The Citation Latitude is the latest proof that Textron Aviation is back on its feet, largely recovered from the Great Recession and fully competing for its historic share of the business jet market. For more than four decades, Citation engineers have been business aviation’s undisputed masters of iteration and the Latitude embraces this low-risk design approach to perfection.

This is Cessna’s first super-midsize aircraft, offering virtually the same cabin cross-section as the ill-starred Hawker 4000. Rather than using composites, though, Cessna developed a new aluminum alloy fuselage for the Latitude and mated it to the CE-680 Sovereign+’s wing, engines and most systems. The low-risk derivative has been on a fast track development scheduled since it was announced at the October 2011 NBAA Convention.

First flight was in February 2014, and since then, two test aircraft have flown more than 600 flights and 1,550 hr. Now, 90% of certification work is complete and it’s on track for second quarter 2015 type certification as the Model 680A.

Structural efficiency is this aircraft’s strong suit. The super mid fuselage increases empty weight by less than 350 lb. compared to the Sovereign+. That’s even more impressive as cabin pressurization has been increased to 9.7 psi, providing a 6,000-ft. cabin at FL 450, the aircraft’s maximum cruise altitude.

The Latitude’s lean empty weight allows it to carry five passengers with full fuel with only a 25-lb. increase in max ramp and max takeoff weights. So, it preserves the Sovereign+’s power and wing loading, enabling it to provide virtually the same class-leading airport performance and impressive climb capability.

Similar to those flying the Sovereign+, operators can plan on 400-kt. block speeds on most missions. That’s as much as 40 kt. slower than the archrival Embraer Legacy 450. But the Latitude’s stellar short-field performance will enable it to use considerably more small general aviation airports, many of which are sited closer to the business locations being served.

However, if you’re driving between airport and appointment and you’re stuck in rush hour traffic for 60 to 90 min., it’s easy to fixate on the misery of a motorway and forget about how fast your aircraft flies. Business aviation is all about point-to-point, not just airport-to-airport, time savings.

As an extreme example, assume you have headquarters in Boston and business in Boulder, Colorado. Boulder Municipal Airport (BDU) is a 5-min. drive from downtown, but field elevation is 5,288 ft. and runway length is only 4,100 ft. Turbofan aircraft are as rare as black swans on Boulder Creek.

Latitude, however, could shift the paradigm. You can fly Boston to Boulder Municipal in about 4 hr. and land at BDU in less than 3,000 ft., assuming ISA+20C conditions. Then you can depart Boulder at the same OAT with six passengers aboard, climb directly to FL 430 in 20 min. and fly non-stop back to Boston.

The jet also has west-to-east, nonstop transcontinental U.S. range. But a 2,200-nm jaunt from Portland, Oregon, to Portland, Maine, will be a 5-hr. mission. And connecting those same two cities westbound can take up to 7 hr. if you have to stop to refuel because of winter headwinds.

Regardless of mission length, the Latitude has the most commodious cabin of any Citation yet. The 10 cabin windows are 25% larger in area than those of any previous Citation. Six individual chairs in the main seating area offer super-midsize cabin comfort. There is also a two-place, side-facing divan across from the main entry door and a full-time occupancy seat in the lavatory across from the commode.

Airframe and Systems Improvements

As with all previous Citations, the Latitude’s primary airframe is an aluminum semi-monocoque structure with skins, ribs, frames and spars that are riveted, bolted and/or bonded together. Some parts, such as the forward equipment bay access doors, are machined out of solid aluminum alloy billets to improve strength and dimensional precision. Composites are used sparingly, such as in the radome, fuselage-to-wing fairings and aft equipment bay access door.

The large cruciform empennage lacks the sporty appeal of a T-tail, but it’s structurally efficient and amply sized to accommodate a wide center-of-gravity loading envelope. Anhedral stabilizing fins, similar to the surfaces used on the Citation XLS+, are fitted to the tail cone to improve lateral and directional stability at high angles of attack (AOA).

The new cabin airstair door is counter sprung, manually opened and electrically closed, but it can be manually closed as well. Each tread has LED lighting. The bottom tread is close to the ground when the door is open to ease boarding. A single, sturdy handrail helps passengers board and exit the aircraft safely and securely.

