. Wind-tunnel tests on the fuselage have recently been completed.
Two all-new Safran Silvercrest engines, with 12,000 pounds of thrust, will drive the big jet at speeds up to Mach 0.9 for more than 5,100 miles, while reducing emissions and noise compared to other engines in the same category. The Silvercrest engines are still in development, and have been taking longer than expected, slowing the timeline for Falcon’s 5X jet. Textron officials say it’s too soon to tell if the delays will affect the Hemisphere’s development schedule, but they are continuing to work toward the original timeline, with first flight in 2019.
The $35 million jet is expected to start deliveries in 2020.