April 30, 2013
By Jim Moore
There were no surprises as Cessna launched the first production flight of the updated Citation Sovereign from Wichita, Kan. With 1,300 hours already logged by flight test aircraft, the first production Sovereign performed as expected, with “exceptional” handling and performance described by company production test pilot Matt Freund in an April 30 announcement.
The Sovereign has been updated with Garmin G5000 avionics with auto throttles, improved cabin cooling and cabin information system, and winglets that boost the top speed to 458 knots and contribute to a 150-nautical-mile range increase to 3,000 nm. The Sovereign’s cabin can seat nine, and the jet can climb to 45,000 feet while retaining the short-field performance the aircraft has been known for.
Company officials announced the upgrades at the NBAA convention in Orlando, Fla. in 2012, along with a sticker price of $17.8 million that may be subject to change.
The flight announced April 30 lasted 2.5 hours and included tests of the avionics, engines, and instrument approach capabilities.
AOPA Online Associate Editor Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys competition aerobatics.
Prolific helicopter manufacturer Robinson saw lower sales in 2014 on weak global demand, but a new engine deal and some aircraft options indicate a strong future.
Declaring this “a time for disruptors,” flamboyant MD Helicopters owner Lynn Tilton vowed to keep her storied company moving forward into her second decade of ownership.
Bell Helicopter put a new engine in its 407, got a larger payload, and upgraded avionics. It attracted a new customer.
VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN NEAR YOU!
SHARE YOUR PASSION. VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN. CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
VOLUNTEER LOCALLY AT AOPA FLY-IN! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
BE A PART OF THE FLY-IN VOLUNTEER CREW! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>