Cessna Aircraft Company completed the first flight of its Citation CJ4 business jet prototype Monday.
“It was an outstanding first flight,” said Cessna Senior Engineering Test Pilot Dan Morris, who flew the aircraft with Engineering Flight Test Manager Dave Bonifield as co-pilot. “We tested quite a number of the systems on the aircraft, including the autopilot, and all performed very well. The FADECs operated just as we expected, and along with the four displays of the Pro Line 21, this is a very pilot-friendly aircraft. Operators will transition easily into the CJ4.”
The 2 hour, 22 minute flight departed McConnell Air Force Base just after 11:30 a.m. and consisted of flight maneuvers evaluating stability and control along with initial systems evaluations. While the pilots took the prototype on a sustained climb to 16,000 feet, engineers monitored the aircraft’s instrumentation and safety equipment via telemetry systems at Cessna’s engineering facility at Mid-Continent Airport, where the CJ4 landed.
Two additional CJ4 aircraft are taking shape at Cessna’s Pawnee Advanced Engineering facility in Wichita. All three test aircraft will log air-time in the certification effort. The first production aircraft, Serial 0001, will primarily be used for avionics and systems certification, while the second production aircraft, Serial 0002, will fly function and reliability along with company service tests. First flight for both production CJ4s will take place later this year.
“Our program team and supplier partners are proud of this aircraft, and our receipt of more than 150 orders for the CJ4 further motivates us to meet our aggressive goals,” said CJ4 Program Manager Norm Baker. “We are on track for type certification in the second half of 2009, followed by customer deliveries beginning in the first half of 2010.”
The Citation CJ4 is an upward extension of the single-pilot-certified CJ family – delivering the strongest performance and payload balance in the series along with advanced amenities and system architecture.
Configurable for seven to eight passengers in the main cabin, the aircraft is expected to have a maximum speed of 435 knots, a full fuel payload of 1,000 pounds and maximum payload of 2,100 pounds, 300 additional pounds compared to the typical CJ3.
The newly engineered wing of the Citation CJ4 is moderately swept. Some features of the wing are similar to the Citation Sovereign, including the three upper speed brake panels on each wing, which allow the airplane to have the short field performance for which the CJ series is known. The CJ4 can takeoff from runways as short as 3,300 feet and land on runways as short as 2,665 feet.
The new Williams International FJ44-4A electronically controlled (FADEC) engine will debut on the Citation CJ4. The twin engines each provide 3,400 pounds of thrust, compared to 2,820 pounds of the CJ3’s FJ44-3A. The aircraft will be certified for operations up to 45,000 feet. The electric rudder, pitch and aileron trim are new features, as is single-point refueling for the aircraft.
The CJ4 will incorporate the Collins Pro Line 21 avionics suite with four 8-by-10 inch flat screen displays, as well as the purpose-built Rockwell Collins next generation cabin management system, Venue. Venue features a digital, high-definition media center that integrates a wide variety of entertainment and mapping capabilities into a light weight, cost-effective and maintenance friendly system. The software architecture is database driven, enabling quick changes through the use of a new configuration tool and redundant processing to keep the system performing.