The new fuselage features considerably improved nose aerodynamics that reduce both drag and cockpit noise. Glass windshields have hydrophobic coatings that eliminate the need for the bleed-air rain removal system used on previous Citations.

Crewmembers will appreciate the aft baggage compartment’s airstair door. The design facilitates loading and unloading of the comparatively long and deep, 100-cu.-f.t baggage bay. The bay is certified to Class C fire protection standards, having both a quick discharge fire bottle shared with the APU and a slow discharge bottle that is used below 25,000 ft. to suppress any residual flare-ups.

The aircraft will be certified as an amendment to the original December 2003 CE-680 transport category airplane type certificate. However, the certification basis of several design elements, including electrical bonding, HIRF and lightning protection, ice protection, and air data and flight data recording, will be updated to the latest FAR Part 25 standards.

Viewed from the outside, the Latitude is notable from previous Citations by its larger fuselage, bigger cabin windows and generously sized airstair door. The 542.5-sq.–ft. wing and 30,800-lb. MTOW result in the lowest wing loading of any super-midsize jet. The upside of that is improved runway and climb performance. The downside is a rougher ride in turbulence and more wetted area to cause drag in cruise.

Wing sweep at quarter chord only is 12.7 deg., but the low-drag airfoil shape enables the aircraft to cruise as fast as 450 KTAS. Typically, operators can plan on climbing to FL 410 to FL 420 and cruising at 420 to 430 KTAS. But plan on cruising no faster than 410 to 420 KTAS on the longest missions.

Six generously sized, electrically actuated Fowler flap panels extend nearly 70% of the span, further increasing effective wing area for takeoff and landing. A flap/stab interconnect system minimizes pitch force changes when the flaps are extended or retracted between 15 and 35 deg. The aircraft’s low wing loading, combined with its strong 1:2.6 thrust-to-weight loading, results in impressive takeoff, climb and landing performance.

All fuel is contained in wet wing tanks. Total capacity is 11,394 lb. A single-point pressure refueling receptacle, ahead of the right wing leading edge, normally is used to refuel the aircraft. Alternatively, over-wing refueling ports may be used. Fuel is normally transferred to the engines by means of jet pumps using motive flow supplied by the engine-driven fuel pumps. DC-powered boost pumps are used for engine starting, cross-feed and as a backup for the jet pumps. Maximum refill capacity using the single-point refueling receptacle is 10,720 lb. The over-wing refueling ports must be used to top off the aircraft to 11,394 lb.

The main electrical system is a split-bus DC design, supplied by 300 ampere starter-generators, a Honeywell RE100 APU certified for start up to 20,000 ft. and use up to 30,000 ft., an external power source or the aircraft’s two 44-amp-hour nickel cadmium batteries. The engines also power small AC generators that supply electrical anti-ice heating for the glass windshields.

As with the Sovereign+, the AC generators are linked to transformer rectifier units that can provide DC power to the emergency and battery buses if both main DC starter-generators fail in flight. That makes the emergency power system quad-redundant. But if an alternator is powering a TRU, windshield heat is lost on that side.

The air data, total temperature and AOA sensors use DC electrical heat for anti-ice protection. Only a few main circuit breakers are located in the cockpit. Most others are located at junction boxes in the tail cone, in keeping with the EASA preference for locating them out of reach of the flight crew.

The Latitude has a single, close-center, constant pressure, 3,000-psi hydraulic system, powered by engine-driven pumps or a DC-powered aux pump. Hydraulic power is used to actuate the landing gear, wheel brakes, thrust reversers, nosewheel steering and the multifunction spoilers. The system uses MIL-H-87257 non-irritating, non-paint peeling mineral hydraulic fluid.

All landing gear have dual wheels. Seven degrees of nosewheel steering are available through the rudder pedals and the tiller provides 81 deg. of steering. Using both, the nosewheel may be turned 85 deg. The main gear use a trailing-link design for smooth landings and taxi. A conventional power brake system with anti-skid actuates the multi-disk carbon heat packs that rated for 1,000+ landings. The main tires have a design life of 300+ landings.

