MEBA: Cessna: Middle East positive for early Citation Ten

Washington DC
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Cessna Aircraft senior vice-president of sales and marketing Mark Paolucci says the company has "several" pending orders for its new Citation Ten business jet, a modernised version of the 1990s-vintage Citation X with elliptical winglets, upgraded engines and Garmin G5000 integrated cockpit.

"One is in the Middle East," says Paolucci, cautioning that Cessna is "still in negotiations" with the customers. Cessna launched the Ten in October but did not announce any customers.

The company did, however, say it would bump up the maximum cruise speed of the Citation X from Mach 0.92 to remain the fastest business jet after the Gulfstream G650 is certificated in 2011. Gulfstream is advertising M0.925 for the G650, and has already tested the aircraft to that speed. Paolucci confirms that a speed increase remains in the works.

First flight of the Citation Ten is expected in December 2011, followed by certification in second quarter of 2013 and service entry in the third quarter of 2013.

There are seven Citation Xs in the region, says Paolucci, one belonging to local Cessna affiliate Wallan Aviation.