Cessna Citation Columbus to Feature Parker Aerospace’s Flight Control System


The new large cabin Citation is the first aircraft in the Citation family to be equipped with a hybrid fly-by-wire flight control system developed by Cessna which works with conventional hydraulic actuation to enhance the safety and performance capabilities of the Columbus.

Parker Aerospace will design and manufacture the primary and secondary flight controls, including roll, pitch and yaw axes; high lift; stabilizer trim; and speed brake controls.

The new fly-by-wire flight portion of the control system provides aircraft surface actuators that are electrically commanded based on pilot and avionics inputs. This technology supports enhanced aircraft performance by allowing improved pilot handling and ride quality. Aircraft safety benefits can be realized with improved envelope warning and protection functions, and control redundancy.

Further benefits of the new control system include reduced aircraft maintenance costs and enhanced dispatch reliability.

Parker’s Control Systems Division currently supplies speed brake and flap actuators for Cessna’s Citation CJ4, which will be the largest, longest-range version of the popular CJ line when it enters service in 2010. Other Parker Aerospace divisions support Cessna aircraft with equipment such as wheels, brakes, cabin temperature control systems, fuel and pneumatic components and utility hydraulics.

“Finding the right partner for each system is critical to the success of the Citation Columbus,” said Joe Hepburn, program manager, Citation Columbus. “Parker’s extensive experience and long term relationship with Cessna brings confidence in their ability to provide an exceptional flight control system for this new aircraft.”

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

Configurable for up to 10 passengers, the Model 850 will have a cabin length of 36.3 feet including interior baggage space. Cessna’s engineering team and its suppliers have designed the clean-sheet Columbus to be one of the most advanced, fuel-efficient, cleanest business jets ever conceived.

The aircraft will debut Pratt & Whitney Canada’s next-generation, 8,830 pound-thrust PW810 engines and will feature the Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion™ advanced avionics system.

Cessna plans to achieve FAA certification by the end of 2013, with deliveries beginning in 2014.

Based on unit sales, Cessna Aircraft Company is the world’s largest manufacturer of general aviation airplanes. In 2007, Cessna delivered 1,272 aircraft, including 387 Citation business jets, and reported revenues of about $5 billion. Cessna has a current backlog of $12.6 billion. Since the company was originally established in 1927, some 190,000 Cessna airplanes have been delivered to nearly every country in the world. The global fleet of more than 5,100 Citations is the largest fleet of business jets in the world. More information about Cessna Aircraft Company is available at http://www.cessna.com.

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