Cessna announced this week that the first updated production Citation X has emerged from the factory hangar in Wichita, Kansas. In 2010, Cessna announced plans for an update to the Citation X that would be called the Citation Ten, later deciding upon the “new Citation X” as the name for the updated model. They plan to reclaim their crown as the world’s fastest civilian aircraft with the “New Citation X”.
“Speed is the reason for flight. It was true for Clyde Cessna in 1927, and it’s true today,” said Scott Ernest, Cessna CEO. “The Citation X is the perfect aircraft for customers wanting to move faster, be more efficient and get where they need to be more quickly than ever before.”
The increased speed is not the only improvement for the flagship of the Citation fleet. Once the new Citation Xs enter the market, they will be easy to spot since the new model has elliptical winglets at the tip of the main wing. Cessna claims the winglets reduce fuel consumption, improve cruise efficiency and reduce takeoff and landing at higher elevations. The Citation X is expected to have a maximum altitude of 51,000 feet, allowing the aircraft to fly above commercial traffic or adverse weather. The Citation X provides a lengthier cabin and a longer range of 3,242 nm. The increased range translates into an aircraft which can easily handle the flight from New York to London.
The Cessna Citation Ten
Cessna announced last week that they will be raising the top speed of their Citation Ten business jet to Mach 0.935. This remarkable milestone in Cessna’s impressive history surpasses the speed of the Citation X, which currently holds the fastest civilian aircraft speed distinction. This means that the X will lose its throne has the fastest civilian aircraft in the world, giving way to the latest addition in Cessna’s family of business jets. Until last week, the coveted speed title was going to be claimed by Gulfstream with their new G650 until Cessna added winglets and redesigned engines on the Ten to outpace the G650 by Mach 0.10. Amidst the heated battle between the two aviation titans, who will cross the finish line first is tough to predict. Both companies have a long history of designing and redesigning aircraft that outperform those of the competition. What is sure to occur, however, is the unveiling of two remarkable aircraft that will appeal to the wide range of needs our clients demand.
The Gulfstream G650
When two companies go head to head in a competition, they are certain to put their best step forward in every phase of the design process. Speed, amongst other things, is one of the single most important factors that influence clients to fly privately. “As our founder Clyde Cessna said, ‘Speed is the only reason for flying,’ so at Cessna we design, engineer, manufacture and fly the fastest civil aircraft in the world…so [customers] can work faster, more efficiently and get the job done,” said Cessna president and CEO Scott Ernest. “The Cessna team took the already powerful Citation X and made it that much better.” A Gulfstream spokeswoman told Aviation International News that “We congratulate Cessna on this achievement.” The lines seem to be clearly drawn and time will tell which aircraft comes out on top.
Cessna recently announced the increased range capacity for their brand new Citation Latitude private jet. This milestone adds to the aircraft’s impressive list of performance characteristics and is certain to make the business jet more popular. One question still remains, however; is 2,500nm the furthest this aircraft will fly? The Citation Latitude was originally designed to travel 2,000nm, then in 2011 it was increased to 2,300nm and just last week Cessna announced the newest range of 2,500nm. Cessna’s determination to bring private aviation mainstream in China is considered to be the reason for the range increase.
Unlike the United States and most of Europe, distances between major cities in Asian cover vast landscapes with very few refueling points in between. For Cessna to be competitive in this emerging market, they must meet the demands of the prospective travellers and the geographical barriers between them. With this thought in mind, it is not unlikely we will see another range increase before the aircraft reaches full certification.
“Our customers asked, we answered” said a Cessna spokesperson at the time of the first range increase, before adding “The increased range will give the aircraft more flexibility to fly a wider variety of missions and meet our customer requirements for comfort and performance. We’ve made this great aircraft even better”.
For the US market, a 2,500nm range makes the Citation Latitude an excellent option for many city pairings including west to east coast non-stop trips. The business jet’s large cabin and luxurious amenities will ensure a pleasurable and relaxing journey no matter how long you’re airborne. While Magellan Jets eagerly awaits the Latitude’s arrival, we are proud to represent a massive fleet of comparable aircraft to meet your most demanding aircraft charter request. Put our industry leading reputation and experience to work for you. Call (877) 550-JETS or submit your charter request here for an instant quote on your very own private jet.
