Cessna expects basic US type-certification of the Citation Excel business jet later this month. Although approval has slipped by four months against the original schedule, the company intends to begin customer deliveries in April, as planned. The first production Excel has been flown.

The Excel essentially combines the wing of Cessna's Citation Ultra light business jet with the larger-diameter fuselage of its mid-sized Citation X. The resulting aircraft will compete with Bombardier's Learjet 45, certificated in September 1997. The Excel costs $7.2 million, compared with $7.9 million for the Learjet 45. Cessna has orders in hand for almost 200 aircraft.

Powered by two 16.8kN (3,790lb)-thrust Pratt &Whitney Canada PW545A turbofans, the Excel has a range of 3,750km (2,030nm) and cruise speed of 430kt (770km/h). It retains the short-field capability of other straight-wing Citations, with a take-off distance of 320m (1,050ft) at an 8,700kg gross weight.

Source: Flight International