While visiting Wichita, I was given a sneak peak at the Cessna Citation Ten, a souped up sequel to the fastest business jet in the world. Although I didn’t get to see the actual prototype, I did get to climb into the mock-up and play with the touch-screen Garmin G5000!
As a pilot, the most obvious change is how the flight deck has been completely redesigned. All the blocky panels are gone, replaced by a sleek molded plastic that makes the cockpit feel more like a sports car than a complicated jet.
The first thing that grabbed my attention was the lack of switches. Cessna has simplified the airplane to the point where there is no need for pilots to do complicated flows with lots of switch throwing. Everything is clearly labeled and well positioned, except for a few switches hidden behind the control column.
Sporting a brand new Garmin G5000 touch screen avionics suite, flying the Citation Ten is going to feel like piloting something from Star Trek. Words just cannot describe how simple and intuitive this thing is. Think back to the first time you used an iPhone. Remember how everything just made sense? That’s what it’s like to work with the G5000.
Speaking of Garmin, the Citation Ten will feature a pretty snazzy WiFi enabled Garmin Diagnostics system. It records all sorts of systems and flight monitoring information that your maintenance tech can download from his office when the airplane is nearby.
Under the hood, Cessna is installing two Rolls Royce / Allison AE3007 C2 engines. These engines are planned to provide more thrust than the old C1′s (up to a 9% increase in climb) and up to 1.4% savings in fuel efficiency. But the thing that I’m ooh-ing and ahh-ing over is the full flight regime auto throttles. If you’re task saturated, the airplane can manage the throttles from takeoff to touchdown. Believe me, that’s a nice feature when it’s a nasty flying day.
The new engines together with curved winglets (they were available as an aftermarket add on to the X) give the Citation Ten greater range, payload and speed. This gives the airplane much greater operational flexibility than its predecessor.
Cessna also made a number of improvements to the cabin area. They stretched the fuselage by 15 inches which really opens up the passenger cabin. Passenger seating was completely re-imagined and some very high tech features have been added to the back, including onboard WiFi and some very clever displays. But I’ll be writing more on that later.
I’m pleased with what the Cessna Citation Ten has to offer and am envious of all you corporate pilots who will get to fly it. If you’re interested in this airplane, keep an eye on AviationChatter.com, we’ll have an aviation geek treat for you very soon.
Find out more about the Ten at TheTenArrives.com