Textron Introduces Hemisphere

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As expected, Textron Aviation announced a third member of its family of next-generation Citation aircraft at NBAA 2015 with the introduction of the Hemisphere. The new aircraft will have a range of 4500 nautical miles and "best in class" everything else but details were scant on the aircraft's other specs. The engine and avionics choices have not been made. One thing Textron CEO Scott Ernest made clear, however, is that the plane is not a warmed-over version of the Columbus, a project he killed shortly after replacing Jack Pelton as Cessna CEO. He said there was a lot of "old technology" in the Columbus and that it was killed long ago.

The range of the Hemisphere suggests a 12- to 18-passenger capacity and three-zone seating. Ernest said the plan is for a Mach .9 aircraft with a stand-up cabin and flat floor that will put Textron in the intercontinental market. First flight will be in 2019. He did not confirm the aircraft will be built in Wichita but he did say he was impressed with the work Textron's employees have been doing with the other projects introduced in recent years.