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Aircraft Profile: Cessna's Citation Longitude

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Super Mid-Size Business Jet With Value:

Cessna Aircraft Company is trying its hand again at the super mid-size business jet market, announcing plans for the Citation Longitude, a long-range, large-cabin aircraft. This marks Cessna's second attempt at building a super mid-size jet, after plans to develop the Columbus were scrapped in 2008. The Longitude was revealed during the 2012 European Business Aviation & Convention (EBACE) in Geneva, Switzerland, just six months after the Cessna Latitude was unveiled.

The Longitude boasts the biggest cabin and longest range of any Citation, and it's expected to be the least expensive of the comparable aircraft on the market, a sign that Cessna is remaining modest in a gloomy U.S. market.

Cessna also made headlines with the choice of engines for the Longitude: French-built Snecma Silvercrest engines. Cessna is the first to use the new engines, which is a deviation from the widely-used GE engines Cessna has coveted in the past.

Fitted with enough fancy communication devices to outlast any future airspace needs, the newest Citation family member has seating for up to eight passengers with a hard-door lavatory. And the Longitude will surely hit the mark for its customers with its low price tag.

Price:

Estimated $25.9 million

Timeline:

  • May 2012: Announced development plans at EBACE
  • 2016: Expected first flight
  • Late 2017: Planned first deliveries

Features:

Up to eight passengers plus the required crew members can fit on the future Citation Longitude, with lots of room to spread out.

The Longitude will have the ability to access its sizable baggage compartment in-flight, a unique feature that clients might find convenient.

The spacious cabin will have touch screens at each passenger seat that can control the cabin environment, lights, and communication devices, allowing for a comfortable ride.

Preliminary Performance Specifications:

  • Range: 4000 nm at Mach .82
  • Max Speed: Mach .86
  • Takeoff Distance: 5,400 ft
  • Maximum Operating Altitude: 45,000 ft
  • Payload with Full Fuel: 2,000 lb

Preliminary Design Specifications:

  • Engines: The new Snecma Silvercrest FADEC Engines are based off the CFM56 and are designed with reliability, noise-reduction and future environmental standards in mind.With no time-between-overhaul (TBO) value, this engine may be an operator's dream. In place of designated TBO times, maintenance will be done according to computerized engine system and maintenance data. It's Cessna's first time using engines with no TBO time, and the company hopes the engines will save on maintenance costs and downtime, which should please customers.
  • Avionics: The Longitude comes with the popular Garmin G5000 touch-screen avionics package, and includes autothrottles. This jet won't lack in the communications department; it's outfitted with future airspace changes in mind and is made for international flights. The avionics package will include NextGen Technologies such as ADS-B, CPDLC and RNP, among others. It's unclear yet which avionics systems will be standard and which will be optional.
  • Size: The Longitude will be built with the same fuselage cross-section as the Latitude, but will be 9 feet longer, with a total height of 26 feet, and a total length of 87 feet. The inner cabin height will be a roomy six feet tall, and the cabin length will be just shy of 38 feet. Who doesn't love a little extra leg room?

Customers:

The Longitude will be able to fly from New York to Paris or London to Dubai without those pesky fuel stops, making it an attractive jet for international business owners. In addition, the company says that the aircraft will be one of the fastest to do so.

Business jet buyers will have to decide between the Longitude, Bombardier's Challenger 605, and the Embraer Legacy 650. It is rumored that the Longitude will be about $5 million dollars less than the competition, but, of course this depends on specifications. While the Longitude is coming into a bleak market, it has the advantage of having the newest technology on board, which will be important with the Single European Sky program as well as America's NextGen program.

The Longitude is a sleek, comfortable jet and if the company sticks to a low price point, Cessna might just come out on top with its newest Citation. It's hard to beat Embraer's trusty Legacy 650 jet, though, and the new engines on the Cessna might be a risk when customers have gotten used to GE engines.

We'll find out how it fares in 2017, when the Cessna Citation Longitude is projected to enter service.

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