It may prove to be good timing for Cessna Aircraft Co. that the small and midsize jet market is rebounding just as its nine-passenger, $16.25 million jet hits the market. The recent trends favor aircraft in this range, and the iconic Wichita, Kansas, firm announced the first deliveries and a 39-airport U.S. tour in the same breath on Aug. 27. The itinerary was slated to begin Aug. 31 at Chicago Executive Airport, with stops to include Atlanta, Boston, Indianapolis, Seattle, and various airports in California among the other destinations across the country.
Announced in 2011 and certified in June, the Latitude boasts a 2,850-nautical-mile range and is able to take off from runways as short as 3,580 feet, according to Cessna’s Citation Latitude website.
“What’s appealing is that it’s got the amenities of larger aircraft but the flexibility to fly into short fields with trans-continental range,” said John Sieckowski, president of Aircraft Management Group, in a Cessna news release that identified him as one of the first Latitude owners.
Cessna’s pitch for the Latitude also notes the stand-up, flat-floor cabin, and a cabin that provides each passenger with electronic connectivity for work and entertainment. The new cabin cooling and pressurization system maintains a 5,950-foot cabin altitude at the Latitude’s maximum operating altitude of 45,000 feet.
Cessna has already sent the Latitude to trade shows in Europe and Latin America, and expects to send it back to Europe along with Asia and the Middle East later in the year. Latitude has gone from announcement to delivery in under four years, having already logged Atlantic and Pacific crossings and a coast-to-coast flight prior to the latest tour.