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.