Cessna Announces Two First Flights

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While most of the world was concentrating on AirVenture, things were also happening in Wichita where two of Cessna's business jet programs celebrated developmental first flights. On July 28, the first production Citation CJ3+ made its maiden flight. Test pilot Mark Tuttle reported that all systems performed as expected during the 73-minute mission. The Williams International FJ44-3A-powered CJ3+ is a revamped version of the ten-year-old CJ3, and features Garmin's G3000 avionics suite, a new interior and a redesigned cabin and cockpit. The new aircraft was first announced on March 20 of this year, and Federal Aviation Administration certification is expected later this year. The newest aircraft in the CJ-series includes new interiors with a redesigned cabin and cockpit, new pressurization and new diagnostics systems.

A few days earlier, on July 25, the second production-conforming Citation Latitude—serial 002—took to the skies on a more than two-hour flight. The midsize bizjet reached an altitude of 45,000 feet and a maximum speed of 305 knots/Mach 0.80, according to Cessna. Two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW306D-powered Latitudes—a prototype and a production example—have logged over 330 hours in more than 150 flights thus far. The nine-seat twinjet is scheduled for certification and service entry next year. It features an all-new fuselage with a 5.9-foot-high cabin, a Garmin G5000 avionics suite and Cessna's Clarity cabin management system. Cessna reports orders for 27 Latitudes to date.