Cessna Latitude Certified

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Cessna has received FAA certification for its new Latitude business jet and it's right on time. The Latitude was announced at NBAA in 2011 as an eight-passenger midsize with some design features of larger platforms, including a six-foot stand-up cabin and width of 77 inches. “From inception, we looked at every aspect of how we design, build and deliver new products to the market with the goal to further improve upon the key attributes that make the Citation so highly esteemed,” said Textron Aviation CEO Scott Ernest. Construction of the aircraft involved updated processes and procedures and the company says the test articles have consistently beaten their performance targets. Maximum range is 2,850 nm. First deliveries are expected in the third quarter. Meanwhile, there's speculation Cessna may re-enter the larger cabin market.

Bloomberg reported last month that Cessna is working on a larger airframe to serve the high-end bizjet market. The company has already done a lot of the heavy lifting toward building a bigger airplane with the Columbus program that was scrapped six years ago. It's not clear if the new initiative is a revival of that project or a clean-sheet design.