Winglets On The Way For Citation Latitude

Textron. Cessna Sovereign 680 with winglets
Credit: Winglet Technology

Winglet Technology, which designs, certifies and markets transitional winglets, is working to bring them to a third Citation aircraft: Textron Aviation’s Cessna Citation Latitude.

The Wichita-based company, which has designed winglets for the Citation X, Citation X+ and Citation Sovereign, is working to secure an amended supplemental type certificate (STC) for the Citation Latitude super-midsize business jet.

The Citation Latitude has the same geometry as the Citation Sovereign, and both are on the same FAA type certificate, notes Bob Kiser, Winglet Technology founder and president. As such, he says the Sovereign’s winglet is a “natural fit” for the Latitude.

Kiser has been working on the project for the past two years.

The composite winglet for the Latitude has undergone computational fluid dynamics analysis. While Kiser is not ready to provide specific performance figures, he says the winglet will reduce the aircraft’s time-to-climb, improve speed at altitude, increase payload and range, and improve fuel consumption, he says. “Preliminary analysis is very, very favorable.”

His plan for STC approval is ready to submit to the FAA ,and the engineering for installation is complete. Kiser is looking for a launch customer.

“One of the problems we have in today’s market as an STC company is available aircraft,” Kiser says. “No matter what program we’re looking at, there’s not much inventory. You can pick almost any airplane and you can see that the inventory is very shallow right now. If you looked online, you would not see a Latitude for sale.”

Once it secures a customer, the company will start submitting the certification plan to the FAA.

Citation Latitude deliveries began in 2015. In 2021, Textron Aviation delivered 34, up from 26 in 2020.

Winglet Technology’s winglet for the Citation Sovereign increases speed by 35 kt. at 45,000 ft. and range by up to 340 nm, and reduces fuel consumption by up to 8% at high-speed cruise.

Ben Reese, chief pilot and director of flight operations for Cushman Enterprises in Driggs, Idaho, added winglets to the company’s Citation Sovereign four years ago.

“The results have been impressive,” Reese says. Many trips with the Sovereign are across the country from the East Coast to the West Coast. Before the winglet installation, the aircraft had to stop for fuel in the winter before it could reach its destination.

“Since we put them on the airplane, we have not made a fuel stop on transcontinental flights,” Reese says. That was the reason for the addition.

“That’s a pretty significant improvement,” he says. “The speed and range performance is the real payoff.”

Kiser says there are two additional transitional winglet programs in the works, although he is not ready to disclose the details. “We’re not quite ready to talk.” 

Molly McMillin

Molly McMillin, a 25-year aviation journalist, is managing editor of business aviation for the Aviation Week Network and editor-in-chief of The Weekly of Business Aviation, an Aviation Week market intelligence report.