Nitrogen bottles in the nose compartment provide emergency braking and landing gear extension functions. A separate accumulator provides alternate nosewheel steering power.

Each wing has five multifunction spoiler panels, the center three on each wing being spoilerons. The outer panels function as spoilers in flight and lift dump spoilers on the ground.

The rudder has a bleed-air-powered boost function that reduces pedal force in the event of an engine failure. The amount of boost is inversely proportionate to indicated aircraft speed, so only moderate rudder pressure and retrimming are needed when coping with an engine failure on takeoff. The aircraft has the biggest rudder ever fitted to a Citation, so there’s ample yaw control authority at low speeds in spite of the aircraft’s 5,907-lb.-thrust engines.

Low- and high-pressure engine bleed air, routed through pre-coolers in the pylons, is used for cabin pressurization, heating and air-conditioning, plus wing and horizontal stab, and engine anti-ice. Catalytic ozone converters purify cabin air. The Latitude has a larger, higher capacity air-cycle machine than the Sovereign+, providing increased cooling performance. Pressurization automatically is controlled by the avionics system, with the goal of maintaining the lowest possible cabin altitude during each phase of flight. A sea-level cabin can be maintained to 25,230 ft.

The aircraft has two-zone temperature control and a recirculation fan to boost cabin cooling when required.

A 77.1-cu.-ft. capacity emergency oxygen bottle, mounted in the left forward equipment bay and serviceable through the left external door, supplies the crew through quick-donning masks and the passengers by means of drop-down masks.

Long-life LEDs are used for the navigation, beacon and strobe lights. Incandescent lamps are used for the landing lights in the wing leading edges and taxi lights attached to the nose gear.

Cabin Amenities and Baggage Compartments

The main entry door, measuring 65 in. high and 31 in. wide, is the largest ever fitted to a Citation. Behind the cockpit bulkhead and ahead of the entry door, there is a refreshment center with hot and cold beverage containers, ice drawer, tableware and catering storage compartments and trash receptacle. A microwave oven is optional, but there is no sink and no plumbing.

A narrow closet is on the right side, just aft of the copilot’s seat. Across from the entry door is a two-place, side-facing divan with a fold-down center armrest. The aircraft can be ordered with a single side-facing chair and a larger right-side forward storage closet.

While the cabin measures 21.8 ft. from cockpit/cabin divider to the aft pressure bulkhead, the main seating area is about 16 ft. long. The galley area and lavatory take up the rest of the length. The flat floor is 4.7 ft. wide. There is 6 ft. of headroom in the center of the aisle and cabin width is 6.4 ft.

The cabin windows are 17 in. tall and 13 in. wide. Manually operated, pleated window shades have two curtains, one providing light attenuation and the other opacity. The windows are positioned well for outside visibility when either sitting or standing. LED wash lights in the ceiling, chair bases, cabinet and sidewall bottoms make the cabin feel larger than it measures.

The six chairs in the main cabin have 7 in. of fore/aft tracking, 4 in. of lateral tracking and 180 deg. of swivel. Pairs of facing chairs recline into full flat berths. Foldout worktables, when extended, fit flush with the sidewall rails to increase effective surface area.

Fit and finish of cabin leathers, fabrics and cabinets are top notch. LEDs provide variable hue overhead flood lighting, along with aisle, personal space, entrance and exit lighting. The cabin sidewalls and arm rails are designed for space efficiency. The top surfaces of the foldout worktables, for instance, fit flush with the sidewall arm rails when extended. Unlike the Sovereign+, the Latitude has recessed cupholders in the side rails. They’re rectangular in shape to accommodate PDAs as well as beverage containers. Each seat has a USB power outlet. Each pair of facing chairs has a single 117-volt AC outlet. There also are two 117 VAC outlets in the cockpit. A 220-volt AC system is available for a nominal charge.

The aircraft is configured for nine passengers, but most operators will likely carry no more than six on routine missions. As the aircraft can carry five passengers with full fuel, each additional passenger reduces maximum range by 54 to 55 mi.

