During the 1.7 hour flight Morris and Williams tested the CJ3's basic stability and control; operated the landing gear, flaps, speedbrakes and trim system; and evaluated engine operating characteristics and slow flight capabilities. According to Morris, "The CJ3 has several unique features which are new to Cessna's CitationJet family. Two features that we watched closely today were the dual channel FADEC controlled Williams engines, and the upgraded Collins avionics. We are very happy with how all systems performed on this first flight. The airplane reacted exactly as we anticipated."
The CJ3 is Cessna's first new airplane of the millennium. Since its introduction in September 2002, over 160 orders have been received. The CJ3 incorporates the successful features of the CJ2 while also providing a longer cabin and tailcone, new Williams International FJ44-3A engines, and advanced Collins avionics.
"Today is a great day for the entire CJ3 team," said Joe Hepburn, Citation CJ3 Program Manager. "We've worked very hard to keep this airplane on schedule, and today's flight actually occurred several weeks ahead of the plan."
A crowd of exuberant Cessna team members greeted the CJ3 when it landed at the Mid-Continent Airport. During a brief ceremony, Cessna's Senior Vice President of Engineering, Jack Pelton, congratulated the CJ3 team. "The CJ3 is destined to follow in the footsteps of its predecessors. Customers have already voiced their excitement about the new features, as well as being pleased that we have maintained the popular features of the CJ1 and CJ2."
Designed for single pilot operation, the maximum cruise speed is 417 knots at 33,000 feet. With two pilots, full fuel, four passengers and baggage, the CJ3 offers an IFR range of 1,664 nm and a VFR range of 1,900 nm. Service ceiling is 45,000 feet and the maximum gross takeoff weight is 13,870 lbs. The time to climb directly to 45,000 feet at maximum gross takeoff weight is 35 minutes.
The CJ3 is priced at $5,895,000 in 2003 dollars. Type certification is anticipated in the second quarter 2004, with first customer deliveries in the third quarter 2004.
Cessna Aircraft Company is a subsidiary of Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) an $11 billion multi-industry company with 49,000 employees in 40 countries. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO and Greenlee. More information is available at www.textron.com.
(Photographs available upon request)