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Tue, May 23, 2023

Textron Aviation Unveils Cessna Citation Ascend

New Model Expands 560XL Series

Textron has unveiled the Cessna Citation Ascend, the newest model in Cessna’s proven and popular 560XL series.

Made public on the eve of 2023’s European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE), the Citation Ascend—by virtue of its wholly redesigned cockpit, improved performance, and a more luxurious cabin—pleasantly disrupts the midsize business jet market. EBACE attendees will enjoy access to a mock-up of the new model, which is currently under development and expected to enter into service in 2025.

Textron Aviation president and CEO Ron Draper stated: “Of the Citation family, there’s none more flown than the Citation 560XL series. With an 560XL aircraft taking off or landing every two minutes somewhere in the world, this aircraft will be part of the most successful business jet family.”

Mr. Draper added: “On behalf of our teams, we are proud to announce the latest innovation in the Citation family—the new Cessna Citation Ascend. We asked customers what they wanted in the next evolution of this iconic aircraft, and we believe the Citation Ascend will deliver.”

Meticulously designed to meet the needs of both Part 135 air-carriers and Part 91 corporate flight departments, the Ascend occasions a forward-thinking syncretism of segment-leading performance and luxurious cabin experience.

The Cessna Citation Ascend will offer operators state-of-the-art G5000 avionics featuring:

  • A trio of 14-inch ultra high-resolution displays with split-screen capabilities.
  • Standard dual Flight Management System (FMS) installations.
  • Synthetic vision.
  • Cockpit voice and data satellite transceiver.
  • New Garmin advanced weather detection and avoidance technology.
  • Optional Iridium data radio and Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) by which more direct routings between North America and Europe are supported.

Ascend flight-crews, by dint of the model’s avionics suite and inherent technologies, will enjoy diminished workload, enhanced situational awareness, flight-envelope protection, superior means by which to detect and avoid meteorological hazards, and state-of-the-art air-to-ground communication capabilities. Similarly, operators will benefit from the mission versatility and flexibility made possible by the Ascend’s durability and outstanding performance. What’s more, the Garmin cockpit common to multiple Citation models simplifies pilot differences and upgrade training. Finally, passengers and principals will enjoy the many luxuries and cabin amenities the Ascend shares with Cessna’s bestselling Citation Latitude and flagship Citation Longitude models.

Cessna’s Citation Ascend will be motivated by Pratt & Whitney’s PW545D engines—a powerplant designed specifically to deliver improved Specific Fuel Consumption (SFC), thrust, and Time Between Overhauls (TBO). The engine features new materials and technology—to include a more efficient high-pressure compressor, an enhanced single stage high-pressure turbine module, and an upgraded exhaust mixer by which fuel-consumption and noise are significantly reduced.

The Ascend’s PW545D engines are managed by a Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) architecture that enables the model’s auto-throttle system, thereby further reducing pilot workload and ensuring the mills operate at their maximum efficiency in perpetuity.

Preliminary performance targets for the new Ascend model include:

  • A four-passenger, high-speed cruise power range of 1,900-nautical-miles.
  • An estimated maximum range of 2,100-nautical-miles.
  • A cruise speed of 441-knots (0.66 Mach)
  • Direct climb to FL450.

Design improvements indigenous to Cessna’s new Ascend jet enable the aircraft to carry heavier payloads while retaining impressive short-field capabilities. Laden with four passengers and power-levers advanced to high-speed cruise power, the Ascend operators may legally undertake trips the likes of: London City, UK (LCY) to Athens, Greece (ATH); Helsinki, Finland (HEL) to Porto, Portugal (OPO); and La Mole, St. Tropez, France (LTT) to Prague, Czech Republic (PRG).

Textron Aviation senior vice-president of global sales and flight operations Lannie O-Bannion set forth: “The Cessna Citation Ascend builds upon more than twenty-years of the 560XL series success in the market. It’s designed to outperform and take our customers further [sic] in style.”

The Citation Ascend will include an unattended Honeywell RE100 [XL] Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) featuring self-management and bleed leak detection. The APU’s simplicity of operation, fuel-efficiency, and low noise will allow Ascend air-crews to contemporaneously prepare for flights and attend to passenger comfort—such as cabin heating, cooling, and illumination—without significantly compromising aircraft endurance or deafening line personnel.

To better understand and account for end-user expectations, Cessna engineers tasked with designing the Ascend worked closely with an advisory board comprising Citation owners, pilots, mechanics, and passengers.

As passengers approach the Citation Ascend, they’ll appreciate the machine’s sleek design and modern features. The model’s fully-customizable interior, which includes a flat floor and the generous legroom afforded thereby, allows customers to select from a broad range of standard and optional cabin appointments.

