Wichita, Kan., March 6, 2008 - Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, has secured its first multiple order for the new Model 850 Citation Columbus business jet. Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL) of Pullman, Wash., will use two of the long-range, large-cabin Citations to support its global expansion and customer support efforts.
In announcing the purchase, Ed Schweitzer, founder and president of SEL, told company employees that the new aircraft will continue the company's long-standing efforts for safe, efficient travel for employees, customers, Special Olympics teams and Corporate Angel Flight participants.
"We've been partners with Cessna for almost 10 years, and they have provided the highest quality products with outstanding service," Schweitzer said. "The new Columbus aircraft will get us safely to hundreds of destinations as we expand our business worldwide. Customers have come to expect the best from us, and these planes will help us meet those expectations."
Schweitzer noted that more than 750 different people have used the company's Cessna aircraft, which have surpassed 3.2 million miles flown since SEL made its first purchase in 1999.
SEL was founded in Pullman in 1982, employs more than 1,500 people in 64 locations around the world and sells products in 121 countries. The company serves the electric power industry worldwide through the design, manufacture, supply and support of products and services for power system protection, monitoring, control, automation and metering.
"Cessna's relationship with SEL is indicative of how our Citation family is responding to the Model 850," said Roger Whyte, senior vice president of Sales and Marketing for Cessna. "We've taken a number of orders for the Columbus since announcing the details of the aircraft in early February. Our customers are eager for a product that allows them to move up in cabin size with an outstanding speed/range combination, while staying in the Citation family."
SEL currently operates two Citation X business jets and a Citation Bravo. In addition to two Columbus business jets, the company has ordered a Citation Sovereign that is expected to deliver in 2009.
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.
"Ed Schweitzer has built his business by manufacturing top-quality products and offering industry-leading technical support, so he expects nothing less of Cessna," Whyte said. "Ed was involved in our customer consultations when we first began considering a large cabin concept. His opinion as a customer and as an engineer who appreciates advanced design was invaluable, and he helped shape what has become the Citation Columbus."
The Model 850 will debut Pratt & Whitney Canada's PW810 engine, an environmentally friendly engine that will make the Columbus the most fuel efficient aircraft in its class. Pilots will also find unprecedented levels of operational efficiency and flight deck capability with 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.
Source: Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories Places First Multiple Order for New Citation Columbus
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