Cessna Adds Third Citation Longitude to Test Program

Production is already underway for the super-midsize business jet scheduled for certification later this year.

Cessna Citation Longitude
The first four production models of the Cessna Citation Longitude midsize-business jet have hit the assembly line.Textron Aviation

On Monday, Textron Aviation announced that the third aircraft in the Cessna Citation Longitude flight test program completed its debut flight, and the company is certainly pleased with the results.

Only six months have passed since the first Longitude completed its inaugural flight, but the latest test airplane’s successful one-hour and 40-minute trip aloft is enough to jumpstart assembly line work for the first four production Longitudes at the company’s facilities at Beech Field in Wichita, Kansas.

The super-midsize Longitude promises to be the company’s biggest business twinjet yet, while also offering the claimed lowest ownership costs in the class. The first two test jets have logged a combined 125 flights and 250 test hours. The third Longitude jet will be used to test avionics and systems development, according to Textron Aviation, which expects to achieve certification for by the end of the year.

“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,” said Brad Thress, senior vice president of Engineering for Textron Aviation. “We continue to build momentum in the program, and the team is dedicated to getting this world-class aircraft in the hands of our customers.”

Just like the midsize Citation Latitude, the Longitude was designed for maximum comfort and offers state-of-the-art cabin technology that should make the flight incredibly efficient for as many as 12 passengers. Also like the Latitude, the new model will be equipped with the Garmin G5000 flight deck. The Longitude is powered by a pair of fadec-equipped Honeywell HTF7700L turbofan engines with fully integrated autothrottles.