(Image courtesy of AOPA.org)
Cessna, a leading manufacturer of private jet aircraft in the United States, recently unveiled what is sure to be a trend-setter in the industry over the next decade. The Citation Ten screamed down the runway in Wichita Kansas last month on the first of many test flights as Cessna aggressively pursues FAA certification for their new jet. The “Ten” will offer state-of-the-art amenities for its passengers as they wisp across the sky in unsurpassed comfort and style. Non-stop trips from London to Dubai, Seattle to Miami and Boston to San Francisco make the Citation Ten the ultimate business tool. A certified ceiling of 51,000 feet and cruising speed of 527 knots per hour will provide passengers a fast and comfortable journey. Accompanying unparalleled cockpit technology, the Ten will present its passengers with touch screen control at every seat; featuring web access, movies, moving maps and connections for personal electronic devices.
Cessna expects delivery of the Citation Ten to occur during the second half of 2013; at which time Magellan Jets will be able to book your next flight on the world’s most advanced aircraft. Let the “new aircraft smell” welcome you aboard as you disembark on your next business trip, sales opportunity or luxury vacation. Safety is our first priority at Magellan Jets and our clients can be certain that their Citation Ten crew members will be nothing less than experienced professionals. Stay tuned for production updates from Cessna as we anxiously anticipate the arrival of the Citation Ten. We strive to provide our clients with the most advanced technology available and the Citation Ten will be a positive addition to our portfolio of aircraft.
Coming on the heels of a visit to America’s aviation-Mecca, otherwise known as Wichita, Kansas, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood gave his support to the recovering general aviation industry. In front of a crowd of more than 2,000 workers, LaHood announced, “We get it,” LaHood said. “Your industry supports 1.2 million jobs across America. It contributes more than $150 billion to the nation's economy.”
Recognizing the economic value of an industrial-stronghold such as Wichita, the secretary let the crowd know he’d persuade President Barack Obama to come visit workers in the city which is home to Boeing, Cessna Aircraft, Hawker Beechcraft, Bombardier, in addition to dozens of suppliers.
As an essential location to the general aviation and private jet industries, Wichita produces more than 40% of all general aviation aircraft in the world. A staggering number, the backing of the Transportation Secretary is critical to the $7 billion economic output that Wichita is currently accounting for. In an attempt to keep this effort up, even improving upon the prowess of the Wichita general aviation scene, LaHood said, “I am proud to stand with you, to work with you and to fight with you to make sure that general aviation ... continues to flourish as the economy picks up.” “You will be one of the leaders in helping the global economy pick up.”
The FAA places very stringent safety measures on any new aircraft. A new type of jet (Gulfstream G550, Bombardier Global Express, Cessna Citation X, etc) must meet many requirements for test flights and performance under extreme conditions. Not anyone can build a plane and have it certified to carry paying passengers! There are many safety steps that have to be taken when a new jet is being tested, but here are some of the biggest (and most interesting!)
Get a Design Approved
Before you even start building new aircraft manufacturers like Boeing or Cessna have to ensure that they can meet the FAA’s standards for the process of actually building the new aircraft. The FAA likes to see that you have the proper equipment in place and the right training and safety procedures to keep errors from happening when new jets are being built. If you’re using new fabrication methods (a new type of welding or creating a new composite material) then those methods have to be tested by themselves before you can use them for a new aircraft!
Perform Ground Tests
Before the new aircraft leaves the ground for the first time it has already been heavily tested. Test pilots spend a lot of time taxiing the jet at low and high speeds checking for stability, controllability, and handling characteristics. They'll test the engines by throttling them up to full and then pulling them back quickly to make sure they won't quit. They also make many mock-takeoffs—accelerating to takeoff speed and then stopping as quickly as possible to test the brakes and see how quickly the new jet can come to a stop.
Complete Flight Tests
Once you build your first test aircraft—and often it takes many years and many millions of dollars to do so—you begin a rigorous series of test flights to examine every aspect of the new jet’s characteristics. This gives the manufacturer a chance to figure out all the data that goes into the aircraft’s flight manual. Pilots refer to these flight manuals every time they fly to perform the calculations necessary to go safely and efficiently. Many aircraft have well over 1000 hours of flight test time before they’re certified to carry passengers!
