At this year’s EBACE Textron Aviation announced the launch of the Citation Ascend, the third iteration of the very successful 1998 Citation Excel (Model 560XL). Can you give us an overview of all the enhancements introduced in this 2025 model?
Of the Citation family, there’s none more flown than the Citation 560XL series. The Citation Ascend is designed to bring an entirely new cockpit, improved performance and a more luxurious cabin to the midsize business jet market. The aircraft will offer state-of-the-art Garmin G5000 avionics featuring the latest software and hardware, Pratt & Whitney Canada PW545D engines designed to deliver better fuel efficiency and a fully customizable modern interior with a flat floor providing a new level of generous legroom and flexibility for passengers.
The Ascend will feature a state-of-the-art cockpit powered by Garmin G5000 avionics suite. Textron Aviation was the launch customer of this integrated avionics suite designed for the Part 25 business jet market; can you walk us through some of the unique capabilities enabled by this powerful avionics’ suite?
The Cessna Citation Ascend will offer state-of-the-art Garmin G5000 avionics featuring the latest software and hardware, including:
- Autothrottle technology to reduce pilot workload and provide flight-envelope protection
- Three large, 14-inch ultra-high-resolution displays with split-screen capabilities
- Standard dual flight management systems
- Synthetic vision to render obstacles like mountains or terrain
- Cockpit voice and data satellite transceiver to make satellite calls from the cockpit
- New Garmin advanced weather detection and avoidance technology
- Second Iridium data radio and CPDLC to support customers with more direct routing between North America and Europe (optional)
The most noticeable cabin change in the Ascend in comparison to the Excel is the introduction of a standard flat floor, What are the other cabin modifications in comparison to the already highly updated XLS Gen2?
We worked with a Customer Advisory Board of owners, pilots, mechanics and passengers throughout the design process to better understand what they seek in the ultimate aircraft experience and introduce enhancements in all areas of the cabin, including:
- All-new seats designed for ultimate comfort and flexibility
- All-new cabin windows that are nearly 15 percent larger and offer more natural light with translucent and opaque shade settings, wireless shade control, and optional lighted window rings
- Standard GoGo U.S. Avance L3 Max Wi-Fi and optional U.S. Avance L5 Wi-Fi. The aircraft also offers Optional Aviator 300 for Wi-Fi and worldwide calling.
- With 19 standard USB charging ports throughout the aircraft, all crew and passengers will enjoy access to at least one charging port, first-in-class wireless phone charging and three standard universal outlets
- An advanced acoustic treatment system to ensure a calm and peaceful flight, as found in the Citation Latitude
The Citation Ascend is almost in a class of its own combining Light jets’ versatility with Midsize jets’ comfort, what makes this class of jets so popular?
Whether flying for charter services, personal transportation or corporate flight departments, the Citation Ascend is designed to lead the market in performance and cabin experience. Customers will experience better fuel efficiency, increased thrust and longer time-on-wing, while enjoying many of the luxuries found in the bestselling Citation Latitude and flagship Citation Longitude.
During the pandemic, the pick of aircraft usage especially with fleet operators has shown the limitation of some models in terms of availability and operating costs, how is the Ascend optimized to address that?
The Cessna Citation Ascend will give operators versatility and flexibility to accomplish any mission, now and in the future. Entry into service is expected in 2025.