Textron Aviation Inc., company, has displayed its new super-midsize Cessna Citation Longitude for the first time in Europe at this week’s 2017 European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE). The Longitude on display is the fourth aircraft to join the test program, and is the first flying test aircraft with a fully fitted interior. The aircraft is being used to evaluate systems related to the overall passenger experience and technologies in the cabin. “We are confident that the Citation Longitude will set the new standard in business aviation with its incredible cabin comfort, low operating costs, long maintenance intervals and combination of speed and range,” said Rob Scholl, senior vice president, Sales and Marketing. “Throughout the flight-test program our test pilots have been reporting that the Longitude is the best flying Citation to date. Now, with this full interior test aircraft, we’re able to showcase its class-leading and incredibly quiet cabin experience.” With four aircraft flying in the Longitude test program, the company has tested various systems and technologies throughout the last eight months including avionics, stability, handling and cabin technologies. The program team has also completed many important development and certification tests such as the ultimate load testing, which evaluates the maximum forces the fuselage and wing can endure, as well as extreme climatic and environmental testing at the U.S. Air Force’s McKinley Climatic Laboratory at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.
The first Longitude flew in October 2016 and to date, the flight test program has amassed more than 230 sorties, accumulating over 450 hours. A fifth and final flying test article will join the program this summer, showcasing the company’s dedication and commitment to getting the aircraft in the hands of its customers. The company anticipates achieving Federal Aviation Administration certification by the end of this year (2017), followed by European Aviation Safety Agency certification next year (2018). “The dedication of our team, and the early success of our development program demonstrates that we are not entering this super-midsize space lightly,” Scholl added. “The design of the Longitude was driven by input from customers around the world, so we’re thrilled to showcase this particular aircraft to our European customers, who will benefit from the industry-leading cabin comfort and performance capabilities required to connect them to important destinations throughout the region.”