October 15, 2010
By Thomas A. Horne
Yes, you read correctly, Cessna is calling its significantly upgraded variant of its Citation X the “Citation Ten.” And the difference between the two airplanes goes far beyond the new spelling. Cessna says that the Ten is a thoroughly new airplane, with a redesigned cockpit, systems, and interior. The Ten performs better than the X as well, thanks to redesigned and uprated Rolls-Royce engines. The new engines will be rated at 7,034 pounds of thrust each, and have redesigned fan blades; the current Citation X engines are rated at 6,764 pounds of thrust.
The new engines will yield some important advantages, Cessna says. While the Ten’s max cruise speeds at FL350 will be just two knots faster (527 KTAS) than the X’s 525 KTAS, they will be 479 KTAS at FL490—which is 19 knots faster than the X’s speed at that flight level. Compared to the Citation X, the Ten will a 136-pound greater full-fuel payload, a 214-pound greater maximum payload, a 211-nm greater range (3,107 nm versus the X’s 2,896 nm), and can climb directly to FL450 in 23 minutes. The X takes 28 minutes to climb to FL430.
While Cessna boasts of the Citation X’s 0.92-Mach M MO, it has not yet determined the Ten’s maximum Mach number.
Debuting Garmin’s G5000
But perhaps the biggest news is the Ten’s new cockpit. It features the brand-new G5000 three-tube glass cockpit with four touch-screen control panels. While the G5000 resembles the G1000 at first glance, this is Garmin’s first FAR Part 25-certified avionics suite. The two primary flight displays (PFDs) and split-screen multifunction display (MFD) measure 14 inches diagonally. Part 25 certification provides extra measures of redundancy, event recording, and built-in test capability, among many other higher-order functionalities not available in the FAR Part 23-certified G1000 glass cockpits. The G5000 represents a coup for both Cessna and Garmin. Cessna, because it separated from its conventional reliance on the X’s five-tube Honeywell Primus 2000, and Garmin, because it marks its entry into the large business jet market.
Ten program manager Kevin Steinert said the choice of the Garmin 5000 was driven by “the unit’s ease of use. It’s extremely intuitive, and Garmin has done extensive human factors work to ensure that the G5000 exceeds expectations.”
“Let’s face it,” Steinert said. “Garmin has excelled in every market they took on. They did very well in the Part 23 market, and now they’ve broken the mold in the Part 25 market. This is a real breakthrough moment in business jet avionics.”
Among the G5000’s many features is its touch-screen interface technology. Like Garmin’s G3000 avionics platform (to be used in the PiperJet), the G5000 uses keypads with keys that use infrared grids to make data entries. Instead of physically pressing on a button, the grid detects a finger’s presence to activate a key. The technology has proven reliable even in turbulence, according to Steinert.
The Ten’s G5000 will come with TCAS II, synthetic vision, electronic charts, Garmin’s SafeTaxi airport diagrams, a dual flight management system with GPS navigation having Wide Area Augmentation System—localizer performance with vertical guidance (WAAS LPV) accuracy and required navigation performance (RNP) 0.3 special aircraft and aircrew authorization required (SAAAR) capability, weather radar with vertical profiling, terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS), and ADS-B Out technology—all standard. The Ten also will come with autothrottles, and a new electrical system with lithium-ion batteries. XM datalink weather, in-flight Internet access (via Aircell or Inmarsat), and lightning detection are among the options.
The Ten’s fuselage is 15 inches longer than Citation X’s, and the interior has new cabinetry, increased seat pitch, seat footrests, and larger tables. A new cabin management system (CMS) lets passengers control temperature, lighting, and window shades using touch-screen control panels. As for entertainment, there’s a Blu-Ray player in a forward closet, plus inputs for computers, iPhones, iPods, and iPads.
Cessna says that the first flight of the Ten will happen in late 2011. Certification and first deliveries are set to begin in 2013. A price has yet to be announced.
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has worked at AOPA since the early 1980s. He began flying in 1975 and has an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He’s flown everything from ultralights to Gulfstreams and ferried numerous piston airplanes across the Atlantic.
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