Cessna Flies First CJ4, First Production SkyCatcher

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Cessna's new Citation CJ4 business jet prototype flew for the first time on Monday in Wichita, the company said. "We tested quite a number of the systems on the aircraft, including the autopilot, and all performed very well," said Cessna test pilot Dan Morris, who flew the jet for nearly two and a half hours. "The FADECs operated just as we expected, and along with the four displays of the Pro Line 21, this is a very pilot-friendly aircraft. Operators will transition easily into the CJ4." Cessna also announced on Monday that it has flown the first production model of the SkyCatcher for the first time. It flew for a half hour on May 1, about two months after the first flight of the first prototype of the airplane. Cessna said it plans to add one more aircraft to the test fleet.

All engineering work and testing of the SkyCatcher, a light sport aircraft, will be completed in Wichita. The CJ4 is scheduled to start deliveries in the first half of 2010.