Cessna’s Encore+ Program Passes 100 Flight Hours
Also at EBACE, Cessna said its Citation Encore+ development program passed the 100-flight-hour milestone in late April and is on track for entry into service in the first quarter of 2007. The company's program includes two aircraft: One is being used to develop the full authority digital engine control (FADEC) software while the other is dedicated to fully testing and integrating the Collins Pro Line 21 avionics suite upgrade, which includes a Collins autopilot. According to Cessna, other improvements covered under the Encore+ upgrade program include new interior lighting, new seat designs and a maximum takeoff weight increase of 200 pounds. The company says it has delivered to FlightSafety International more than 90 percent of the parts required to build the full-motion simulator (FAA Level D/JAR STD 1A) for the Encore+ at the company’s Tulsa, Okla., facility.
The Encore+'s thrust from the twin Pratt & Whitney Canada PW545B engines (3,400 pounds apiece) will remain the same, but adding the FADEC will increase engine efficiency and responsiveness. The type was first announced last November at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) convention in Orlando. Cessna said at the time that deliveries would start in February 2007 and, with the March 23 first flight and the latest announcement, it appears the company is right on schedule. The Encore+ succeeds the Citation Encore and, when compared to the Encore, the "plus" version enables the typical operator to have a full-fuel payload (in addition to two pilots) in excess of 1,100 pounds. Cessna expects to certify the Citation Encore+ for single-pilot operation.