Cessna flew the fourth and penultimate Cessna Citation Longitude flight-test aircraft on 6 May, putting the super-midsize business jet on track for US certification and service entry in the fourth quarter.
The aircraft – outfitted with a complete production interior – made a 3h 20h flight to test the full flight envelope. All performance targets were reached, says Cessna's parent company Textron Aviation.
This programme milestone comes seven months after the arrival of the first Longitude. The second flight-test aircraft joined the line-up in November and the third in March. The trio have logged 400h over 200 sorties. The fifth aircraft is now in production and is scheduled to arrive in the third quarter.
Brad Thress, Textron Aviation senior vice-president of engineering, says the latest aircraft will also evaluate the overall passenger experience, with a focus on the Longitude’s cabin technologies, environmental control and pressurisation systems. These factors, Thress says, “are as vital as the performance and technology in the cockpit”.
The $24 million twinjet is positioned in Cessna’s 9-strong Citation line-up between the $16.3 million midsize Latitude, which entered service in 2015, and the $35 million, large-cabin Hemisphere, which is scheduled to make its first flight in 2019.
The Honeywell HTF7700L-powered Longitude includes Cessna’s first use of fly-by-wire technology, with electronically actuated spoilers.