PICTURE: Corvalis to become first all-glass Cessna piston single

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Cessna on 29 March at the Sun n' Fun exhibition in Lakeland, Florida, unveiled the newest member of its single-engine piston line, the all-glass Corvalis TTX.

Externally the same as the Cessna 400 Corvalis TT, its predecessor, the $678,000 Corvalis TTX is different inside the four-place cabin. It will be available in mid-2012.

Most striking are two 14in (35.5cm) flight displays and a touchscreen controller in the centre console, elements of Cessna's Intrinzic integrated flightdeck that is anchored by Garmin's new G2000 avionics suite, the first announced application.

The Corvalis series, acquired by Cessna from Columbia Aircraft in 2007, uses a Garmin G1000 with two 10in displays. The G2000 feature dual attitude and heading reference system, boosting redundancy over the single-AHRS G1000.

corvalis ttx interior, cessna
 © Cessna

Optimised for synthetic vision, the G2000 allows pilots to split the multifunction display to show, for instance, approach charts next to a moving map. The display's pages are controlled with a Garmin GTC570 infrared-based controller, located in the centre console between the leather pilot seats.

The software-defined GTC570 also controls the remote-mounted Garmin audio panel and environmental controls. Cessna included Garmin's electronic stability and protection (ESP) system in the Intrinzic flightdeck but did not incorporate Garmin's automatic descent mode, which automatically reduces altitude if pilot activity is not detected at certain time thresholds when at high altitudes.

An L-3 Trilogy single-display standby instrument makes the TTX Cessna's first all-glass single-engine piston, says Scott Howell, product marketing manager for Cessna's piston aircraft products. The current line has three 2in analogue instruments for standby functions.

Avionics options include Garmin's GSR56 iridium satellite downlink for worldwide weather, voice and text and the Avidyne TWX670 tactical lightning-based weather system.

Despite 23kg (50lb) of extra avionics weight from the new systems, Howell says the TTX has the same altitude and speed performance numbers as the Teledyne Continental TSIO-550-C-powered TT.

Leather-appointed interiors will come in four varieties - stealth, tranquillity, classic and twilight - and Cessna has obtained approval for operations with the rear seats removed.

Two new exterior paint designs will be available using a new Dupont clear coat process and the engine warranty has been upgraded to five-year parts and labour from two-year parts and three-year labour.

Cessna has delivered 180 Corvalis models and will produce no more until the TTX enters production next year, says Howell.

As before, composite manufacturing will largely be performed at Textron Aerospace Mexico in Chihuahua, with final assembly, paint, flight-testing and deliveries from Cessna's Independence, Kansas facility.

The first serial number TTX will be 2001, a block point change that will take place with next Corvalis delivery. "It seemed like the best time to incorporate the new changes into the model line," says Howell. The company has one prototype aircraft involved in certification testing in Kansas.