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CESSNA’S NEW BET CITATION LONGITUDE

XLS+ SOVEREIGN

If you are planning to upgrade from your current Citation jet or need something to look forward to in general, Cessna has good news: two new models are coming in the midsize and super-midsize segments. One, the Latitude, we already know from NBAA 2011. The brand new offering, topping the range, will be based on the same fuselage... and the same name. BY Ivan Veretennikov

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The height of luxury- somewhere at 45,000 ft and this interior is a nice place to unwind

t’s been four years since a new business jet

programme received dozens of deposits based on just a brief presentation, while the queue for existing models stretches so far into the future that many are willing to pay millions just to get their private jet faster. Today even a portfolio of excellent aircraft and a great history is not enough to stick around –competition is fierce and demand is low. Buyers reap the benefits of difficult times, with breathtakingly attractive aircraft sold cheap on the preowned market and manufacturers willing to throw in extra options or reduce prices for factorynew flying machines. It is now, with entry-level and light jets hit particularly hard, that Cessna has decided to have a second shot at a larger cabin. Mockups Galore The Cessna Citation Latitude was announced at NBAA 2011 and a mock-up was presented at the exhibition in Las Vegas, showcasing a remarkably spacious cabin (especially by Citation standards) and some features familiar from the year before, seen on the Ten, a revised and stretched version of the X presented in 2010. They include a Garmin G5000 avionics suite, new seats – the

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first to be designed by Cessna itself – and a somewhat futuristic interior. The Longitude appeared at EBACE this year, creating some confusion due to the same cross-section as the Latitude, a similar colour scheme to the already mentioned Ten mock-up, and the name. It took a while to figure out that this is indeed a different aircraft. It’s worth mentioning that yet another model, the light M2 (to fit into the gap between the Mustang and CJ2+) was announced in September 2011, making Cessna arguably the busiest manufacturer in terms of new models. And although the word “mock-up” was used lavishly in this paragraph, two of the mentioned machines, namely the M2 and Ten, have already achieved their first flights. New Breed The models we will concentrate on, however, still have a long way to go before they see the runway, although the use of traditional materials and controls (as opposed to composites and flyby-wire) will probably make the job that bit easier. Both the Latitude and Longitude see Cessna entering the stand-up cabin market with a shared fuselage cross-section 1.83 metres tall and 1.95 metres wide. If you’ve ever been in a Hawker 4000, it’s almost exactly the same size (1.82 by 1.97). It’s interesting, though, that the new Cessna mockups have a more roomy feel – perhaps due to clever use of lighting and colours. The Longitude cabin is substantially longer than that of the 4000 (9.36 metres versus 7.62 of the Hawker plane), and although the Latitude is shorter by a metre (6.6 m), it can just about compete with the much more expensive aircraft in terms of cabin comfort. Apart from the fuselage, the two new Cessnas will share some other important features, such as the avionics suite, cabin management system, and interior design philosophy, but in essence they will be very different aircraft each deserving a closer look.

Modern glass cockpits and neutral colour cabins ensure not only speed but a relaxed environment

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In-Betweener Priced at around $15 milion, the Latitude will – according to Cessna’s marketing efforts – fill the gap between the XLS+ and the Sovereign (about $12.6 and $17.5 respectively). This is very true in terms of price, but debatable in other ways, especially if you are based in Europe or the Middle East. In a way it’s better than both of the above: much more spacious cabin, cutting-edge equipment, updated Pratt & Whitney Canada PW306D engines, and a remarkably ergonomic cockpit will surely make it a joy to fly up front or relax in the back. It has a cabin pressure equivalent to 1830 m at its ceiling of 13716 metres, while the Sovereign offers an equivalent of 2200 m (its ceiling is 14326 m, however). The slightly swept wing is based on the Sovereign design and sports a modern look thanks to curved tips in place of traditional winglets. They somewhat resemble the ones on the Boeing Dreamliner and may yet become the new fancy trend in business aviation. In any case, the resulting runway performance of the new aircraft is as good as it gets, in pure Citation traditions. The takeoff distance is estimated at just 1189 metres – better than the Embraer Legacy 450 and Bombardier Learjet 60XR. What the Latitude does lack is flight range. If you were living in the United States, you would be very happy: its 4260 km (2300 nautical miles) are what they call “coast-to-coast”. It’s also perfect for China where the business jet will be manufactured by the Aviation Industry Corporation for the domestic market. Based in the Middle East, however, even the Sovereign with its substantially greater maximum range of 5575 km is not quite enough to reach London, while it offers the owner more freedom flying to Europe, Asia, and Africa. The Latitude will get you to Moscow or the Seychelles nonstop, but for everything greater than that you would be looking for another plane. Find “Half-Price” in Altitudes Arabia no. 22 for a very detailed report on what exactly that could be. Europeans and Russians may also want to have a look: the Latitude is perfect for flights within Europe, but some may want more for this money – or, indeed, save several million by buying a smaller aircraft. All in all, however, it offers a lot of space and technology for its 15 million dollars, much like its direct competitor Embraer Legacy 450, on track for first delivery in 2014. To imagine that a loyal Cessna customer would give up his trusted thoroughbred for a Brazilian aeroplane – unthinkable… but open-minded shoppers may give the matter some consideration. Columbus Comeback? The big deal, hands down, is the Longitude. Cessna representatives must have answered the same one question countless times in the three days of EBACE: “Is this what used to be the Columbus?” Well, it’s not. The Columbus was arguably the only great project conceived in the good times that didn’t survive the continuing downturn, and the reason people are still asking is simple: it really was a good aeroplane, at least on paper. With the same 7408 km maximum range as has

