Textron Announces Hemisphere Development Delay

Delay is expected to run 8-14 months.

textron Citation Hemisphere
Delays for engine delivery are expected to be nearly two years.Textron Aviation

Safran's Silvercrest engine certification delays caused Dassault in December to scrap its Safran-based Falcon 5X. Yesterday Textron announced it too had halted work, at least temporarily, on its largest new business jet, the Silvercrest-powered Citation Hemisphere.

Textron’s announcement did represent the first time a specific timeframe had been mentioned, between an “18-24-month delay of the Silvercrest engine.” Textron said. “We’re committed to being an industry-leader and will not back off on the performance specifications we want for the Citation Hemisphere.” The delay confirms the Hemisphere will not fly in 2019 as planned.

The Wichita Eagle reported that Scott Donnelly, chief executive of parent company Textron Inc., confirmed on an analyst call yesterday that the Hemisphere is on hold. "I think everybody knows there have been some issues around the engine that was slated for that aircraft," Donnelly said. "At this point we have basically suspended the program and are waiting to see how the engine plays out. And then based on that, we'll make our decisions and move forward knowing what the performance of the engine is."

Whether this further delay to the Hemisphere program results in Textron dumping the Silvercrest engine as did competitor Dassault is anyone’s guess. Certainly some Textron customers will remain interested in the Hemisphere, but the company doesn’t have two years to wait for a power plant if the aircraft is to have any chance of catching up with competitors Gulfstream, Dassault and Bombardier.