Cessna’s Clairity cabin management system, using fiber-optic architecture designed by Head-Up Technologies, controls lights, cabin temperature and window shades. The central server hosts a Blu-ray/DVD/CD player, a 300 GB multimedia hard drive and a USB port for media sharing among passengers. Each seat has a touch-screen unit that controls chair and worktable lighting. A designated master station also controls cabin temperature and lights. Standard kit includes a single bulkhead-mounted monitor in the cabin. Plug-in seat monitors are no longer offered. Cessna assumes that passengers will use their own iPad or Android display devices. An interactive moving map feature is standard and eight-channel XM satellite radio is an option.

Also optionally available is Aircell’s Aviator 300 Inmarsat satcom Internet system. The standard package includes an Iridium satcom phone, Iridium-based request/reply weather system and Aircell Axxess air-to-ground data link with Wi-Fi.

The aft lavatory is the largest ever fitted to a Citation. On the right side there is an emergency exit and an externally serviced toilet, covered by an occasional occupancy seat cushion that doubles as the top lid for the commode. Aft of the toilet, there is an amply sized sink with hot and cold running water. A removal fresh water tank supplies the system. On the left side, there is an aft storage closet and, as noted, a full-time occupancy, folding seat. When the seat back is folded down, it provides an additional storage compartment that can be secured with a cargo net.

The aircraft’s main 100-cu.-ft., 1,000-lb. capacity external baggage compartment is the same size as the one installed in the Sovereign+.

Flying Impressions

We recently belted into the left seat of serial number 680A-0002, the second production test aircraft, accompanied by Aaron Tobias, Textron’s chief pilot and Latitude chief engineering test pilot, in the right seat. Demo pilot Dustin Smisor accompanied us as safety pilot and data recorder.

What impressed immediately was the quiet, dark, simple Garmin G5000 cockpit layout, which was made possible by automating many systems and controlling most through the four touch-screen units. Hydraulic, fuel, pressurization, FADEC and APU controls are moved from the forward tilt panel above the crew’s knees to the center console where both pilots have easy access to them. Systems synoptics have been added to the EICAS, providing interactive graphics pertaining to normal operations and malfunctions.

As in the Sovereign+, instrument panel dimmer rheostats, passenger safety and most exterior light annunciator button switches are located on the overhead panel. The G5000 flight guidance control panel layout in the glareshield is quite intuitive, a snap for pilots with previous G1000 or G3000 experience. The three, 14-in., landscape configuration units provide plenty of display area. Individual crews can configure the displays according to personal preference or company policy and then save them for one-touch recall.

Forward and wide visibility is excellent, but the wider cockpit and 72.3-ft. wingspan means both pilots need to be looking outside the cockpit when taxiing in tight spaces to prevent ramp rash.

The two multifunction touch-screen controllers in the forward center console eliminate the need for dedicated FMS CDUs. Flight plan entry and other FMS functions are radically different than those employed with a traditional CDU. Learning to navigate around the touch-screen pages is a quick and painless process because of Garmin’s use of screen icons and pictographs. We especially like the ability to call up comm frequencies by origin and destination airports in the flight plan and pop them into the radio control pages. Need to look at an airport diagram on the MFD? Just keep zooming in to a lower range scale and it automatically comes into view. As we’ve said before about the G5000, it’s iPhone for avionics.

Pre-start checks are very quick. Most are automated. Positioning the APU knob to “on” automatically initiates BIT checks for the fire detection and extinguishing system and APU DEEC.

We started the APU and switched on the air-conditioning. The cool day in San Diego didn’t tax the ACM, but we noticed that the cockpit has five air outlets for each pilot to provide ample ventilation on warm days. Unlike the Sovereign+, the Latitude has no opening weather windows, so there’s little air circulation without the fans or air-conditioning system running.

Runway and climb performance databases were not yet loaded into the FMSes. Aircraft BOW was 18,876 lb., or 320-lb. heavier than Cessna’s quoted weight due to the installation of orange flight test gear and wiring. With an extra pilot aboard, ZFW was 19,076 lb. The aircraft was fueled with 6,000 lb. of Jet-A, resulting in a ramp weight of 25,076 lb.

Based upon a takeoff weight of 25,000 lb. (81% of MTOW), Tobias computed takeoff speeds of 99 KIAS for the V1 takeoff decision speed, 102 KIAS for rotation, 112 KIAS for the V2 OEI takeoff safety speed and 180 KIAS for Venr. TOFL was 2,950 ft., based upon using flaps 15deg., San Diego — Lindbergh’s 17-ft. field elevation, 30.04 altimeter setting and 16C OAT.

Even though the engines are equipped with FADECs, starting them is a two-step process. The electric starter is engaged by pressing a button in the center console behind the throttles. Then at 9% N1 turbine rpm, a guarded button is pushed to signal the FADECs to introduce fuel and ignition.

After engine start, we taxied for takeoff on Runway 27, just a few hundred yards east of Landmark Aviation’s ramp. Wheel brakes and nosewheel steering were smooth and precise, easy to modulate and natural feeling. We elected to perform a rolling takeoff because of heavy inbound and outbound traffic at Lindbergh. We armed the auto-throttles and partly pushed up the thrust levers. However, the ATS servos didn’t engage until we pushed up the throttles to near max. Smisor recorded total fuel flow of 5,060 lb./hr. on takeoff roll.

With nearly a 2:1 weight-to-thrust ratio because of the relatively low takeoff weight, acceleration was rather sporty. At rotation, pitch forces were pleasantly light to moderate. After pulling up the nose to 20-deg. pitch, velocity increased quickly through flap retraction speed. Retracting the flaps resulted in very little pitch trim change. The aircraft climbed through 3,000 ft. by the end of the runway.

SOCAL vectored us south, off the published POGGI3 departure, due to our exceptional rate of climb. Soon, we were cleared direct Julian VOR. We noted that we climbed through FL 230 by the time we crossed San Diego — Gillespie Airport, 12 mi. northeast of Lindbergh.

Thanks to excellent ATC cooperation provided by Los Angeles ARTCC, we climbed directly to FL 450 with only momentary level-offs at FL 230 and FL 270 to clear conflicting traffic. Takeoff roll to level-off was 21 min., which was better than book, considering the two level-offs for traffic during the climb.

Center cleared us direct Needles VOR (EED) for cruise performance checks. At a weight of 23,827 lb. and in ISA conditions at FL 450, max cruise speed was Mach 0.74/425 KTAS and fuel burn was 1,320 lb./hr. Book prediction was 411 KTAS on 1,299 lb./hr.

Down at FL 370, at a weight of 23,626 lb. and at ISA+2C, the aircraft cruised at 450 KTAS on 1,980 lb./hr. The book predicted 446 KTAS on 1,987 lb./hr.

We then headed back to San Diego — Brown Field for pattern work. En route, we descended below Class A airspace to perform basic air work maneuvers in VFR airspace. We expedited our descent by using idle thrust and extending the spoilers. When all 10 panels are fully deployed, descent rates in excess of 9,000 fpm are possible. Yet pitch transients are minimal, with only a mild pitch-up when the panels extend.

Level at 16,000 ft. near Chiriaco Summit, we flew a couple of 45-deg. bank turns at 250 KIAS. Pitch control forces were moderate, making it easy to adjust pitch attitude. As with the Sovereign+, roll control forces are hefty for this class of aircraft, even though it has powered multifunction, roll control spoilers to augment roll control authority and speed proportionate gearing in the aileron linkage to reduce roll control effort. And, s.n. 0002, still laden with flight test sensors, had slight gravelly roughness in the roll control linkage. Production aircraft should have a smoother roll control feel.

Docile stall performance is another strong attribute. But pilots should never experience stall, or overspeed for that matter, because the auto-throttles automatically engage for both low- and high-speed envelope protection. Functioning as though they have the fine touch of a skilled flight instructor, they disengage when the aircraft returns to its normal speed envelope. Tobias commented that low-speed protection will be most valuable when pilots are maneuvering in VFR traffic patterns or circling to land in VMC at the end of instrument approaches. But the standard auto-throttles are so smooth and precise that most pilots are likely to leave the ATS engaged from takeoff to touchdown.

For aero stalls, it’s necessary to pull the ATS circuit breaker to prevent the system from automatically intervening to prevent exceeding AOA limits. We flew both clean and gear/flaps extended stalls at a weight of 23,500 lb. Both stalls were preceded by stick shaker, then quite apparent airframe buffet caused by stall strips on the wing leading edges. We held the yoke fully aft during the stalls. The nose finally pitched down mildly, but positively at maximum AOA with virtually no roll-off or yaw. Stall shaker fired at 84 KIAS during the dirty stall and Vminwas 73 KIAS at the stall break.