Perform Systems Tests
When you’re cruising comfortably at 45,000 feet, you want to know that the jet you’re on is going to stay comfortable! Test pilots take new jets up to high altitudes to run the systems through a gauntlet of challenging conditions. They make sure the cabin will stay pressurized (very important since the air at 45,000 feet is more than 5 times thinner than the air at sea level) and at a comfortable temperature. They also make sure things like the lights, the flat screens, the window shades, and the sound system all function the way they should. During this phase the pilots also check all their systems like autopilots, flight instruments, and de-icing equipment.
Pass Safety Tests
We’ve all heard that airplanes are the safest way to travel, but have you ever wondered why? After all when you’re flying on a private jet you’re travelling in a metal tube 8 or 9 miles above the ground at close to the speed of sound! The secret is the tough safety testing done on any new aircraft coming into the market. Test pilots check everything from stall speeds (when the aircraft is going too slow for the wing to produce lift) to performance during engine failures to how to fly the aircraft if all the electrical systems stop working. During this phase of the test process they develop procedures for every kind of emergency so that future pilots don’t have to come up with solutions in a real emergency! The procedures they develop maximize safety even in hazardous conditions and every pilot trained on that aircraft learns these procedures by heart!
This is just a snapshot of everything involved in taking a new jet from concept to design to product. The process, which has been developed since the airmail pilots started flying for hire in the 1920s, is centered on the idea that safety and reliability can be achieved in the inherently risky world of aviation. Add on the crew training and safety inspections, along with reliable third parties like ARG/US and Wyvern, and you can be confident that your next charter flight will be safe, efficient, and comfortable!
Chris Patten is an FAA licensed commercial pilot and a Flight Support Specialist for Magellan Jets.
Recently we blogged about, Colton Harris-Moore, and early Sunday morning he was aressted on the Bahamian Island of Eleuthera. Harris-More is suspected of flying a stolen plane to the Bahamas and was found just off the Abaco Island. Colton had stolen a 2009 Cessna 400 Corvalis and an emergency locator was used to track his whereabouts. Seems like a cold-hearted ending for a teen fugitive who has been on the run for almost two years. 20th Century Fox has recently purchased the rights for a film based on this celebrity teen fugitive. If Colton didnt get caught, he could still be flying private jets right now. Check out the link below to learn more: http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/07/11/bahamas.barefoot.bandit/index.html
A 19 year-old fugitive is wanted by the FBI in the Bahamas. Colton Harris-Moore is a teenage thief who has been taunting police for over two years now. Colton has been committing burglaries and possible theft of boats, airplanes, and luxury cars. Recently he has been spotted in the Bahamas and the US embassy has issued a $10,000 reward for any information leading to his arrest. The owner of a stolen plane was contacted by the Coast Guard that his plane has been sending emergency signals off the coast of the Bahamas. Colton was the prime suspect and he was nowhere to be found when the plane crashed. Sounds like Catch Me If You Can, a 2002 film starring Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio. If the owner of the plane used Magellan Jets, he wouldn’t have to worry about theft related issues.
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Cessna began issuing layoff notices to 1,600 of the 2,300 employees that will lose their jobs by the end of June. On top of the layoffs, Cessna has decided to shelve what was to be their new top of the line aircraft, the Columbus. Cessna is also closing The Bend, Ore, plant it inherited through the acquisition of Columbia Aircraft. CEO, Jack Pelton said that suspending work on the Columbus was difficult, but they need to be realistic in current economic times. They expect to refund around 50 million in deposits on the columbus.
Cessna Aircraft continues to lower its production through 2009 into 2010. This results in another round of layoffs scheduled to occur in July. Their credit market, Textron, says that the much of the companies market continues to soften in the current economic state. Textron did not release details about the next layoff round but full details are expected to be released at the end of the month. The company has eliminated twenty-five plus percent of its employees in the last three months. President and CEO of Cessna Jack Pelton has said that he has never seen an economic situation to this dynamic, but hopes recent news points to improvement. Cessna remains hopeful, but knows that private aviation may be one of the latter points of the economy to be restored to those who have ceased use of it.