Cessna Citation Ascend Makes Milestone Test Flight

The program’s second test article completes its first test flight, building momentum for certification, Textron Aviation said.

Textron Aviation’s Cessna Citation Ascend P1 [Courtesy: Textron Aviation]

The second Cessna Citation Ascend test article has completed its first test flight, advancing development of the business jet program, according to Textron Aviation.

The milestone flight for the aircraft—called P1—on Wednesday over Wichita, Kansas, follows that of the Ascend prototype, which completed its first flight in 2023, making the P1 aircraft the first conforming production flight test aircraft, Textron said.

The Citation Ascend was introduced in 2023 during the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE).

The P1, piloted by Michael Bradfield and Maurice Girard, flew for 1 hour and 24 minutes, reaching a max altitude of 13,500 feet with a max speed of 308 knots. Company officials said the aircraft will be used for the flight test program, primarily for systems testing, including propulsion, human factors, environmental control, and avionics.

"[The] successful flight of the second Citation Ascend test article marks another achievement for the program, and that’s a testament to the many great employees involved with this project,” said Chris Hearne, senior vice president of engineering at Textron. “The aircraft has continued to perform well through the phases of testing, and I continue to be confident in the program’s momentum and in our skilled team members who make it possible.”

The Citation Ascend flight test certification program is expected to complete certification testing with the two test articles—the prototype and P1. To date, the program has accumulated more than 400 flight hours.

About the Citation Ascend

Textron Aviation says the Citation Ascend was designed based on customer feedback for performance and comfort. Among the features is a flat floor to provide more legroom and flexibility for passengers, 19 standard USB charging ports, and three universal outlets throughout the aircraft, which has room for nine passengers.

The aircraft will utilize Pratt & Whitney Canada PW545D engines and state-of-the-art Garmin G5000 avionics that feature the latest software and hardware, including autothrottle technology. In addition, the Ascend also boasts a Honeywell RE100 [(XL) auxiliary power unit (APU) approved for unattended operations.

Meg Godlewski has been an aviation journalist for more than 24 years and a CFI for more than 20 years. If she is not flying or teaching aviation, she is writing about it. Meg is a founding member of the Pilot Proficiency Center at EAA AirVenture and excels at the application of simulation technology to flatten the learning curve. Follow Meg on Twitter @2Lewski.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get the latest FLYING stories delivered directly to your inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter