Full assembly line flow has begun in Wichita on Cessna Aircraft’s Citation Latitude midsize business jet, the company reports.
The jet’s assembly includes a variety of technological advances, including the use of automated robotics and ergonomically friendly tooling stations.
“We are not only bringing technological advances to the design of our new products, but also to the way we manufacture these world-class airplanes,” Scott Ernest, Textron Aviation CEO and president, said in a statement. Cessna is a division of Textron Aviation. “The Latitude is a perfect example of this.”
It combines a new innovative design with the latest advances in manufacturing technology, he said.
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“Beginning production line flow keeps us on target for meeting our commitments to customers who are eager to take delivery of their new Citation Latitude,” Ernest said.
The first production aircraft will serve as the fourth flying prototype as part of the Latitude’s certification program, the company said. The flight test program has accumulated 100 flights and nearly 230 hours since the first flight in February.
Certification by the Federal Aviation Administration is expected in the second quarter of 2015.
Cessna engineers designed an all-new fuselage for the Latitude, making it the widest fuselage of any Citation jet. It also features a flat cabin floor and 6 feet of cabin height.
It can hold up to nine passengers, and can reach speeds of 506 mph and an altitude of 45,000 feet.