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VNE CITATION LATITUDE

CITATION LONGITUDE

CITATION COLUMBUS (CANCELLED)

CITATION SOVEREIGN

CITATION X

RANGE

4,260km

7,408km

7,408km

5,575km

5,788km

MAX CRUISE SPEED

819km/h

907km/h

904km/h

850km/h

972km/h

TAKEOFF DISTANCE

1,189m

1,646m

1,646m

1,109m

1,567m

OPERATING CEILING

13,716m

13,716m

13,716m

14,326m

15,545m

LENGTH

19m

26.5m

23.5m

19.3m

22m

HEIGHT

6.4m

7.9m

7.5m

6.2m

5.84m

WINGSPAN

22m

26.2m

24.4m

19.3m

19.4m

CABIN HEIGHT

1.83m

1.83m

1.86m

1.74m

1.74m

CABIN WIDTH

1.95m

1.95m

2.10m

1.68m

1.68m

CABIN LENGTH

6.6m

9.36m

11.06m

7.70m

7.28m

SEATS

9

10

10

8

8

ENGINES

2 x PW306D

2 x Snecma Silvercrest

2 x PW810C

2 x PW306C

2 x RR AE3007C1

THRUST

2,585kg

4,990kg

4,005kg

2,617kg

3,068kg

Garmin G5000

Garmin G5000

Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion

SPECIFICATIONS

EXTERNAL DIM.

INTERNAL DIM.

ENGINES

AVIONICS

FEATURES

Clean-sheet fuselage, All-new engines and Aluminium structure, cruciform tail, clean wing, aluminium hybrid fly-by-wire, ergonomic cockpit, structure, T-tail, ample T-tail, wider and taller 1829 m cabin pressure baggage compartment cabin than in the at ceiling, new seats, accessible new models Clairity CMS in flight

Honeywell Primus Epic Honeywell Primus 2000

Low costs, great runway performance, biggest cabin volume in production Citations

Good range, sporty feel. Best speed and operating ceiling. New version (the TEN) coming soon

PRICE

US$ 15 000 000

US$ 26 000 000

US$ 27 000 000

US$ 17 500 000

US$ 22 000 000

ENTRY INTO SERVICE

2017

2015

none

in service

in service

Spacious fast and new

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now been announced for the Longitude and with similar design goals, it would have been a lot more spacious. Despite being bigger on the inside, it would have been smaller on the outside, looking more proportionate next to the rather lanky Longitude with its huge T-tail. Cessna advertised a hybrid fly-by-wire system and new Pratt & Whitney PW810C engines among its key features and announced a price of 27 million. Work on the project actually started, but in July 2009 the Columbus was scrapped, leaving behind some nice pictures and a promotional video that can be found on Youtube.

