NBAA: Cessna cites competition in revamp

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Cessna is revamping its Citation Sovereign in a bid to boost the appeal of the midsize business jet in this increasingly crowded and competitive market sector.

The new version is scheduled to enter service in the third quarter of 2013 and will feature Pratt & Whitney Canada PW306D engines, giving a 280km (150nm) increase in range to over 5,550km; Garmin's G5000 touchscreen controlled integrated flightdeck cockpit; an integrated Cessna Clarity cabin management system; improved seats; enhanced short runway performance and integrated automatic throttles.

Winglets have also been added to the $17.8 million aircraft, giving the new Sovereign what Cessna calls "a distinct appearance and an aerodynamic boost".

Production has already started on the upgraded model, which will also be available in a utility configuration "with options to carry payload, people, or both, depending on the mission requirements".

In a separate move, Cessna is renaming its high-speed Citation Ten as the X - following appeals from its customers to retain this iconic, legacy brand. "Much to customers' delight, the Citation X name will live on," says Cessna. "When the plans were drawn to improve on the Citation X systems and performance, that aircraft was to be called the "Citation Ten." Through the design and certification process, the Citation Ten has claimed the title of world's fastest business jet, but customers have told Cessna that they prefer the new aircraft retain the Citation X name."

The Mach 0.935 Citation Ten was launched two years ago as a major upgrade of its 22 year Citation X program. The aircraft's features include upgraded Rolls-Royce AE3007C2 turbofan engines with new fans, elliptical winglets and the Garmin G5000 integrated avionics suite.

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