Project Milestone for Cessna Citation Latitude

New aircraft models move through the design phase with clear milestone goals. One of the major achievements comes when the wing assembly and fuselage meet for the first time. For the in-development Cessna Citation Latitude, that event occurred last week, and Cessna is celebrating.

"It is very rewarding," said Terry Shriner, Cessna's business leader for the Latitude, "to see an aircraft take shape that, until now, you've only seen on paper." First flight is scheduled for the first quarter of next year. The project was launched during the NBAA Convention and Exhibition two years ago.

Cessna has identified a clear priority in the Latitude — cabin size and comfort. "We started with a clear vision for the Latitude — to make the widest Citation," said senior vice president of sales Kriya Shortt. Performance is also expected to be impressive, with time-to-climb to 43,000 feet pegged at 23 minutes with two pilots and up to nine passengers relaxing in the 6-foot-tall cabin. Non-stop city pairs include: Los Angeles-New York; Houston-Bogota (Colombia); Rome-Dubai; and Singapore-Beijing.

Design and development of the Latitude has been driven, in part by customers, who provided input on performance and cabin amenities. Shortt said, "This is a fantastic aircraft that will set a new standard for the mid-size category of business jets."

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Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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