Cessna set to deliver upgraded Citation X in Q2

Cessna will certificate the new, higher-speed Citation X in the second quarter after a six-month delay and deliver several production aircraft, says Scott Donnelly, chief executive of Cessna parent company Textron.

The latest version of the Citation X – featuring a record Mach 0.935 top speed for a transport category aircraft in production – wrapped up flight testing last week, says Donnelly, speaking 1 May on a Textron first quarter earnings call with analysts.

Cessna is now working to complete all the paperwork, but certification is expected by the end of the quarter, Donnelly says.

The original schedule called for delivering the first Citation X in late 2013, but tests were extended for several months.

“We have customers who were kind of standing by and wanting these aircraft at the end of last year,” Donnelly says. “Flight testing has taken longer than we expected. We have customers who are waiting for their aircraft. So once we get that [paperwork] done we will certainly get a few deliveries here in the quarter.”

The new Citation X will enter service as the fastest business jet on the market, beating the Mach 0.925 standard set by the Gulfstream G650.

The new Citation X, powered by 31.3kN (7,030lb-thrust) Rolls-Royce AE3007C2 turbofan engines, can carry nine passengers for a 3,240nm (6,000km) mission.

The aircraft also features a Garmin G5000 integrated avionics suite on the flightdeck, including three large-format, touch-screen displays.

It is expected to be the third new derivative of a Cessna jet delivered since December, along with the Citation M2 and the new Sovereign.