Winglet firm to test modified Citation X
By The Wichita Eagle
Oct. 23, 2012, Wichita, Kan. - A Wichita winglet design firm plans to set a transcontinental speed record this week in a modified Cessna Citation X, the world’s speediest business jet in operation.
By The Wichita Eagle
The plane is retrofitted with Winglet Technology’s unique elliptical
winglets – upturned extensions that fit on top of the wing – enhancing
the jet’s performance, said Winglet Technology president Bob Kiser.
plans to take the plane 3,470 miles nonstop from one corner of North
America to another – Anchorage to Miami. That’s farther than the manual
says the jet is able to handle nonstop.
“This is pushing the
airplane to its limits,” Kiser said. Without the winglets, the plane
could not fly that kind of distance, he said.
The nonstop flight
from Anchorage to Miami is expected to take 7 to 71/2 hours with an
average true airspeed of more than 500 knots, or 575 miles per hour,
The purpose of the trip is to demonstrate the performance improvements the winglets provide, he said.
winglets, which reduce drag on the airplane, reduce the time it takes
for the Citation X to climb to altitude, allow it to fly at
higher-than-normal altitudes, and allow it to fly faster at higher
They also extend the aircraft’s range, Kiser said.
plane will carry three passengers, including Kiser, Fred George, senior
editor of Business and Commercial Aviation, and Randy Nelson, former
vice president of advanced design at Cessna, who was the chief
aerodynamicist at the time the Citation X was developed. Al Larson and
Chuck Feaga will pilot the aircraft.
The group plans to leave Wichita on Thursday, then leave Anchorage for Miami on Friday or Saturday, depending on winds.
They’re hoping for favorable tailwinds, which are typical when flying to the east, to help make the long trip to Miami.
successful, the flight will set a speed record for the Anchorage-Miami
city pair, which to date has not been set in that class of airplane.
The record will be certified by the National Aeronautic Association, the official record-keeper for U.S. aviation.
NAA is one of the founding members of the Federation Aeronautique
Internationale, the international organization responsible for the
certification of all aviation and space records in the world.
reaching Miami, the group will fly the Citation X to Orlando, where the
plane will be on display during the 65th annual National Business
Aviation Association’s convention and exhibition, which begins Tuesday.
The show is the world’s biggest business jet convention.
Technology, which designs and certifies winglets, was founded in 2001
by Kiser, a Wichita native who spent nearly 20 years at Boeing’s
modification center in Wichita.
The company has been working with Cessna on the winglet for the Citation X for several years.
The first Citation X business jet retrofitted with the winglets was delivered in 2009.
Since then, 62 have been sold.
A winglet retrofit kit costs $415,000. Cessna service centers install the kit for $178,000.
Technology’s sister company, Jayhawk Aviation, owns the Citation X
making this week’s trip. After the flight, the airplane will be for
Jayhawk Aviation buys and refurbishes used Citation X business jets, then sells them.
company also helps those interested in buying used Citation X jets with
pre-buy inspections and evaluations. It also performs due diligence for
the buyer and organizes a refurbishment of the airplane.
Jayhawk Aviation was formed after fractional ownership company NetJets began selling some of its Citation Xs.
saw NetJet airplanes coming into the marketplace,” Kiser said. “With a
little bit of TLC, these will make a Citation X customer a very nice
aircraft for many years to come.”