Table for 9 or 10. Accomodation is generous in the new jets

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The Longer Tube The past is of no consequence if an exciting future lies ahead. The Longitude will surely become a worthy successor to the top spot in the Citation line-up and a new dream for Cessna owners, as well as an attractive option for every aircraft shopper in the super-midsize segment. With its 7408 km range, a cabin over 9 metres long, 10 seats, and an ample baggage compartment available in flight, it sees Cessna rise to a new level. In a surprise move the company announced a partnership with French manufacturer Snecma that will provide an all-new turbofan engine, the Silvercrest, designed specifically for this model. The engine, with an output of 4990 kg, will be Snecma’s first on the business aviation market – and a good one if all target indicators are met: a 5 to 15 percent lower specific fuel consumption as well as at least 25 percent better climb and cruise thrust than competing engines. Unsurprisingly, the aircraft will feature dual channel FADEC, just like the Latitude. A noticeable exterior feature is the impressive T-tail, setting it apart from its smaller sibling that retained the cruciform tail of the Sovereign. The cockpit is extremely clean and ergonomic thanks to the Garmin G5000 avionics suite with its four touchscreen controls that have allowed a relaxed working environment for the pilots. Additional systems, such as synthetic vision, autothrottles, traffic collision avoidance system (TCAS II), and terrain awareness warning system (TAWS) will be available. They have more or less achieved “must-have” status in modern business jets. For those who fly in the backseat (and the Longitude is in a league where most do) there are some nice surprises in the cabin. The stunning, mildly futuristic design, should appeal to business jet connoisseurs: it’s fresh and has a unique atmosphere augmented by dynamic lighting around the windows and bulkheads, and along the ceiling. There are many little niceties to look forward to. New seats of Cessna’s own design (a first for the company) are very comfortable and have retractable armrests. The passageway between them is quite wide, but it’s still a nice and appropriate touch. The environment around each passenger is functional and intuitive thanks to the trademark Clairity cabin management system. Most business aircraft manufacturers offer touchscreen controls and smartphone connectivity, and Cessna is no exception: Clairity will let you alter audio and video settings, switch on lights and close blinds, as well as selecting what will be shown on the big screens on the plane. Be sure that the kids will have the opportunity to connect their Xbox


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– or whatever is popular in 2017 – and stay engaged during the flight, giving you time to think business or relax. The Longitude will connect such city pairs as New York – Paris, London – Dubai, or Moscow – Beijing. You won’t need to refuel flying from the Middle East to Europe, Asia and Africa (save Tokyo and Johannesburg), meaning that this new aircraft truly puts you in touch with the world. All competitors in the super-midsize and large cabin class except the Hawker 4000 (namely the Gulfstream G280, Challenger 300, Falcon 2000LX, and the Challenger 605) have a wider, but not much taller cabin. And as it usually is with business jets, each has its advantages and disadvantages. Considering the $26 million price tag of the Citation Longitude, it is a good performer, with more range than some, faster than others, and would definitely be worth its money if deliveries started today: new technology leaves the competition no chance. By 2017 this advantage probably won’t be as overwhelming, but this shouldn’t bother long-time Cessna customers. They now have an excellent long-range upgrade option to save money for.

Modern and sleek galley space and entertainment complex in the new Cessnas

A Good Mix Two new models stretch the wish list of a Cessna lover even more. Add the new Ten and M2, and you have 11 Citation business jets to choose from: the Wichita-based manufacturer really offers a diversified range of products! Competing internally, both the Latitude and Longitude have the biggest cabin and most advanced technology. The former is cheaper than the Sovereign but offers more comfort on longer legs, while the latter is the new flagship: best range, biggest cabin, most expensive. As for other manufacturers, the Latitude will probably have a tough fight with the Embraer Legacy 450, and the unique technology offerings of the Brazilian could tip the scales both ways: if it succeeds with full fly-by-wire, joystick controls, and its myriad of advanced safety features, it may give the American a hard time. It could well be, however, that Cessna’s bid on traditional technology is a winning strategy, while the stronger brand image and legacy (a very apt word) will attract buyers. The Longitude is easier to distinguish among other Cessna models – it sits right at the top. It is up against formidable competitors, each boasting some unique advantages. The new Citation has a good price to range to cabin ratio and will definitely find its buyer. The big challenge right now is to convince the market that the jet is here to stay, although the commonality of fuselage and systems with the Latitude reduce risks, making it highly probable that we really will see two brand-new Cessnas take to the skies in 2014 and 2016, and some happy owners in 2015 and 2017 respectively. Maybe by that time there will be less confusion with the names. First, the Ten appeared alongside the X. They are both pronounced as “ten”. Now the Latitude and Longitude – at this point in the article you have probably forgotten which is which. This calls for a beautiful name, already meant to designate the biggest and best Citation jet. After all, the Longitude is the new Columbus. Why ❚ call it differently?

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Altitudes Arabia #24  

Ivan Veretennikov, business jet, business aviation, Russia, Cessna, Citation X, Latitude, Longitude, Sovereign

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