On March 17th, Cessna’s Citation Longitude program took another step forward. The first flight of its Longitude prototype, registered N702Gl, departed Wichita, Kansas and completed a nearly 2 hour test flight. Cessna test pilots Corey Eckhart, U J Pesonen, and the flight-test engineer Mike Bradfield were in command, evaluating the aircraft’s performance and onboard systems.
According to Textron Aviation, this third prototype is to be dedicated to the development of onboard avionics and basic flight systems. The first four Longitudes are currently being produced in a dedicated manufacturing faculty in the east side of the Wichita campus.
Cessna has been becoming increasingly more successful in the past few months. Six months after the first Longitude passed Cessna’s certification effort, the third Honeywell HTF7700L-powered prototype joined the test program. Combined, both aircrafts have logged 250 hours across 125 flights thus far.
The Longitude was placed within Cessna’s 10-strong citation line-up, along with the Latitude and the Hemisphere- which is expected to debut in 2019. The new Longitude prototype is Cessna’s first and only aircraft to use fly-by-wire technology and electronically-actuated spoilers.
Above: Rendering of the new Cessna Longitude cockpit, equipped with the latest fly-by-wire technologies
Textron Aviation’s senior vice-president of engineering stated “The speed at which our team is achieving these milestones is an important indication to our customers of the maturity of the aircraft’s systems, and the proficiency of our processes.”
The future is looking good for Cessna, and high hopes have been prevalent all across the industry on the new prototypes that the company has yet to deliver.