Sunday, August 26, 2012

Citation Ten makes Cessna fastest once again

Cessna Aircraft Corporation announced this week that its new Citation Ten will be the world’s fastest civil aircraft. After the retirement of the Concorde, Cessna’s Citation X was the fastest civil airplane with a maximum Mach number of 0.92 until Gulfstream unveiled its new G650 business jet. The G650 boasted a maximum Mach of 0.925. In an August 24 press release, Cessna revealed that the new Citation Ten will have a maximum Mach of 0.935.

A speed of Mach 0.935 means that the Citation Ten will be capable of traveling at 93.5 percent of the speed of sound. This is equivalent to almost 700 miles per hour (1,126 kilometers per hour).

Scott Ernest, Cessna President and CEO, said, “As our founder Clyde Cessna said, ‘speed is the only reason for flying,’ so at Cessna we design, engineer, manufacture and fly the fastest civil aircraft in the world – not for us, but for our customers so they can work faster, more efficiently and get the job done.”

Cessna also notes that in addition to an increase in speed over the old Citation X, the new Ten will also have increased payload capacity and range. The Ten will have a range of 3,245 nautical miles (3,734 statute miles or 6,009 kilometers), an increase of almost 200 miles over the X. Payload is also slated to increase by about 200 pounds (90 kilograms).

As a part of the celebration surrounding Cessna’s return to preeminence among fast jets, the company also announced that it will have a presence on all four race cars that are part of the Chip Ganassi Racing Team. Ganassi Racing operates a Citation X according to Professional Pilot magazine.

In the press release, Ganassi says, “My teams compete in nearly 70 races a year and I try to make it to as many as I can.” He continues, “The races might be on the same weekend and sometimes even on the same day and thousands of miles apart. So like any business owner, time is one of my most valuable assets. This airplane shrinks the map for me and has become a vital piece of my business allowing me to spend more time at the track and with my teams. You couldn’t put a value on how important it is to my business.”

The Citation Ten is currently undergoing flight testing and certification. It first flew in January 2012 at Cessna’s factory in Wichita, Kan. According to Cessna, first deliveries of the Ten are scheduled for January 2013.

Disclosure:  The author is employed as a pilot by a division of Cessna and Textron.

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