Coming off Textron’s recent Longitude certification, the company revealed some extra news and events October 21 at the National Business Aviation Association's annual conference.
Progress on the certification of Cessna’s new Denali single-engine turboprop ran into a delay, Textron said, owing to a slippage in the GE Catalyst engine development schedule. As soon as the Catalyst is delivered to Textron, first flight should soon follow. Certification is now expected in 2020. Originally, the Denali was to have been certified in 2019.
Textron also unveiled its newly conceived 3D, full-color technical manuals. The manuals, which were instituted after the Longitude’s entry into service, replace earlier black-and-white line drawings of aircraft components and systems with colorized 3D imagery featuring geometric depictions. The imagery will be especially helpful in maintenance procedures and analyzing wiring diagrams. The new manuals were first tested earlier this year using wiring diagrams for the Citation Latitude.
“The Longitude’s clean-sheet design offered Textron Aviation engineers the chance to reimagine technical manuals,” said Kriya Shortt, senior vice president of global customer support at Textron Aviation. “We’re committed to advancing all aspects of the industry, including aftermarket speed and support. Using the new 3D diagrams, maintenance technicians around the world can review and validate processes virtually before working on an aircraft—saving customers time and money.”
The new library, now available on the Textron Aviation 1View application, offers interactive step-by-step procedural instructions, Textron said. Using a color-coding system, technicians can quickly differentiate visuals to identify line replacement units, hardware, discarded parts, sealant application areas, and specialized tools, the company said.
Textron said it has recently expanded its parts distribution capability by growing its warehouse facilities by 50 percent at its Orlando, Florida; Phoenix-Mesa; and Teterboro, New Jersey, locations. “When our customers need a part, we need to deliver and get them back in the air as fast as possible,” said Brad Thress, senior vice president of parts, programs, and flight operations at Textron Aviation. “Expanding our distribution network footprint around the world allows us to store more parts in high-volume traffic hubs, meaning we’re always nearby and ready to support.”
The growth in the United States follows the company’s decision to place more parts in Europe and Asia-Pacific earlier this year, Textron said. The expansion of the European Distribution Center in Düsseldorf, Germany, increasing available part numbers to nearly 35,000 items across Europe, is expected to launch operations by November, the company said. The company also recently opened a new facility in Australia, which will hold thousands of items from across the Textron Aviation product lines.
Textron also reported that it had received supplemental type certificate approval for the Gogo AVANCE L5 connectivity system upgrade for the Cessna Citations X+, Sovereign+, and Latitude business jets. The system is now approved for a total of eight different Citation business jet models, providing faster in-flight connectivity speeds and better network capacity. Passengers can enjoy movies, TV, and music streaming between video conferences and meetings, Textron said.