Stall recovery was crisp, as soon as we reduced AOA and added thrust. Quite clearly, the Latitude’s stall manners are as refined as any jet that we’ve flown with manual flight controls and without leading-edge slats.

We descended back into SOCAL’s Class B airspace for pattern work at Brown Field. Based on our estimated landing weight of 22,850 lb., Tobias calculated Vapp at 107 KIAS at flaps 15 deg. and 99 KIAS for Vref using full 35-deg. landing flaps.

On final for Runway 26R, we bugged 102 KIAS (Vref+3). Arriving high, just south of Otay Mountain to the east of the runway, we needed to extend the landing gear to increase drag in order to slow down to 175 KIAS to extend full flaps. Tobias said alternatively we could have used speed brakes to decelerate until the flaps were extended beyond 15 deg.

The aircraft was easy to handle on final. At 50 ft. AGL, the auto-throttles retarded to idle and we slowly flared for landing. Touchdown was pleasingly smooth, much to the credit of the long-travel, trailing-link landing gear. With spoilers fully extended, mild braking and moderate use of thrust reversers, we turned off at midfield and taxied back for a simulated OEI takeoff. Tobias set the same V speeds we used for our initial departure from Lindbergh Field, providing comfortable margins for the demonstration.

Cleared for takeoff, we taxied to the extreme end of Runway 26R, held the brakes and set takeoff thrust. We released the brakes and sped down the pavement. At 99 KIAS, Tobias pulled back the right throttle to idle. He called rotation at 102 KIAS. There was very little yaw due to asymmetric thrust because of the effectiveness of the rudder’s bleed-air bias system. Plenty of rudder was needed to keep the ball centered, but pedal effort was surprisingly light. The aircraft actually felt more docile than a legacy Hawker during the maneuver. Its 2,500 fpm OEI climb rate was anything but Hawker-like.

We flew up to pattern altitude, flew down the north side of the airport and prepared for a simulated OEI landing. During all maneuvers in the pattern, there was no need to retrim the rudder because the thrust-proportionate bleed-air bias system so effectively counters thrust asymmetry. We manually controlled the left throttle, with mild rudder inputs to keep the ball centered.

Tobias bugged 107 KIAS for Vref at flaps 15 deg., the setting used for OEI approach and landing. We flew a relatively tight pattern and turned a 1 mi. final. The aircraft was virtually as easy to fly during the maneuver as when using both engines and full flaps. At touchdown, we used moderate left-engine thrust reverse and mild braking to turn off at midfield.

After a couple more all-engine patterns at Brown Field, we returned to Lindbergh for landing. We paced our approach speed to maintain spacing with an arriving jetliner and only slowed from jetliner speed to Citation speed on short final. Again, touchdown was smooth and precise, reflecting positively on the design of the aircraft and landing gear. Total flight time was 1 hr., 40 min.

Conclusions? No super-midsize jet with conventional flight controls has more docile handling characteristics. None has better airport performance. While the Latitude won’t be class leader in cruise speed, tanks-full payload or range, its $16.25 million price point makes it a bargain by most measures.

And Garmin’s G5000 is the most impressive avionics package we’ve flown in this class of aircraft. The auto-throttle system’s precision and smoothness is top notch. The synthetic vision and 3-D traffic on the PFD are the next best thing to looking out the windshield with 20/10 vision. The G5000 is emblematic of a new generation of avionics that embraces the graphic user interface of consumer electronics. Old-line avionics manufacturers can dismiss its “little airplane” features, such as auto comm freq look-up, but most pilots will rave about ease of use and time savings functionality.

Latitude, Legacy 450 and Other Competitors

Cessna is engaged in an epic struggle with Embraer to determine which firm will dominate the 2,500-nm to 2,700-nm super-midsize class. The Brazilian firm has a sizable business jet development war chest, funded in large part by its successful EJet program. Its Phenom 100 and 300 light jets, larger and historically less expensive to buy than competitive Citations built by Textron Aviation, have earned impressive market shares.