Cessna senior vice-president of customer experience Christi Tannahill remarked: “The flat floor is a game changer when it comes to comfort. The design gives passengers more room to swivel their seats, stretch their legs, and comfortably move around the cabin.”

To maximize the comfort of the Cessna Ascend’s cabin seats, Textron Aviation predicated the design of such largely upon customer feedback. When designing their respective interior layouts, Ascend buyers may, in fact, specify the firmness of passenger seats.

The Ascend’s cabin is designed to accommodate nine passengers but can be configured to a maximum capacity of 12 occupants. The entirety of the model’s cabin seats will feature an electrically controlled release function by which they can be swiveled and tracked on their pedestals. Passenger comfort may be further enhanced by optional seat quilting, footrests, and electrically-controlled lumbar support. To provide additional in-flight access to storage space, the Ascend’s side-facing seats will feature fold-down backs.

Ascend passengers will be able to wirelessly control the aircraft’s cabin lighting, temperature, window-shades, and onboard entertainment. An optional Bongiovi sound system is available for the model.

The Cessna Citation Ascend’s cabin windows are of an all-new design and feature apertures nearly 15-percent larger than the legacy Citation windows they replace. The new windows afford ample natural light which may be adjusted by way of translucent and opaque shade settings and wireless shade controls. Optional lighted window rings grant passengers considerable control over the Ascend’s cabin illumination and mood.

As digital connectivity is a near-indispensable aspect of modern life, Cessna’s Ascend model will include standard GoGo U.S. Avance L3 Max Wi-Fi and optional U.S. Avance L5 Wi-Fi. The aircraft will also offer optional Aviator 300 for Wi-Fi and worldwide calling.

To charge electronic devices, the entirety of the Citation Ascend’s seats will be provisioned with power. All told, the model will feature no fewer than 19 standard USB charging ports throughout its cabin and cockpit. Ergo, all Ascend crew and passengers will enjoy access to at least one charging port, first-in-class wireless phone charging, and three standard universal outlets.

To better facilitate calm and peaceful flights, the Ascend will share its Citation Latitude stablemate’s advanced cabin acoustic system—the decibel-levels of which approximate those of an automobile. Ascend passengers will be able to engage in conversation, work, or relax in a distraction-free environment, arriving at their destinations refreshed, focused, and ready to pursue their professional or personal objectives.

Ms. Tanahill added: “The Citation Ascend will offer all the best features of the 560XL series, and elevate the experience for both pilots and passengers. We designed the aircraft based on customer feedback and there’s nothing else like it.”

The Citation Ascend is designed to improve upon the 560XL series' best-in-class maintenance intervals. Textron Aviation expects Ascend buyers enrolled in the company’s PowerAdvantage program to realize:

  • Eighteen-month or 800-hour airframe maintenance intervals.
  • Six-thousand-hours Time Between Overhauls (TBO).
  • Three-thousand-hour hot-section inspection interval.

The aircraft will include standard troubleshooting equipment such as:

  • Electronic engine chip detection.
  • Flight data acquisition, storage, and transmission via Pratt & Whitney’s proprietary FAST box system.
  • In-flight diagnostics transmission via LinxUs and LinxUs Air.
  • Troubleshooting and trend-monitoring via Textron Aviation’s Aircraft Recording System, which tracks over nine-thousand individual aircraft parameters during operations.

Ascend buyers will also benefit from superior engine, interior, and paint warranties, including:

  • Five-year or three-thousand-hour engine warranty.
  • Two-year paint and interior warranties

Informed by two-decades of customer feedback, the Citation Ascend’s design includes improvements such as: a new wingtip for cleaner lines and edges; all LED lighting, to include a baggage-area pylon-integrated work-light for easier nighttime loading; and a new, larger cockpit side window.

After the fashion of all Cessna and Beechcraft turbine products, the Citation Ascend will be capable of running on Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). Buyers will be afforded the option to take delivery of their aircraft fueled with SAF, and may refuel with such wherever the stuff is available—including Cessna’s Wichita Service Center.

Textron Aviation is committed to environmentally-conscious manufacturing and makes use of sustainably sourced aircraft interior materials. The company maintains a comprehensive recycling program and industrial wastewater pretreatment plants. According to its energy supplier, Textron Aviation used one-hundred-percent renewable wind electricity to power the whole of its Kansas facilities in 2022.

With more than one-thousand 560XLs delivered throughout the last quarter-century, fractional owners and charter operators consistently choose the Cessna Citation 560XL series for its unique combination of performance, efficiency, comfort, ease of operation, and broad range of missions. Textron Aviation plans to amend the 560XL’s type certification in a manner conducive to pilots transitioning from legacy 560XL models to the Ascend via an approved differences training curriculum. Such a measure dramatically decreases the complexity and cost of pilot training—particularly for Part 135 operators.

FMI: www.cessna.txtav.com

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