Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company, today announced it has rolled out the first production unit of the Cessna Citation Longitude, the company’s latest clean-sheet design, super-midsize business jet. State-of-the-art assembly and fabrication tools and techniques bring exceptional quality and superior fit and finish to this revolutionary aircraft.
“The Citation Longitude sets a new standard in the super-midsize segment, not only through the aircraft’s design and performance, but also in the way we are manufacturing it,” said Ron Draper, senior vice president, Integrated Supply Chain. “We’re incorporating a number of new and innovative fabrication and assembly techniques that will improve processes, reduce the number of parts and provide excellent quality and precision that will aid in the overall maintainability of the aircraft.”
The Longitude production program takes advantage of new technologies such as monolithic machining where major assemblies are milled from a single piece of metal rather than assembled from smaller pieces, reducing the number of parts and resulting in more precise tolerances for easier assembly. Textron Aviation also has employed and expanded vertical tooling on the assembly line of the Longitude. First utilized on the Citation Latitude midsize jet, the vertical tooling stations provide enhanced ergonomics for employees and make more efficient use of factory space.
“Careful attention to detail, combined with advanced manufacturing techniques results in a production process that greatly benefits our customers,” Draper said. “We are able to move more quickly from concept to delivery with a high-quality product that we know will exceed the expectations of our customers.”
This aircraft will join the company’s demonstration fleet this summer and will travel the world to showcase the Longitude’s amazing capabilities and class-leading interior to customers.
The first Longitude flew in October 2016 and to date, the flight test program’s four aircraft have accumulated more than 550 hours. A fifth aircraft will join the flight test program this summer, showcasing the company’s dedication and commitment to getting the aircraft in the hands of its customers. The Longitude is expected to enter the market by the end of the year.