Wings Magazine

Textron’s Cessna Details New Citation Columbus Aircraft

Feb. 6, 2008, Washington DC – Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. company, today revealed at a press conference here details of the recently announced large cabin, intercontinental aircraft, the Model 850 Citation Columbus.

February 13, 2008  By Carey Fredericks

Feb. 6, 2008, Washington DC – Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. (NYSE:
TXT) company, today revealed at a press conference here details of the
recently announced large cabin, intercontinental aircraft, the Model
850 Citation Columbus. Cessna was given the go-ahead for the program by
the Textron board of directors on Jan. 23.

The Citation Columbus is designed for intercontinental travel with
a target range of 4,000 nautical miles (7,408 kilometers) at Mach .80
carrying eight passengers. Joining Cessna on the program are Pratt
& Whitney Canada, a United Technologies (NYSE: UTX) company, with
its new PW810 engine and Rockwell Collins (NYSE: COL), supplying its
Pro Line Fusion™ advanced avionics system. Cessna has reached an
agreement in principle with Spirit AeroSystems (NYSE: SPR) to produce
the fuselage and empennage. Details will be finalized in the coming

The all-new aircraft is Cessna’s largest business jet to date, and
is expected to lead its segment with its combination of speed and
range. The aircraft’s large, comfortable cabin is expected to exceed
top competitor passenger seating room. The Columbus follows the design
philosophy of other Citations by using an aluminum airframe, and it
contains structural and cabin interior features to maximize interior
cabin space.

“We’ve spent the past five years deepening our customer and segment
knowledge so that we can be sure we are introducing a transcontinental
aircraft that the market wants,” said Jack J. Pelton, chairman,
president and CEO of Cessna. “The Citation Columbus is being designed
to be the best value proposition in its class. It will be manufactured
with a strong focus on reliability and ease of maintenance.


“This provides the perfect platform at the top end of our product
line for customers looking for more space, more range, more economy and
more capability. This aircraft will be Cessna’s greatest achievement.”

The Citation Columbus is expected to be the only aircraft in its
class capable of 4,000 nautical miles (7,408 kilometers) non-stop at
Mach .80. Preliminary performance numbers set a maximum cruise speed of
488 knots (904 kilometers per hour, Mach .85), a maximum operating
speed of Mach .86, a full fuel payload of 1,950 pounds (886 kilograms)
and takeoff field length of 5,400 feet (1,646 meters) at maximum
takeoff weight.

“In naming this new model, we looked for a word that embodies the
spirit of our company and the performance of this airplane,” Pelton
said. “With an adventurous and visionary attitude, explorer Christopher
Columbus is globally recognized as one of the first to cross the
Atlantic Ocean. That inspired us as we worked toward our design goal.
The Columbus opens up so many non-stop transcontinental routes: Munich
to New York, London to Dubai, Sydney to Singapore, São Paulo to Miami,
and many other trips.”

The 850 boasts a total length of 77 feet (23.5 meters) and a
wingspan of 80 feet (24.4 meters), with interior and exterior storage
compartments. Its cabin length of 36.3 feet (11.1 meters) including
interior baggage space is the longest in its class by nearly two feet.

Configurable for up to 10 passengers, the cabin has generous
seating room and a low flat floor that provides standing aisle height
of 73 inches (1.85 meters). The interior balances style and
functionality while providing comfort, features and the flexibility
passengers expect with intercontinental range. Crew seats, passenger
seats, forward jump seat and an optional couch are all-new designs.

Cessna’s engineering team and its co-development suppliers have
designed the clean-sheet Columbus to be one of the most advanced,
fuel-efficient, cleanest business jets ever conceived.

The newly engineered wing is moderately swept, and the entire
aircraft surface is contoured based on results from the computational
fluid dynamics analysis and wind tunnel verification, which allow for a
design that supports the highest speeds with the highest efficiency and
least amount of drag.

The 850 will debut Pratt & Whitney Canada’s next-generation,
8,830 pound-thrust PW810, an environmentally friendly engine that
features reductions in fuel burn, emissions and noise. The PW810
engine, which takes advantage of the latest proven advances in
material, aerodynamic and design technologies, will offer high
reliability at entry into service as well as thrust growth capability.

