Textron Aviation has added a fourth midsize Cessna Citation Longitude jet to its test flight fleet, moving the program one step closer to expected Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) type certification later this year.
The new aircraft will be used to evaluate the fit and finish of the interiors, the environmental control system, pressurization and cabin technologies.
The jet had its first flight earlier this month from Textron Aviation’s Beech Field in East Wichita, Kansas, which lasted 3 hours and 20 minutes. The aircraft reached all of its performance targets.
Brad Thress, senior vice president of engineering at Textron Aviation, said, “With four aircraft now flying in the Longitude test program in less than eight months, we are demonstrating that our product development processes and teams are second to none in the industry.
“In addition to further systems testing, this fourth aircraft allows us to evaluate the overall passenger experience in the cabin, which is just as vital as the performance and technology in the cockpit.”
The first Citation Longitude flew in October 2016 and, to date, the flight test program has completed more than 200 flights, accumulating nearly 400 hours in the air. With seating for up to 12 passengers, including an optional crew jump seat, the jet additionally features the lowest cabin altitude at 5,950ft, a quiet cabin, a 6ft flat-floor cabin, and a bespoke interior.