Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. company, is celebrating another program milestone for the world’s fastest civilian aircraft, the Citation X. The first production unit of the new Citation X took its maiden flight this week, marking another step closer to certification and delivery of the remarkable mid-size business jet.
“The Citation X was flawless today,” said Gary Drummond, Cessna senior production test pilot and the flight’s Pilot in Command. “We took the X to an altitude of 49,000 feet on a flight pattern over western Kansas. The aircraft attained a top speed of Mach 0.935 (617 mph). We conducted a 3.1-hour flight with an average cruise speed of Mach 0.915 (604 mph) at 41,000 feet. The Garmin G5000 avionics performed brilliantly and the auto-throttle system is going to be a welcome feature for Citation X operators, as it . Approach into high congestion areas are simplified with auto-throttles. Speed and command changes were seamless today. The auto throttles on the X delivers flight performance advantages with greater situational awareness and reduced crew workload.”
Also piloting this week’s flight was Steve Turner, Cessna engineering test pilot.
“The Citation X is an icon of performance, and it continues to live up to its reputation as an exceptional aircraft delivering what owners need and pilots want,” said Brad Thress, Cessna senior vice president, Business Jets. “There is no faster way to get from point A to point B than in Cessna’s Citation X business jet. The aircraft’s 3,242 nm range means it can easily handle a non-stop flight from New York to London, Honolulu to Dallas, or Singapore to Tokyo. No other business jet can compete with the Citation X on performance, speed and price.”
The Citation X boasts two Rolls-Royce AE 3007C2 turbofan engines, each delivering 7,034 pounds of thrust. The Citation X is one of the few business jets permitted to operate at an altitude of 51,000 feet. This capability allows the aircraft to fly above most weather and avoid lower-altitude commercial traffic, translating into shorter flights.
“The ability to fly higher means there will be less air traffic around you, and all the weather’s below you. You can arrive at your destination in less time than you would in other civilian aircraft,” said Thress. “The engines on the X are very powerful, producing a high power-to-weight ratio. As a result, the Citation X has unmatched takeoff, climb and cruise performance. The X puts you ahead of the rest.”
The Citation X upgrades were announced in the fall of 2010. The Citation X now offers a longer cabin and greater range. The cockpit features three 14” primary displays and four touchscreen controllers for data entry and systems control. First flight of the new Citation X was on January 17, 2012. Deliveries are expected to begin early next year.
Cessna press release