The cockpit will feature Pro Line Fusion™ avionics from Rockwell
Collins, which combines the proven capabilities of Pro Line 21 with
significant technological advancements. The fully integrated flight
deck has four landscape high-resolution 15-inch liquid crystal displays
working in concert with graphical flight planning, synthetic-enhanced
vision, auto throttle, Rockwell Collins’ award-winning MultiScan™
Hazard Detection system and an optional head-up display.

The initial price estimate for the Citation Columbus is $27 million
in 2008 U.S. dollars. Cessna plans to achieve Federal Aviation
Administration certification by the end of 2013, with deliveries
beginning in 2014.

Editor's Note: High-resolution Cessna Citation Columbus images are
available for download at the Cessna eMedia image gallery (link below).

Fact Sheet: Cessna Citation Columbus – Model 850

General Information

  • Citation Columbus will be the largest and longest-range business jet in the Cessna Citation family
  • Textron's board of directors approved the Citation Columbus program on Jan. 23, 2008
  • First flight is scheduled in 2011, FAA certification in 2013 and entry into service 2014
  • Expected price is $27 million in 2008 dollars
  • The program will require $780 million in total development cost


  • Citation Columbus was designed for reliability, maintainability and serviceability
  • The
    Columbus follows the Citation design philosophy by using an aluminum
    airframe, and it features external frames for increased interior cabin
  • Maximum seating capacity for the Citation Columbus is 10 passengers in the cabin
  • Total length – 77 feet (23.5 meters)
  • Wingspan – 80 feet (24.4 meters)
  • Cabin length – 36.3 feet (11.1 meters) – the longest in class by nearly two feet
  • Aisle height – 73 inches (1.85 meters) – comfortable stand up cabin
  • Large, fully enclosed aft lavatory
  • In-flight accessible, pressurized baggage compartment
  • Bleed air anti-ice for wing, horizontal stabilizer, and engine inlets
  • Electrothermal anti-ice for windshield and sensors
  • Avionics Coupled Cabin Pressure Control System auto-schedules cabin altitude to reduce pilot workload
  • Cabin is pressurized to 6,700 feet at 45,000 feet MSL aircraft altitude
  • APU will be sized to provide bleed air required by environmental control system


  • Range – 4,000 nautical miles at Mach .80 with eight passengers
  • Maximum cruise speed – 488 knots, Mach .85 (904 kilometers per hour)
  • Maximum operating speed – Mach .86
  • Full fuel payload – 1,950 pounds (886 kilos)
  • Takeoff distance (max takeoff weight) – 5,400 feet (1,646 meters)


  • Engines – Pratt & Whitney Canada

    • The
      Citation Columbus will be equipped with PW810 engines – the first in
      Pratt & Whitney Canada's PW800 family of next-generation engines
      producing up to 10,000 pounds of thrust
    • Columbus' PW810 engines will each produce 8,830 lbs of thrust and will be the most fuel efficient engines in class
    • PW810 incorporates advanced fan, compressor, turbine and low-emissions Talon combustion systems
    • The
      engine will surpass International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
      emissions standards by up to 50 percent for nitrous oxide and 35
      percent for carbon monoxide emissions
    • Noise levels well below Stage IV standards
  • Avionics – Rockwell Collins
    • The avionics system selected for Citation Columbus is the Pro Line Fusion
    • Four 15 inch landscape liquid crystal displays – the largest high-resolution displays available in the industry
    • Synthetic-enhanced vision
    • MultiScan Weather Radar
    • Auto throttle
    • Advanced
      Flight Management Systems (FMS) with Wide Area Augmentation System that
      supports Localizer Precision with Vertical guidance approaches
      (WAAS/LPV) and Required Navigation Performance (RNP) capabilities
    • Traffic Surveillance System with Automatic Direct Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) capabilities
    • Information Management System (IMS) to manage databases and facilitate wireless interactivity with the ground infrastructure
    • Optional
      heads-up display, predictive windshear weather radar, Controller-Pilot
      Data Link Communication (CPDLC) and Surface Management System

  • Structure – Spirit AeroSystems

    • Cessna
      has reached an agreement in principle with Wichita's Spirit AeroSystems
      to produce the fuselage and empennage of the Citation Columbus
    • Details of the agreement will be released in the near future


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