Cessna is unveiling the Citation Longitude as it makes another run at the super mid-size market three years after cancelling the Columbus program.
In an effort to curtail costs, the Longitude will have virtually the same performance capabilities as the Columbus, but it will share its fuselage cross section with the Citation Latitude. The commonality means, though, that it will have a six-inch narrower cabin cross section than the Columbus. The main seating area will be seven inches shorter.
Cessna is targeting FAA type certification and initial customer deliveries in the fourth quarter 2017, about three and one-half years later than the Columbus was to hit the market. The Columbus effort was abandoned because of the high development cost coming at a time the business aviation market was at a low-point.
Some aero design features developed for Columbus will be resurrected for Longitude, including its huge T-tail empennage, area-rule loft contours and moderately swept wing. The new aircraft also will have simpler systems, many adapted from legacy Citations.
It will be powered by the Snecma Silvercrest, a clean-sheet 8,500 to 12,000 lb thrust turbofan that promises 15% better specific fuel consumption than current engines in this thrust class, along with a 50% margin to CAEP/6 NOx limits and 20% margin to FAR 36 Stage 4 noise limits. It will be rated for takeoff up to 11,000 lb for the Longitude. The Cessna aircraft will be the launch platform for the Silvercrest, although the Dassault SMS, still in development and believed to be powered by the French turbofan as well, could come to market a year earlier.
The Longitude has a range of around 4,000 nm. Dimensions and weights have not been set, but will sport a wingspan of up to 86 ft., an overall length as long as 87 ft. and a tail height of up to 26 ft.
The aircraft will receive a new wing design, with a super-critical airfoil, a straight leading edge with a 30 deg of sweep and small winglets. The modest wing sweep results in a relatively sharp increase in drag above its o.82 Mach design cruise speed, but that’s still 11 knots faster than Columbus.
Cessna will remain with an aluminum fuselage and wing construction. The fuselage will be an 83.25 inch circular cross section, affording 6.0 ft. of cabin height, 6.4 ft. of width and a 4.1 ft. wide flat floor.
It will compete against large cabin aircraft, including the Bombardier Challenger 605 and Dassault Falcon 2000LX (and yet to be formally launched SMS), plus perhaps the Gulfstream G450.