The $21 million Legacy 500 now is entering the 3,000-nm range class, super-midsize market. It’s got the attention of the planemakers in Montreal and Savannah, especially as it is the first aircraft in its class to have fly-by-wire flight controls.

The Legacy 450, a slightly shortened version with 500 nm less range and a $5 million lower price point, promises to be a fierce competitor to the Citation Latitude. However, shortening an aircraft seldom results in significant weight savings. The Legacy 450 is unlikely to lose more than 1,000 lb. as its fuselage is shortened 3.5 ft. The structurally efficient Latitude, in contrast, could have as much as a 4,000-lb. lighter empty weight. And adding options to the Legacy 450 to bring it up to the Latitude’s list of standard equipment could inflate its cost well above the Brazilian jet’s $16.57 million base price.

Even so, the Legacy 450 could offer comparable or better fuel efficiency because of its swept wing, among other design features. Embraer has yet to release final weight and performance figures for the Legacy 450, so high-integrity comparisons with the Latitude are not possible.

While it has comparatively modest range and speed for this class of aircraft, the Latitude is an attractive step up in cabin comfort for midsize jet operators, including those who fly legacy Hawkers, 600-series Citations and Gulfstream’s G150. Textron Aviation also is betting that the Latitude’s best-in-class runway performance will make it highly competitive to faster aircraft with longer legs.

The Latitude, much the same as the Sovereign+, is positioned as a move-up product for operators of smaller Citations. It’s the first Cessna jet to have a flat floor and such a large cabin cross-section. It’s also the quietest Citation yet built and it offers the lowest cabin altitude. It has sufficient speed, range and payload for 85% of the missions most Citation operators will fly. It enters the market with unmatched customer loyalty, a newly resurgent service center network, the best runway performance in class, an impressive avionics package and a price advantage over many competitors.

Long-time Citation pilots will feel as comfortable in this airplane as they do in well-worn running shoes. Its handling qualities are confidence inspiring. It doesn’t have any sharp edges or rough spots any place in the operating envelope.

The Latitude’s performance versus comfort tradeoffs are fully consistent with the simple, sensible Cessna Citation design philosophy that’s been the series’ hallmark for four decades. It’s also going to be easy to maintain, with scheduled inspection intervals of 800 hr. and 12 months. The aircraft also has MSG-3-approved, maintenance friendly access.

On balance, the Latitude is positioned to earn strong sales. It’s a classic Citation iterative design that just plainly works well. B&CA

Citation Latitude Specifications

 
B&CA Equipped Price $16,250,000
   
Characteristics  
Wing Loading 56.8/58.2
Power Loading 2.61
Noise (EPNdB) NA/NA/NA
   
Seating 2+9/10
   
Dimensions (ft./m)  
External see three view
   
Internal (ft./m)  
Length 28.1/8.6
Height 6.0/1.8
Width (maximum) 6.4/2.0
Width (floor) 4.1/1.2
   
Thrust  
Engine 22 P&WC
Output/Flat   
Rating OAT°C 5,907 lbs ea/ISA+16°C
TBO 6,000 hr.
   
Weights (lb./kg)  
Max Ramp 31,050/14,084
Max Takeoff 30,800/13,971
Max Landing 27,575/12,508
Zero Fuel 21,200/9,616 c
BOW 18,656/8,462
Max Payload 2,544/1,154
Useful Load 12,394/5,622
Executive Payload 1,800/816
Max Fuel 11,394/5,168
Payload with Max Fuel 1,000/454
Fuel with Max Payload 9,850/4,468
Fuel with Executive Payload 10,594/4,805
   
Limits  
Mmo 0.8
FL/Vmo FL 298/305
PSI 9.7
   
Climb  
Time to FL 370 15 min.
FAR 25 OEI rate (fpm) NA/NA mpm
FAR 25 OEI gradient (ft./nm) NA/NA m/km
   
Ceilings (ft./m)  
Certificated 45,000/13,716
All-Engine Service 43,000/13,107
Engine-Out Service NA/NA
Sea Level Cabin 25,400/7,742
   
Certification FAR / EASA Pt 25 (pending)