First Production Cessna Citation Longitude Rolls Out

The super-midsize business twinjet is the product of Textron Aviation’s new assembly techniques.

Citation Longitude
Textron Aviation debuted its first production Cessna Citation Longitude, which the company praises for its new and innovative assembly process.Textron Aviation

Textron Aviation announced in March that the first four production Cessna Citation Longitude business jets were on the assembly line. This week, the company proudly unveiled the first production Longitude, and the emphasis of the company's celebration has been on how this super-midsize jet was built.

“The Citation Longitude sets a new standard in the super-midsize segment, not only through the aircraft’s design and performance, but also in the way we are manufacturing it,” said Ron Draper, senior vice president, Integrated Supply Chain for Textron Aviation. “We’re incorporating a number of new and innovative fabrication and assembly techniques that will improve processes, reduce the number of parts and provide excellent quality and precision that will aid in the overall maintainability of the aircraft.”

One new technique is monolithic machining, which features major assemblies that are “milled from a single piece of metal rather than assembled from smaller pieces, reducing the number of parts and resulting in more precise tolerances for easier assembly,” according to Textron. The Longitude assembly line has also adopted the vertical tooling process from the Citation Latitude, as it allows for better use of the factory space.

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The Citation Longitude has the lowest ownership costs in its class, according to Textron.Textron Aviation

The four Longitude test aircraft have logged more than 550 hours since the first takeoff in October 2016, and a fifth test aircraft will be added this summer, just as the Longitude joins the demonstration fleet and is showcased for potential customers around the world.

The Longitude’s key selling point is its lowest ownership costs in class, while being Textron’s biggest business twinjet to date. The company expects to achieve certification by the end of the year.