Prototype Cessna Latitude Demos Full Envelope

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During its third test flight, Cessna Aircraft’s Citation Latitude prototype successfully achieved its full performance envelope, the company said. It reached a maximum speed of 506 mph and an altitude of 45,000 feet with a gross takeoff weight of 29,000 pounds. The first flight took place last week. Michael Thacker, Cessna senior vice president of engineering, said in a statement that from an engineering perspective, Cessna’s team has designed a plane that is proceeding in a predictable, reliable manner.

According to the Wichita Eagle, the test prototype is displaying characteristics of a mature system in its first few flights. Cessna CEO Scott Ernest said, “The Latitude is an aircraft that delivers a lot of firsts from Cessna — the wide fuselage, the stand-up cabin with a flat floor, auto-throttles, the electric door and the improved cabin environment. All these achievements stem from listening to the voice of the customer and getting down to the business of delivering what customers need and desire.” Cessna’s website says certification and first deliveries are expected in 2015.