October 10, 2011
By Alton K. Marsh
For the second time in a month, Cessna Aircraft has announced a new business jet, this time a large-cabin aircraft with an initial offering price of $13.9 million and a base price of $14.9 million. The Latitude is priced between the $12.2 million Citation XLS+ and the $16.99 million Citation Sovereign models. The prices are in 2011 dollars and tied to an escalator.
The wing, engine nacelles, tail, and mechanical flight controls are very much like those on the Sovereign, although winglets that one Cessna marketing executive likes to call Eco-tips will be added. The most important feature of the all-new aluminum fuselage is the flat-floor, six-foot cabin height. It maintains a 6,000-foot cabin pressure at 45,000 feet. The fuselage includes bigger windows and, borrowed from the canceled Columbus large-cabin jet, an electrically actuated larger airstair door. It uses trailing-link landing gear. It will have a takeoff weight slightly more than 28,000 pounds.
The model is aimed directly at the Embraer Legacy 450 that will fly in 2012, two years before the Latitude. The 450 has a launch price in excess of $1 million more than the Latitude launch price. It will enter service in 2013, again two years before the Latitude. It also has a flat-floor cabin but has a cabin height that is one-half-inch less than the Lattitude. The 450 has autothrottles. Embraer is seen as Cessna’s biggest competition. The model announced two weeks ago, the Citation M2, is aimed at the Embraer Phenom 100.
“The research for this airplane, fitting between those two products [XLS+ and Sovereign], said the very most important thing for our customers was internal cabin height,” said Brad Thress, senior vice president for Cessna Business Jets. “So the Citation Latitude will be a full six feet on the inside of the airplane.”
Normally business jets use a recessed center aisle to increase cabin height, but the Latitude has a flat floor. The cabin is 16 feet long. The external, non-pressurized baggage area was listed in earlier specifications as 100 cubic feet, exactly the same as the Sovereign, but final numbers were expected to exceed 100 cubic feet. A few of the specifications and performance numbers were yet to be determined at the time a briefing was given at the Cessna factory in Wichita, Kan. In addition to the couch, there are six seats in the cabin area.
In the cockpit, there is a Garmin G5000 glass avionics suite with three 14-inch displays and four touch screen control displays. Engines had not been chosen at the time of the briefing for the press. It will use a new windscreen.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
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